Outside Bets

What are ‘Outside Bets’?

In sports betting and in general gambling terminology, ‘outside bets’ are wagers placed on outcomes with little chance of winning and with extremely long odds, which would result in a huge payoff if the unlikely result was to come in.

In roulette, outside bets are those made not on a specific number, but on a group or a colour and have a much greater chance of being successful. They are located outside of the main playing table and they are placed and played in the same way as any roulette bet – by placing chips in the relevant part of the table.

‘Outside Bets’ Explained

‘Outside bets’ are bets made on a ‘long shot’ – an outcome with little chance of success and therefore one with very long odds. A handicap race, common in horse racing, is a good place to make outside bets, as the chances are levelled across all abilities and previous form. A bet on a horse with 100/1 odds, also known as an outsider, is an ‘outside bet’. While unlikely, these outside bets do sometimes come in – for example, five Grand National winners have won at odds of 100/1!

In roulette, the wagers which can be placed ‘outside’ of the playing table are outside bets. The standard inside bet in roulette is to select a number or numbers between 1 and 36 (or the zero/double zero in many forms of the game) and to see if that number is selected by the wheel. Inside bets also include splits between numbers, for example a bet on the line of 8 and 11 or of 17 or 18. Corner bets, which cover four numbers, are also inside bets.

The outside bet, in contrast, is made outside of the number table. These outside bets include the red/black bet, the odd/even bet and the two sets of thirds available through the table layout. Outside bets have far shorter odds and the payout is less, but there is a greater chance of success and the house edge is somewhat lessened. Most outside bets are even money bets, meaning the player doubles their money.

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