Chances of winning

Excerpts from the classic book from 1983

The Stiftung Warentest issued a special edition of “test” in the form of a book entitled:  Ralf Lisch. Spielend gewinnen? Chancen im Vergleich. (Winning Hands Down? A Comparison of Chances) Berlin 1983.

This book has meanwhile been quoted hundreds of times, whenever “roulette as the fairest game of chance” is concerned.

The Stiftung Warentest writes: “...roulette is described time again as a particularly fair form of a game of chance, because 97.3 percent of the stakes are paid out as winnings. That is more than in any other game.”


1. PLEIN

A bet placed on one number from 0 to 36. The odds paid out here are 35-1 if the number comes up. The chances of winning are 1= 0.0270 37

2. A CHEVAL

A bet placed on the intersecton of two numbers. The odds paid out on this bet are 17-1 if one of the two adjacent numbers come up. The chances of winning are: 2:37 = 0.0541

3. TRANSVERSALE PLEINE

A bet placed on the three numbers of one of the two outside rows or the intersection of the numbers 0/1/2 or 0/2/3. The odds paid out here are 11-1 if one of the three numbers comes up. The chances of winning are: 3:37 = 0.0811


4. CARRE

A bet placed on the intersection of four numbers. The odds paid out here are 8-1 if one of the four numbers comes up. The chances of winning are: 4:37 = 0.1081

5. THE FIRST FOUR

A bet placed on the numbers 0/1 2/3 on the intersecton of the first side and ouside row. The same rule as for Carre applies here. The chances of winning are: 4:37 = 0.1081

6. TRANSVERSALE SIMPLE

A bet placed on six numbers on the intersection of the side and ouside row.  The odds paid out here are 5-1 if one of the six numbers comes up. The chances of winning are: 6:37 = 0.1622


7. COLONNE

A bet placed on the free box below a column of 12 numbers. The odds paid out here are 2-1 if one of the twelve numbers comes up. The chances of winning are: 12:37 = 0.3243

8. DOZEN

A bet placed on the first (1-12), second (13-24) or third (25-36) group of a dozen numbers on one of the lower boxes on the right or the left. The odds paid out here are 2-1 if one of the twelve numbers comes up. The chances of winning are: 12:37 = 0.3243

9. EVEN-MONEY BETS

A bet placed on rouge (red) or noir (black), impair (odd) or pair (even), manque (1-18) or passe (19-36) in the correspondingly marked boxes. If one of the bets wins, odds of 1-1 are paid out. The chances of winning are: 18:37 = 0.4865


The average of the expected loss is 1-37 of the stake for all types of bets, i.e. 2.7% of the stake money. If zero comes up half of the stake of even-money bets is lost: these are either blocked (en prison) or if requested the other half paid out. They can also be changed to other even-money bets while blocked (en prison). Stakes placed on dozen and colonne bets are lost if zero comes up. If a stake that is en prison wins in the next spin, it regains its original value. If zero comes up a second time, the stake goes into double prison, i.e. it is only worth a quarter of its original value.

If zero comes up for the third time in a row, the stakes in double prison are lost to the house. In the case of the 1 to 6 bet options described above the stake remains on the table if the bet wins, the player can then either leave it there or take it back. The win itself is paid out to the player directly. In the case of colonne, dozen and even-money bets the win is placed beside the stake. The player can either take this or leave all or part of it on the table. There are minimum and maximum permissible stakes that vary slightly from one casino to another.

The following restrictions are the most common. The amount of the permissible stakes indicated at the table or in the gaming room are decisive.


Gambling can become addictive. Admission from the age of 18 and above. Identification requirement.
Helpline: 0800/1372700 (free of charge).