What is a Top Line?
The top line is a five number group which exists in American roulette and forms the ‘basket’ bet in this style of the game. It is a bet that covers the top line of the grid – the 1, 2 and 3 – as well as the zero and double zero. Players make the bet by placing a chip or chips against the corners of the 1 or 3 and either the 0 or the 00. If any of the five numbers in the top line selection is called by the wheel, the bet pays out at 6:1.
Top Line Explained
If a roulette player opts to bet on the ‘top line’, they are selecting a group of five numbers that includes the 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. The top line bet wins if any of these numbers are selected by the roulette wheel. The bet is also known as a ‘basket’, or more specifically an ‘American basket’. In roulette, the two most common forms are American and European roulette. European roulette includes an additional zero with the standard 36 numbers, giving the house a slight edge on 50-50 bets like ‘red or black’ and ‘odd or even’. In American roulette, there is a zero and also a double zero – increasing that house edge.
A ‘basket’ bet in European roulette covers four numbers and is also known as the ‘first four’ bet, while the ‘basket’ in American roulette includes five numbers. It is referred to as the ‘first five bet’, and also the ‘top line bet’. The top line bet is seen as the worst bet in roulette, because it carries a high house edge of 7.9%. However, it does also have a 13.16% chance for the player, making it more favorable than a four-number group. Winning top line bets usually pay 6:1.
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