To pay roulette wagers, dealers must follow a specific order.
This makes it easier and faster to pay out the wagers. If there was no payout order, the dealer could easily forget to pay one of the bets.
Outside bets, such as odd, are paid first. As for inside bets, the order from first to last is the following: lines, streets, corners, splits, and then the number straight up. If there are different color chips, the roulette dealer will pay those that are further from the wheel first.
Outside bets vs inside bets
First of all, outside bets and inside bets on roulette are always paid separately.
As their name says, outside bets are chips placed on the outer part of the layout (the one closer to the player) and inside bets are chips placed on the actual numbers or combination of numbers.
Say you have a few chips on red, as well as on the split 19-20, and 19 red comes in; the dealer will pay your bets separately.
The order is always the same: outside bets first, then inside bets.
In the example I just made, the roulette dealer would first pay your bet on red, then calculate the wager for the chips on the 19-20 split and pass it to you.
To make it 100 percent clear, outside bets are the following:
- Red or black numbers
- Odd or even numbers
- Low or high numbers (1-18, 19-36)
- 1st, 2nd, or 3rd dozen
- 1st, 2nd, or 3rd column
Order of payout (outside bets)
You always start with the bets that are furthest from the wheel.
So in the case of outside bets, the roulette dealer will pay, in order, chips placed on:
- 1st, 2nd, or 3rd column
- High numbers (19-36) and odd numbers
- 3rd dozen
- Black or red
- 2nd dozen
- Even numbers and low numbers (1-18)
- 1st dozen
Please note, this is not a strict rule. It’s okay if the dealer does not follow this exact order.
Occasionally, the dealer may forget and skip, say, a bet placed on black, and pay it at the end. Not a big deal.
Or, they may find it easier to pay a certain outside bet first, then take care of remaining ones.
What’s most important is to pay outside bets first and inside bets last.
Let’s now have a look at the order of payout for inside bets — straight ups, splits, and so on.
Order of payout (inside bets)
This is where it gets interesting, although once you know the rule it’s fairly intuitive.
The order of payout for inside bets on roulette, first to last, is the following:
- Six-lines (bet on six numbers)
- Streets (bet on three numbers)
- Corners (bet on four numbers)
- Splits (bet on two numbers)
- Straight up (bet on a single number)
Now, what happens if there are different color chips placed on the same type of bet?
For example, what if you have a blue chip on one corner, two pink chips on another corner, and a yellow chip on another corner? Would the order of payout be random in this case?
Nope. And again, the rule is that you start from the chips furthest from the wheel.
So in the example above, the dealer would first pay the two corners that are further away from the wheel (or zero, if you find it easier), then the remaining two.
This may be confusing, so have a look at the following picture. The roulette wheel would be on the left.
How to calculate roulette payouts
I’ve written a whole article on this — you can have a look at it here.
Outside bets are paid either even money or two to one, so no need to do any math.
Assuming you already know the payout for all inside bets (35 to one for the number straight up, 17 to one for splits, and so on), then the first thing you want to do is learn their multiples.
Ideally the first twenty, but you’ll be fine with the first ten 99 percent of the time.
So if there are, say, seven splits on a number, and you’ve memorized all the multiples, you know that’s going to pay 119 chips, instantly.
Then, you want to learn all the common chip patterns and their payouts. For example, a straight up and a split, which pays 52.
These are usually referred to as picture bets and you can have a look at my complete guide, as well as the PDF download, here.
You don’t have to know all picture bets when you first start dealing roulette. You don’t have to know any of them, in fact. But they’re useful, and experienced dealers are supposed to know at least the basic ones.
And that’s pretty much it.
Learn the multiples of 35 and 17, maybe the multiples of 8 and 11 as well; learn to use picture bets; and then practice so you get faster at adding all those numbers together.
Again, check out this guide for the full explanation.
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