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Columns Bet

Online Roulette Guide

An Outside Bet on Groups of 12 Numbers

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The Roulette Columns Bet (an Outside Bet) is the close cousin of the Dozens Bet which also pays out 2:1 (so when you bet 1 and win, you get two units plus your original bet, so three in total).

Both bets carve the wheel into thirds (if we conveniently forget about the zero for a second- we’ll explain later).

dozens bet roulette

The image above show bets on the left and right column- obviously a player hedging his or her bets and hoping that the middle column stays cold and doesn’t hit.

A Popular Roulette Bet

Why is this bet so popular? Well, it all has to do with theories around the Law of The Thirds, and how the distribution of numbers that come up on a roulette wheel normally pan out over the long run. Many people believe that a 1/3, 2/3 pattern is a naturally occurring pattern, and like to bet accordingly.

Just remember that your odds on this bet are no better or no worse than other bets like the even money bets. There is still a zero pocket- and this is what giives the casino its 2.6% house edge in European Roulette and it’s 5.2% advantage in American Roulette (which has 2 zero pockets, not one).

Some strategies, like Martingale Dozens, require you to cover 2/3 of the table (or just under). This is easily done with 2 column bets.

Pros and Cons

  • A quick way of covering twelve numbers
  • Bet 2 out of 3 columns to cover just under a third of the table for lower risk.
  • Table limits are lower on these bets
  • The pay-out is modest

Which 12 Number Bet is Better?

One question that we hear often is “Which is better? The Dozens bet or the Columns?” Well, the table coverage on both bets is identical. You get the same odds on either, the same pay-out and the same house advantage. They are effectively the same bet (obviously with different numbers).

Some players like to flip back and forth between the two bets to “randomise” their play. Check out our Columns and Dozens Switcher strategy which does exactly that.

Roulette Columns Systems and Strategies

Just like the dozens bet, there are many strategies that employ the columns (you can also cover the same amount of table easily with the 6 Line Bet, by the way- just use two or four of them to mix it up).

They split into two camps- hedging systems that bet on two out of the three columns like the 2 Column System (covering more of the table but getting less pay back), or the Single Column Evens system (we prefer this one as it makes use of La Partage), or the riskier One out of Three columns (less table coverage, more pay-out on a win).

If you bet on one column, you can use a progression (increasing your bets after a loss) to try and cover any losses.

You can also bet on 2 columns of course- this requires a more aggressive progression after a loss, but then you are covering more of the table, so you should lose less often.

Mix it Up!

When we play the columns, we like to switch between dozens and colums to mix things up a bit. Your odds are exactly the same, by the way, maybe we are just superstitious! You can also bet on 12 individual numbers simulataneously with a Snake Bet– just another variant with the same odds.

The Best Casino and Variant for the Columns Bet

All online roulette casinos will have this bet- it’s a standard, like the straight up bet. Play it on 3D Roulette, or French Roulette. you can even play it on Mini Roulette (but the odds are worse- don’t say we didn’t warn you!)



Columns Bet
Numbers Covered
No. of columns Bets on Table
Win probability European
0.324% (12/37)
Win probability American
0.316% (12/38)
House Edge European
House Edge American
2:1 (plus your bet back)
Strategy Use
Law of the Thirds, Triple Martingale