A bet on the red or the black is an even money bet, of course, in that the house pays out 1:1. So if you bet £10 and win, you win £10, plus you get your bet back, so the house pays you £20. You use these bets in all sorts of roulette systems such as the Single Column Even Bets, for example, which combines a red or black bet with a single column bet.
You cover half the table covering numbers like black 6, 17 and 26. actually you don´t- remember there is a 0 pocket on the wheel (assuming you are playing European Roulette), and that takes your coverage down to 48.6%. The difference gives you the house advantage which is 2.6% for European Roulette and 5.2% on American Roulette (spot the obvious- always play European rather than American if you can).
If you play American Roulette, your coverage goes down to 47.4% and the house edge ticks up to 5.2%. (Tip- always play European variants in preference to Amercan).
Many people play red and black bets, and never try out anything else. There´s nothing wrong with that, just remember you get the same odds and table coverage on odd/even and 1-18/19-36 should you want to mix it up a bit. The odds are the same. In fact, the odds are the same for all roulette bets with the exception of the 5 Number Bet which you should avoid.
The other thing to look out for, is casinos that play “La Partage Rule” on even money bets. This tends to be the French Roulette variants. You´ll get half your bet back if you bet on the red (or black) and the ball drops in the zero pocket. This reduces the house edge even further down to 1.3%
The Best Casino and Variant to play red or black bets?
Referring back to our note on La Partage, you will get most bang from your buck on a French Wheel. Try the French Roulette over at Royal Vegas. Many strategies use even money bets like the Whittacker roulette system.