For those stepping into a casino for the first time, it can often be quite daunting when deciding where to head to first.
The immediate answer for many is to visit the bar or toilet but, when it comes to spending chips, the safety net is usually roulette.
Games like craps and baccarat are actually quite easy to understand at a base level, but look much more difficult, while blackjack also requires a little bit of knowledge.
With roulette, most people have generally seen the game played before.
Roulette betting opportunities
The ball is spun around the wheel, bets are placed, and whichever number the ball lands on is the winner. For those correctly having chips on the winning number, they are paid out at a lofty 35/1.
However, most of the other betting opportunities that exist on the layout are fairly straightforward to understand.
At the top of this list is the decision to bet on whether an either an odd or even number will be the winner, or on similar lines whether the ball will finish on a number with a red or black background.
What is worth pointing out is that some casino visitors simply love the thrill of being a winner, regardless of the size of the payout.
The feeling of being handed winning chips regularly, even if small amounts, far outweighs the chance to make a bigger profit once every 5-10 roulette wheel spins.
And what better way of almost guaranteeing a profit than by placing multiple bets on all of the so-called 50/50 opportunities such as red/black or odd/even?
Although these bets are paid out at 1/1, meaning that betting £5 on a winning red numbers brings a profit of £5, plus the initial £5 bet back, these do not have a 50 per cent chance of winning.
Because of the positioning of the green 0 on the wheel, the likelihood of red being a winner is 48.6 per cent.
Doubling up on the so-called 50/50 bets
What many people also fail to realise is that on a roulette wheel there are 10 black numbers that are even – 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28.
Then there are eight black numbers that are odd – 11, 13, 15, 17, 29, 31, 33 and 35.
It is identical on the flip side as eight red numbers are even – 12, 14, 16, 18, 30, 32, 34, 36 – and 10 are odd – 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27.
Why this is significant is that by picking certain numbers, players are reducing their chances of receiving a double payout.
By betting on the winning number being both red and even, there are only eight numbers on the table that will make both bets a winner.
Yet by changing the red bet to black, a player now has an extra two numbers that can provide a double victory – 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28.
For the same outlay of chips, why wouldn’t a player want this extra opportunity to make more money?
The 1-18 and 19-36 betting boxes
There is a third so-called 50/50 bet on the roulette layout, which is the opportunity to bet that the winning number will fall between 1-18 or 19-36. Again, the positioning of the 0 means that the chance of either being a winner is 48.6 per cent.
However, if using one of these sections as a way of placing multiple bets, the same differences do not exist as with the odd/even and red/black double up.
This is because these boxes are evenly split between odd and even. Nine of the numbers between 1-18 are odd, with the other nine even. The same breakdown exists in the 19-36 section.
It is the same situation when the 1-18 division is combined with red and black. Nine are black in this section and the other nine red.
Therefore, the main advice to take note of is that for players placing more than one bet across 50/50 betting circles in the hope of collecting double winnings, siding with the combination of black/even or red/odd offers a slightly greater chance of success for the same risk.