Roulette might just be one of the world’s most famous games. It could be argued to be up there with other classics like card and board games that are universally known around the planet.

It is a game that has received a huge amount of exposure across various entertainment mediums, with it being used to help add excitement and tension to film plots, TV storylines, and even as part of a video game.

Of course, while many realize just how famous the game is, it does also have a reputation of being one of the hardest to try and win from. That does not stop it from being a casino favorite with gamblers, though. The difficulty that can be experienced when trying to obtain a win with this game has only heightened its appeal among players. This is because where there is high risk, there can be a very high reward paid out to the very lucky few who can accurately predict what will happen next.

What Makes Roulette so Difficult?

Although the game’s premise is incredibly simple and the rules that need to be followed make it extremely basic – correctly predict which pocket the ball will land once it stops spinning – the maths behind the game makes it complex and thus more difficult to know how to win.

There are two aspects of math that players need to consider when they play roulette. The first is in terms of the odds and the probability of an outcome landing. The second is the math behind the house edge. As with all casino games, the casino will have an advantage to some extent, although this can vary with each different table game that is played.

Understanding how Roulette Works Can Help

Understanding how Roulette Works Can Help

To understand the principles of the math behind the game, it is important to understand how roulette works. Although the rules of this popular game are simple to follow, there are numerous aspects to the gameplay that players should recognize when they play that can help them have a better knowledge of the maths that is used by the casino.

First and foremost, roulette is a game of chance. This should be recognized immediately, as this will help players to know that there are no guarantees that they will be able to win. The wheel that is used can come in various variations depending on the roulette version that is played, with many casino online sites now offering a plethora to choose from to keep players entertained.

Traditionally, the wheel is separated into pockets (segments) that are numbered. They will usually go from 0-36, while there are versions that will occasionally feature a 00. To understand the maths behind the game, we will stick with the classic 0-36 format.

Players are tasked with trying to predict where the ball will land once it stops spinning, and if they are successful, they will then be able to win a prize. This comes down to the odds that have been set.

What Are the Different Odds Available in Roulette?

Again, while many different variations of the game can be played, classic roulette continues to allow players to fully understand the mathematical principles that it features in an easy way to digest.

Those who make a wager on a single number will have odds of 1/37 (as 0 is also a number). Of course, this is the most rewarding bet that can be made as it is the hardest one to get right. However, players can enhance their odds if they look to place bets on more numbers or consider side bets, such as betting on red/black or odd/even outcomes. As there are more opportunities to win, the odds will decrease, but there is a greater chance of the possibility of obtaining a positive outcome.

When facing the gambler’s dilemma and deciding when to place bets, understanding the mathematical aspects of roulette, including odds and the house edge, can be a valuable tool, as discussed in the related article.

What About House Edge?

What About House Edge

As highlighted previously, the house edge is the advantage that the casino has over a player when they enjoy this game. Every casino will have an edge, as it is standard practice of the industry and they do not want to lose too much money by simply giving it away. It is not in their business nature, even if the odds are always in their favor.

The house edge can be variable, though, depending on the type of variant that is played. It can also be dependent on the type of bet that is wagered. For instance, many versions of roulette will see the house have an edge of 2.7% when a player makes a bet of the number being either red or black. For a straight bet – when a player bets on a single number – the house edge almost doubles as it increases to 5.26% for classic roulette (7.89% for American roulette).

What About Probability?

Probability was mentioned at the beginning of this article as it is a major mathematical aspect of roulette. With the casino game being one of chance, there is no skill involved.

While many may consider adopting and implementing strategies that are designed to try and maximize their win, there is not a lot that they can do physically to alter the outcome of each turn that is made.

Players are unable to influence any outcome that is achieved, as the ball will do whatever it wants when it is spinning on the wheel. Therefore, probability and the likelihood of something happening have to be considered.

Final Thoughts


There is no denying that players can enhance their gaming experience by adopting strategies and following best betting practices, but there is no getting past the maths that is involved in a game like roulette.

By understanding that there is a significant amount of luck that goes along with the game, as well as the maths behind it, game sessions can be more positive. The outcome of where the ball lands is simply down to fate, with maths playing a huge role.