What Are The Worst Bets In Online Roulette? 

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Posted: June 18, 2024

Updated: June 18, 2024

Although you might think that making the standard red/black, odd/even, and high/low bets in roulette are boring, it can be fatal to your bankroll if you decide to try some more exotic bets. It's important to keep in mind that roulette is simply a game of chance. To that end, we suggest that you stick with the simplest of bets, and avoid the worst bets in roulette.

Roulette may seem glamorous, but don’t be fooled by betting systems. It’s a game where chance reigns supreme. To make the most of your time at the table, understanding the worst bets in online roulette is crucial. These bets offer slim odds and a high house edge, meaning they’ll quickly deplete your bankroll. Instead, focus on bets with lower payouts but better winning chances. This might not sound exciting, but it allows you to stretch your money further and enjoy the game longer. Avoiding these “worst bets” will benefit any player, regardless of experience. With a little knowledge, you’ll see why these online bets are best left untried.

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Worst Bets In Online Roulette 

Roulette has a variety of bets, but some are kinda “rigged” for the casino. The worst bets in online roulette have a high house edge, meaning the casino wins more often. By avoiding them, you’ll extend your playtime and potentially win more by focusing on bets with better odds. Even if the payouts are smaller. Below are some of the worst bets in online roulette. No matter how well or badly a game is going, don’t be tempted to take a chance with any of them. With that in mind let’s have a look at each in greater detail.

The Basket Bet 

The basket bet in roulette is one of the worst bets in online roulette. It’s often recommended by online casino sites in the UK. While tempting because it covers five numbers (0, 00, 1, 2, 3), it’s widely considered the worst bet on the table. Here’s why:

  • High House Edge – Roulette already favours the casino with a house edge (the percentage the casino expects to win). In American roulette (with the double zero), the house edge is typically 5.26%. But for the basket bet, the house edge jumps to a whopping 7.89%. Imagine a roulette wheel with 38 slots. You’re essentially betting on 4 numbers to win, while the casino pockets your money on the remaining 34.
  • Low Payout vs. Odds – Even if you win a basket bet, the payout is just 6 to 1. This means for every £1 you wager, you only win £6. Compare this to even-money bets (like red/black) that pay 1 to 1. While you cover less area, the risk is significantly lower, and the payout is much closer to your wager.
worst bets in online roulette
Picture Source: Wikimedia Commans

Even within the same coverage area, there are smarter ways to bet. For example, at Bet365 Casino, placing five individual straight-up bets on each of the five basket numbers offers a better chance of winning with the same house edge as other even-money bets. An example would be you play 100 rounds of roulette. With a basket bet, you might win a handful of times, but you’ll lose money on the vast majority of spins. Over time, the odds are stacked heavily against you, making the basket bet the worst bet in online roulette and a gamble with a very slim chance of success.

Worst Bets In Online Roulette – Straight Bets

The straight bet in roulette, while offering a high payout, is statistically a poor choice due to the low probability of winning and the significant house edge. Here’s why:

  • Low Odds vs. Payout – A straight bet picks a single number (out of 37 in European roulette or 38 in American) for the ball to land on. The payout is enticing, a whopping 35 to 1. However, the odds of that specific number winning are slim. Imagine a roulette wheel with 37 numbered slots (excluding zero). You’re essentially placing your bet on one tiny sliver compared to the vast expanse of losing possibilities.
  • High House Edge – Regardless of the bet type, the casino always has a built-in advantage. In European roulette, the house edge sits at 2.7%. This means, over time, the casino statistically wins 2.7% of all money wagered on the table. Straight bets don’t magically bypass this edge. In fact, the high payout is balanced by the incredibly low chance of winning. This is why it makes our list of one of the worst bets in online roulette.

For a more sustainable approach, consider even-money bets like red/black, odd/even, or high/low. These bets cover half the wheel and offer a 1 to 1 payout. While the potential return is lower, the odds of winning are significantly better. Imagine flipping a coin; even-money bets are like betting on heads or tails, with a much higher chance of success compared to picking a specific side of a single die (like a straight bet). Think of it like this: Let’s say you play roulette 100 times, placing a straight bet each time. You might win a few times with a hefty payout, but statistically, you’ll lose money on the vast majority of spins. The allure of a big win is overshadowed by the high risk and the casino’s inherent advantage.

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Split Bets

While the split bet in roulette offers a chance to cover two numbers and potentially double your winnings, it’s not the best choice for long-term success. Here’s why:

  • Limited Coverage vs. House Edge – A split bet covers two adjacent numbers on the roulette layout. The payout is decent at 17 to 1, but you’re still only guarding against a small portion of losing outcomes. Imagine a roulette wheel with 38 slots. You’re essentially focusing on two slivers while the ball has 36 other possibilities to land on. The house edge remains the same (typically 2.7% in European roulette or 5.26% in American roulette), chipping away at your winnings over time.
  • Risk vs. Reward – Although the payout is higher than even-money bets, it’s still one of the worst bets in online roulette. That’s because it doesn’t justify the risk. You need to win significantly more often to overcome the house edge. We suggest that you consider an even-money bet that pays 1 to 1. With this you only need to win half the time to break even. With a split bet, you’d need to win much more frequently (around 1 in 18.5 spins in European roulette) to achieve the same outcome.

There are ways to cover more area with a similar house edge. For example, placing two separate straight-up bets offers the same 35 to 1 payout on each number, but spreads your coverage. Alternatively, a street bet covers three consecutive numbers for an 11 to 1 payout. This increases your chance of winning while keeping the house edge comparable. Imagine flipping a biassed coin that lands on heads 60% of the time (representing the house edge). A split bet is like picking a specific side knowing it only wins 5.4% of the time (your odds of winning). An even-money bet is like betting on heads or tails, with a much higher chance of success (around 40%). While a split bet can be exciting if you win, the odds are stacked against you in the long run. Consider alternative strategies for a more sustainable approach.

Worst Bet In Online Roulette – Any Bet at American Roulette Tables

Here’s why betting on the American roulette wheel is generally considered a worse bet in roulette compared to its European counterpart:

worst bets in online roulette
Picture Source: Wikimedia Commons 
  • Double Zero Advantage – The key difference lies in the number of pockets on the wheel. American roulette has 38 slots, including an extra zero (00) compared to the European version’s 37 (with just a single zero). This seemingly small addition significantly alters the odds. In American roulette, there are 38 possibilities for the ball to land on, but only 36 numbers (excluding 0 and 00) for you to win on. This shrinks your chance of winning by a small but crucial margin.
  • Higher House Edge – Due to the extra zero, the house edge in American roulette jumps to 5.26% compared to the European version’s 2.7%. This seemingly minor difference translates to a bigger advantage for the casino in the long run. Imagine playing 100 rounds. In European roulette, an online casino like Bet365 Casino statistically keeps 2.70 of every £100 wagered. In American roulette, thanks to this being one of the worst bets in online roulette, that number climbs to £5.26, meaning you lose more money on average over time.

If you enjoy the roulette experience but want a better chance of winning, consider playing European roulette whenever possible. The absence of the double zero reduces the house edge by half. This gives you a slight statistical advantage. Think of it like this: Imagine a 100-metre race. In European roulette, you start 2.7 metres behind the casino (the house edge). In American roulette, you’re starting 5.26 metres behind. According to online casino news in the UK, this makes it significantly harder to win in the long run. While both bets involve chance, European roulette offers a slightly smaller head start for the casino.

In Conclusion – Avoiding The Worst Bets In Online Roulette

Online roulette offers a variety of bets, but some significantly reduce your chances of winning. The worst bets in online roulette are without a doubt the basket bets. Despite its tempting payout, it has a high house edge and low odds. Understanding risk and reward is key in roulette. You’ll see that each bet offers a different payout  based on its difficulty to win. The house edge, the casino’s built-in advantage, should always be considered alongside the chance of winning and the potential payout. New players, or those with limited funds, should avoid these high-risk bets. While they might offer a bigger win, they are statistically unlikely to succeed and can quickly drain your bankroll. Playing like a low roller with more conservative bets, with lower payouts but better odds, are a safer option for long-term play.

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