The Column Bet in Roulette

In roulette, a column bet is when a person wagers that the roulette ball will fall into one of the numbered pockets arranged in a single vertical line on the roulette table.

There are two different kinds of layouts for the roulette table; the simpler, American layout, and the French layout. Just as these two kinds of roulette tables differ, so too do the two kinds of roulette wheels: American roulette wheels have two green pockets that are numbered double zero, and zero, whereas European roulette wheels have only one green, zero pocket. Nonetheless, both kinds of wheels and tables have thirty-six numbered pockets, numbered one to thirty-six; and on the wheel, they are arranged in alternating black and red. On the roulette table though, these numbers are arranged numerically, in twelve rows of three, rather than according to color. On a roulette table therefore -whether it is in the French layout or the American layout- there are three vertical lines or columns of numbers, arranged such that as the eye descends on a single column, it can be noted that each number is three more than the previous one. For example, in the second column, the numbers are arranged as follows: two, five, eight, eleven, fourteen, etc.; and on the third column, the numbers are multiples of three: three, six, nine, twelve, fifteen, etc.

When a person makes a column bet, they bet that the winning number will be one of the numbers on the column that they have wagered on. In the American roulette table layout, to indicate that a person has made a column bet, the croupier will place their chips inside the square at the bottom of the column they have chosen. There are three squares underneath the thirty-six numbered squares, and these squares are designated for column bets. Often, these squares are printed with "2 to 1," which is the amount of payout a person can garner if they win at a column bet. In the American style double zero wheel, the odds against winning with a column bet are 2.167 to one. A column bet is considered an outside bet; it is a bet made on a large range of numbers, and this means that the odds against winning are considerably smaller than if a person makes an inside bet. An inside bet is when a person bets on a single number, or a small set of numbers grouped according to how they were arranged on the roulette table. The column bet's relatively low odds also means that the payout is smaller than if a person makes an inside bet, where the odds are often much higher.




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