A roulette table close-up
Roulette, the iconic wheel of fortune, has been a staple in casinos for centuries. With its origins dating back to 18th-century France, this thrilling game has captured the hearts of gamblers around the world. The allure of watching the ball revolve around the wheel, hoping it lands on your chosen number or color, is undeniably exciting. But what if there were a way to up the ante and add even more thrill to this classic casino game? Enter roulette side bets – a captivating twist that can make your roulette experience even more electrifying.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of roulette side bets, explore the various types available, discuss their odds and payouts, and ultimately answer the question: are roulette side bets worth the risk?

Roulette Side Bets

Roulette has seen numerous variations and adaptations over the years, with one of the most exciting developments being the introduction of side bets. These additional wagers allow players to bet on various outcomes or combinations beyond the traditional options of numbers and colors. Roulette side bets provide a fresh layer of excitement and anticipation to the game, making each spin even more captivating.

Types of Roulette Side Bets

Roulette side bets come in various forms, each offering its unique set of rules, odds, and potential payouts. Here are some of the most popular types:

Neighbors of Zero

This side bet involves betting on a cluster of numbers near zero on the wheel. The bet typically covers 17 numbers, including zero and the seven numbers on either side of it. Payouts can vary depending on the casino, but this bet can offer substantial rewards if the ball lands in this specific area.

Voisins du Zéro

Similar to Neighbours of Zero, this bet covers a larger section of the wheel, including 17 numbers. It’s a combination of bets on the neighbors of zero, splits, and a straight-up bet on 0. The Voisins du Zéro bet is known for its complexity but can yield significant payouts.


Orphelins, which means “orphans” in French, is a bet on the numbers not covered by the Voisins du Zéro and Neighbours of Zero bets. It includes eight numbers, which are often divided into two parts: one part includes 1, 20, 14, 31, and the other includes 9, 17, 34, 6. Players can choose to bet on one of these two groups or both.

Tiers du Cylindre 

This side bet covers one-third of the wheel, specifically the numbers opposite the zero. It includes 12 numbers: 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, and 33. Betting on Tiers du Cylindre offers a good balance of risk and reward.

Red Splits/Black Splits: 

This type of side bet involves betting on splits (two adjacent numbers) that share a common color. For example, a red split would cover two red numbers, while a black split would cover two black numbers. These bets offer a more straightforward and direct approach to side betting.

Final Bets: 

Final bets are wagers on numbers that end with the same digit. For instance, a Final 5 bet would cover 5, 15, 25, and 35. These bets can provide substantial payouts if the chosen number hits.

Section Bets 

Some casinos offer side bets based on specific sections of the wheel, such as the first 12 numbers, the middle 12 numbers, or the last 12 numbers. These bets are relatively straightforward and can appeal to players looking for more structured options.

Understanding the Odds and Payouts

While roulette side bets can enhance the excitement of the game, it’s essential to be aware of the odds and potential payouts associated with each type. Side bets typically have higher house edges than standard roulette bets, meaning the casino has a greater advantage. Here’s a general overview of the odds and payouts for some common side bets:

  • Neighbors of Zero: Payouts can vary, but they are typically around 17 to 1.
  • Voisins du Zéro: Payouts also vary, but they tend to be higher, often ranging from 17 to 1 up to 35 to 1.
  • Orphelins: The payouts for Orphelins bets can range from 17 to 1 to 35 to 1, depending on the casino’s rules.
  • Tiers du Cylindre: This bet offers payouts similar to the Neighbours of Zero bet, typically around 17 to 1.
  • Red Splits/Black Splits: These bets often pay 17 to 1, providing a straightforward option for side betting.
  • Final Bets: Payouts for Final Bets can vary but generally range from 11 to 1 to 35 to 1, depending on the specific number.
  • Section Bets: Payouts for section bets are typically 2 to 1.

Are Roulette Side Bets Worth the Risk?

The allure of roulette side bets lies in their potential for substantial payouts and the added thrill they bring to the game. However, it’s essential to approach them with caution and a clear understanding of the associated risks:

Pros of Roulette Side Bets

  1. Enhanced Excitement: Side bets can make each spin of the roulette wheel more exhilarating and suspenseful.
  2. Potential for Big Wins: Some side bets offer substantial payouts if they hit, making them enticing for risk-takers.
  3. Variety: Roulette side bets add variety to the game, keeping it fresh and engaging for seasoned players.

Cons of Roulette Side Bets

  1. Higher House Edge: Side bets typically come with a higher house edge, meaning the odds are less favorable for players.
  2. Increased Risk: While the potential rewards are enticing, side bets can lead to quicker losses if not managed carefully.
  3. Complexity: Some side bets, like Voisins du Zéro and Orphelins, can be complex and require a deep understanding of the game.
  4. Bankroll Management: Side bets can deplete your bankroll faster, so it’s crucial to set limits and manage your funds wisely.
Roulette green table
An image showing roulette green table

Tips for Playing Roulette Side Bets

If you’re intrigued by the idea of roulette side bets and want to try your luck, here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience:

Understand the Rules

Before placing side bets, ensure you fully understand the rules and potential payouts for the specific type of bet you’re interested in.

Manage Your Bankroll 

Set a budget for side betting and stick to it. Don’t try to chase losses and walk away when you have lost the money you put aside for side betting. 

Balance Risk 

Consider mixing traditional roulette bets with side bets to maintain a balance between risk and potential reward.

Practice Patience 

Roulette is a game of chance, and there will be both wins and losses. Stay patient and avoid making impulsive decisions.

Choose the Right Casino

Different casinos may offer variations of side bets with varying rules and payouts. Research and choose a casino that aligns with your preferences.

Final Thoughts 

Roulette side bets offer an exciting twist on the classic casino game, providing players with additional opportunities to win big and elevate the thrill of each spin. While they come with higher risks and a greater house edge, they can add a layer of excitement for those seeking a more exhilarating gaming experience.

Ultimately, whether roulette side bets are worth the risk depends on your individual preferences and appetite for risk. As with all casino games, responsible gambling is key. By understanding the odds, setting limits, and approaching side bets with caution, you can enjoy the added excitement they bring while maintaining control over your gaming experience. So, the next time you’re at the roulette table, consider placing a side bet and embrace the exhilarating world of roulette in a whole new way.

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