You’ve put a bunch of chips on a roulette number.
Not just the number straight up, but some of the splits and corners. And a few chips on the street bet as well.
The number comes in.
The roulette dealer clears the layout, marks the winning number, and has a quick look at it.
He or she grabs four stacks of color chips, three cash chips, announces the payout, and passes it to you — all within seconds.
How is it possible to calculate such a complex payout so quickly?
Experienced roulette dealers have done this over and over again, so for them it’s relatively easy.
But the truth is that once you learn some of their secrets, and practice, you’ll be able to do the same.
Keep in mind, it’s impossible to calculate ridiculously hard payouts in a few seconds, even if you’re experienced.
But if you learn the things explained in this article, you’ll be able to work out most roulette payouts quickly.
How to calculate roulette payouts like a pro
To calculate roulette payouts quickly, you want to memorize the table of 35 and 17 (straight ups and splits) as those are the hardest to calculate. Then, you want to learn picture bets — patterns of two or more chips with a certain payout.
Ideally, you also want to become faster at adding a bunch of numbers together as this is usually part of the process as well, even if you memorize all tables and all picture bets.
This article refers to inside bets — chips placed in the center of the layout (the side that’s closer to the dealer) covering combinations of numbers rather than red or black, or odd or even.
Inside bets are the following:
- Straight ups (chips placed on a single number, pays 35 to one)
- Splits (chips placed between two numbers, pays 17 to one)
- Corners (chips placed on the corner of four numbers, pays 8 to one)
- Streets (chips that cover three numbers, pays 11 to one)
- Six-lines (chips that cover six numbers, pays only 5 to one)
Outside bets and inside bets are paid separately.
When the ball drops, the dealer will mark the winning number, clear the layout (remove all losing chips), pay all outside bets first, and only then pay inside bets.
Example: ball drops on 28. After clearing the layout, the dealer will pay all bets placed on first column, high numbers, black, even, and third dozen. Then, the dealer will pay inside bets.
While there’s no need to calculate payouts for outside bets, complex combinations of inside bets can be tricky.
Straight up and split bets are usually the most common bets. They are also the hardest to calculate.
This is why all roulette dealers should memorize their multiples — it makes everything so much easier.
Payouts of straight up bets (table)
Alright, one chip on a number pays 35. Two chips on a number pays… 70. Thirteen chips… wait a second.
This is why it’s important to memorize all the multiples — ideally the first twenty, although if you learn the first ten you’ll already have a big advantage.
Have a look at the following table:
Payouts of split bets (table)
The same applies to split bets.
These are still very common, and probably even harder to calculate. Try and learn the following, at least the first ones:
Roulette picture bets
And then there’s what you call picture bets.
These are patterns of chips (two or more) that are easy to remember and that have a certain payout.
When used correctly, picture bets can help you calculate complex payouts a lot faster.
You’ve got a chip on a number straight up, one on a corner, one on a split, and one placed on the street (a bet covering the line of three numbers).
Typically, you’d have to add them one by one: 35 + 8 + 17 + 11. And although it’s a simple calculation, it still takes too much time.
But if you have learned all the main picture bets, you can work out the total instantly by simply adding 60 and 11.
This is because the combination of a straight up, a split, and a corner will always equal 60, which is a nice even number.
Another example could be something like thirteen chips on a split, and ten on the number itself.
In this case, if you know the picture bet of 52 (one straight up and one split), it’ll be much easier to calculate the payout.
All you need to do is, 52 times ten, plus 51 (the three remaining splits), which equals 571.
For the full explanation of picture bets and how to use them, please check out my guide.
Adding up the numbers
No real secrets here, you just need to practice so you can get faster and faster.
One thing you can do, though, is look for numbers that add up easily.
Let’s say there are seven chips on a split (119) and one on the street (11). In this case, it might make sense to add these two bets first as the total is a nice even number — 130.
Or, for instance, you could add the straight up bets to the six-line bets first as these will always be multiples of five (e.g. 105 + 5, 175 + 15, 210 + 10).
It all depends on what kind of payout you’re dealing with, and whether you’re comfortable using picture bets.
You can learn to calculate roulette payouts faster by doing the following:
- Learn the multiples of 35 and 17. These are the hardest to calculate, and usually the most common bets as well (most players bet on straight ups and splits rather than, say, six-lines). And if you memorize the multiples of 8 as well, it’ll definitely help.
- Learn picture bets. Especially the most common ones — 52, 25, 69, 33, 103, 135, 156. You don’t need to use them for every payout, but they definitely come in handy once you’re able to recognize chip patterns.
- Look for numbers that add up to multiples of 10. Or numbers that are easy to add up in general. 175 + 15 (three six-line bets) is easier than 175 + 119 (seven split bets). And most importantly, keep practicing.
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