When playing or dealing roulette, one of the very first things you learn is the payouts.
A chip on a number straight up pays 35 to one, a split pays 17 to one, and so on.
However, you’ll often have a combination of these, rather than a single chip. For instance, there may be two chips on a corner, two on a split, and four on the number itself. What’s the payout for that?
Instead of adding up each payout individually, you can memorize a few chip patterns so you know the grand total instantly.
As a casino dealer, I use these patterns, or picture bets, all the time, and they’re quite useful.
If you want, you can skip to the PDF file now, otherwise keep reading.
What are roulette picture bets?
Roulette picture bets are roulette chip patterns with specific payouts that are easy to remember. Casino dealers use picture bets to calculate roulette payouts faster, especially complex ones e.g. six straight ups, six splits, nine corners.
Picture bets are based on inside bets only.
This means the chips are placed in the center of the layout (the side that’s closer to the dealer) and cover 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.
This is why roulette dealers are told to memorize picture bets that make it a lot easier to work out the total payment.
The faster the process, the better — the goal is to keep the game going at a steady pace so that the customers don’t have to wait and there are more spins per hour, which means more money for the casino.
Common picture bets
These are the ones I’ve seen and used more often. I recommend you memorize these first before moving on to the following section.
Funny fact: the combination of one straight up bet and two corner bets, which pays 51, is called the “Mickey Mouse” as its shape looks like the head of the cartoon character.
Other picture bets
How to use picture bets
First of all, you don’t need to use them every single time.
If you’re just getting started, most of the time it may be easier to simply add up the number of splits, corners, and so on, one by one, even if the payout is relatively complex.
Although picture bets are designed to make the process easier and smoother, it does take time to get used to them.
When I first started dealing roulette, I pretty much ignored them and tried to improve my speed instead.
Then, I gradually trained my eye to spot the patterns and use them to my advantage.
Using incomplete picture bets
Alright, you’ve taken the time to learn all these picture bets.
One split and one corner pays 25, so six splits and six corners pays 150. A complete pays 156, so a complete with five chips on each bet pays 780.
But what if there’s, say, fifteen corners, nine straight-ups, and eight splits?
In this case, the number of chips placed on each bet don’t match. However, it can still make sense to use a picture bet.
Eight straight ups and eight splits pay 416. A single straight up pays 35, so that’s 451. Fifteen corners is a nice even number — 120. Add that to 451 and the total is 571.
The same works for “incomplete” picture bets — one where a chip or a few chips are missing.
So for example, if you’re paying ten splits and nine corners, you know that ten of each would pay 250. Subtract a corner from 250 and the result is 242.
Adding picture bets and single bets
It’s easier to work with bets that add up to an even number.
If you notice there’s two splits and a straight up, and you know that’s 69, you may want to add that to a street bet, which pays 11, so the result is 80.
Then, you can add to that all remaining bets, just because starting from 80 is easy.
Similarly, you may notice there’s a straight up and a six-line, and you know that pays 40, so you may want to add all remaining bets to that 40.
Again, the goal is to make the payouts as easy and as fast as possible.
If you’re comfortable using a picture bet, do so. If not, just add up the numbers normally.
Ultimately, you need to learn to add up those numbers quickly, regardless of which method or trick you’re using. And the more you practice, the better you’ll get at it.
Thanks for reading! You can download a PDF version of all the picture bets shown in this article so you can have a look at them whenever you want.
All images are quite big and visible on a mobile screen as well.