What is a 'Column Bet'?
A column bet is a bet placed on a roulette table on one of the three columns of numbers in front of the roulette wheel
. On both American and European tables, the numbers are 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34 for the first column, 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 35 for the second column, and 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36 for the third column. At the bottom of each column is a box labelled two to one. Placing a chip
in one of those boxes means a player is betting on the roulette ball falling into one of those numbers in that particular column.
'Column Bet' Explained
The boxes labelled two to one refer to the odds of the ball hitting on the numbers in the columns. That means if the player has guessed correctly he or she will double the amount they placed. A column bet is the most popular bet in roulette, particularly among beginners. It requires no prior knowledge of roulette strategy, and the chances of a number coming up are 32.43% on a European table
and 31.58% on an American table. Some players have tried to increase their chances of winning by adopting the Martingale system
.The Martingale system is simple - a player will choose one column and stick with it for the remainder of his time at the table. If his bet wins he will match it. If his bet looses he will double it. Unfortunately the Martingale could only really work if casinos didn't impose a maximum bet
. So what tends to happen - unless massive luck prevails - is that a player's losses outweigh his wins. The best strategy for a beginner placing column bets is to first set a financial limit and second not to chase any losses.