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Red/Black Roulette Bets

Last updated: 01.08.2024 by Andrew Shepard

Aside from straight-up bets, Red/Black bets are probably the most popular roulette bets. After all, you only have two options. Not including the 0, there are 36 numbers on a European roulette wheel. 18 of them are red, and 18 of them are black.

Red Numbers: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 30, 32, 34, 36

Black Numbers: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 31, 33, 35

All you need to do is bet on which of those two colors comes up. If you play American roulette, your odds of picking the right color will be 47.4%. The odds are 48.65% for the European variant. Each win pays even money.

Red/Black Roulette Bets
Odds for 0 version 47.4%
Odds for 00 version 48.6%
Payout 1:1
Expected value ($1) -0.0271

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Putting Red/Black Bets to the Test

Taking the probabilities and payout ratio into account, we have created a simulation in which we only wager Red/Black bets for 1,000 rounds. We will use four players. Player 1 will stake $1 per round, Player 2 will bet $5, Player 3 will wager $20, and Player 4 will risk $100. We did our magic and came up with the following graph.

Red/Black Roulette Bets test

If you have checked out some of our other roulette betting tutorials and seen other similar simulations, then these results shouldn’t be surprising. Perhaps the most alarming thing was how quickly Player 3 flamed out. While we can attribute some of this to larger stakes, it’s hard to ignore the fact that he has a lot of bad luck. Because Player 4 staked the most each round, his bankroll endured the most noticeable fluctuations. He came close to being up $1,000, although he completely collapsed late in the session.

As we expected, the bankrolls for Players 2 and 3 remained steady throughout the game. Player 2 was able to leave the session with a small profit, while Player 1 suffered a very small loss. All in all, it’s obvious that you shouldn’t expect to make money by betting Red/Black over the long haul. The house edge is quite low, but it will catch up to you eventually.

Tips and Strategies for Red/Black Bets

There are many different options for using Red/Black bets. You will often see them used in a variety of systems, such as the following three.

Red/Black Bets with Oscar’s Grind

Oscar’s Grind is a simple yet effective betting strategy that some players like to use over the long haul. Roulette bettors like it because it is a relatively low-risk approach that can be used in conjunction with many other bets. Especially outside bets. While we have studied Oscar’s Grind in another article, the basic idea is this:

  • Place a 1-unit wager on Red/Black
  • If it loses, make the exact same bet again.
  • If it wins, increase the bet amount by 1 unit.

Now, the important thing to remember is that the goal of Oscar’s grind is to end each betting cycle with a 1-unit gain. After that, we enter another cycle. If the phase of the betting progression is such that you would potentially end up with more than 1 unit of profit for the cycle, then we adjust the bet so that the potential result would be a gain of exactly 1 unit.

For instance, let’s say you are down 3 units on the current cycle, and the progression calls for a 6-unit wager. That would give you a potential gain of 3 units for the betting cycle. This means you would stake 4 units instead. As such, a win would put you at +1 unit for the cycle.

Stretched Martingale System

The Martingale system is one of the most well-known systems. We conducted a comprehensive study of this strategy in a separate article which included a simulation and analysis of the results.

As you may recall, the classic Martingale system has disadvantages associated with the accumulation of the bet amount due to a group of consecutive losses. As a result, players who use this system run the risk of a quick drawdown of the bankroll or the bet amount going beyond the table bet limits.

You may have also seen an array of Martingale variations. The stretched Martingale is one of them. This system essentially slows the betting progression, which makes it a little less risky. Instead of progressing the stake amounts at a rate of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 254, use a progression of 1 - 1 - 3 - 5 - 11 - 21 - 43 - 85 - 171. Just don’t forget to reset the base stake amount to 1 unit following a win.

Red Betting System

The red betting system is a popular roulette strategy that was created in the 1960s. The system is largely based on the fact that the third column on the felt has 8 red numbers and just 4 black numbers. You start by placing a 1-unit wager on the third column. You then place a 2-unit wager on black.

Red Betting System

Naturally, you can experiment with different stake amounts and betting progressions. For instance, you could start with 1 unit stake for both bets. Because you are covering 26 of the 37 numbers, you have a 70.2% chance of winning. If you did go with two 1-unit bets, then each round would have one of the following four results:

  • The red number wins within the covered column. This earns a net profit of 1 unit
  • The black number wins within the covered column for a gain of 3 units.
  • Black wins outside the covered column, which results in a net push.
  • You miss completely and lose 2 units.


With the exception of straight-up bets, no roulette bet is easier to understand than the Red/Black. As an even-money outside bet with a low house edge, Red/Black bettors enjoy more frequent wins, and there is a much smaller chance of encountering a cripplingly long losing skid. This is why betting systems like Martingale and Fibonacci are so commonly used by Red/Black bettors. Red/Black bets are a perfect addition to almost any roulette strategy.

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