Just as the felt is divided into three dozens sections, it is also divided into three columns. The columns are as follows:
1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34
2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 35
3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36
Betting columns on a European roulette board gives you a 32.4% chance of winning, and it pays 2:1. You should see the betting box for the first column directly below the 34. The box for the second column is under the 35, and the box for the third column is under the 36.
|Odds for 0 version||32.4%|
|Odds for 00 version||31.6%|
|Expected value ($1)||-0.3513|
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Putting Column Bets to the Test
Just as we do with any other bet we cover, we will now conduct a test to find out how effective these bets are over a long session. We will enter the formulas in Google Sheets and run the test using four players who each have a $1,000 bankroll. Player 1, Player 2, Player 3, and Play 4 will wager $5, $10, $50, and $100, respectively, per round. The graph below reveals the results.
Even though it looks like Player 4 made a very handsome profit, he actually zeroed out his balance before his 200th turn. He got off to a hot start but quickly saw his fortunes reverse. Player 3’s bankroll was also quite dynamic. Unfortunately, his balance also hit 0 at around the 700th spin.
Then we have Players 1 and 2, who saw their bankrolls maintain a steady, flat flow. Player 1 took a small loss, while Player 2 made it out of the session with a small gain. All in all, this is pretty typical, as larger bets typically result in more pronounced bankroll fluctuations than small bets do.
Tips and Strategies for Column Bets
Column bets are quite versatile as they can be used in many different strategies and systems. Let’s go over a few ways to use column bets.
2 Columns System
This system is extremely simple. We stake 1 unit on one of the columns and 2 units on another. This leaves one column plus the zero uncovered. There are only three possible outcomes here:
- A win on the 1-unit column results in a net push.
- A win on the 2-unit gives us a net gain of 3 units.
- A loss results in a 3-unit loss.
In short, you’ll either win 3 units, lose 3 units, or break even. A lot of players like to mix in the occasional even-money outside bet when they use this tactic.
Column King System
There is a positive progression version of this system as well as a negative progression version. We will first describe the positive progression version, which goes like this:
- Stake 1 unit on one of the columns
- If you lose, wager on the next column and increase the stake amount. Follow a 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9 betting progression.
- If you win, return to the base stake amount.
For the negative progression version of the column king system, play it like this:
- Stake 1 unit on any column.
- Increase the wager after each consecutive win using the following progression: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, etc…
- After each loss, go back to the base stake amount.
Another Column System
Columns Roulette System is a fairly simple system for playing roulette. The essence of this system is that we bet exclusively on the columns; we start from the first column and, depending on the results of the round, move on. If our first round was losing, we double the bet and wager on the next column; if we win, we do not double the bet but simply bet the same on the next column. In the case of three losses in a row, i.e. all three columns were losing, we double the base bet and start over. Here is an example to illustrate how it works:
- Let's say our base rate is 1 unit. We bet on the first column and lose
- We double our bet and wager 2 units on the second column and fail again.
- Again we raise our bet and thus put 4 units already on the third column. We're losing again.
- According to the system, we double the base rate and start over. We put 2 units in the first column and won.
- Since we won in the previous round, we did not double up the bet but simply put 2 units on the next column. In this round, we lost; therefore, in the next one, we will already bet 4 units on the third column.
Column bets are popular outside bets that give you a 32.4% chance of winning. The big drawback is that these bets payout at a ratio of 2:1. These numbers alone tell us that solely betting on columns over a long period of time will almost certainly have adverse effects on your bankroll. Still, they can be mixed with any other outside bet or inside bet, as well as a variety of betting strategies.