What are Hot Numbers?
In roulette, hot numbers are numbers that appear more often than they should, on average. Sometimes the term is applied to a biased wheel which hits some numbers more often than others, but often it just means numbers that have appeared more than once over a short period of time. Some roulette strategies are based on watching for hot numbers at the wheel or avoiding the converse cold numbers, and the strategy itself can be referred to as Hot Numbers.
Hot Numbers Explained
In roulette, a numbered wheel is spun and players bet on which number will be selected at the end of the spin. The wheel is numbered 1 to 36, with an additional zero (European roulette) or a zero and double zero (American roulette). Aside from the house zeros, the numbers are colored red or black. Players bet on which number will be selected, on characteristics of that number, or on the color of the number.
In theory, all numbers have an equal chance of being selected and players have a 1 in 36 chance of selecting the right one (or a 50-50 chance of picking odd/even or red/black correctly). Other bets are also available, with varying odds. The presence of the zero and/or double zero lowers those odds slightly, but there should still be an equal chance of any number being selected.
If a player refers to hot numbers, they mean numbers on the roulette wheel that are coming up more than expected – or more than they should. Hot numbers appear on two or more occasions over a short period of time. Some players watch out for hot numbers and only bet when they feel a number is on a hot streak. Other players avoid hot numbers, feeling sure they have exceeded their chances already and will not appear for a while.
Sometimes hot numbers and cold numbers (numbers that don’t appear for an unusually long period of time) are the result of a wheel fault or deliberate bias by the operator. Other times they occur purely by chance.