Betting on the Action Numbers

Ever since the game of roulette first gained popularity, players have been trying to devise a strategy that will help them predict correctly which number the little white ball will land on. It is important to consider the fact that roulette is a game that revolves around chance, so no strategy can help you predict the outcome of the next spin of the wheel. By the same token, what happened in the past has no bearing on what will happen during the upcoming rounds.

Even more so, when one plays the game online, the outcomes of each round will be determined by a Random Number Generator. When land-based casinos are concerned, sometimes, there are the so-called “biased” wheels that further boost the edge the house has gained over players.

As it seems, one of the questions most players ask themselves as they join the roulette table is how to pick a number to bet on. This causes them to make use of various techniques while trying to predict which the next winning number will be.

While some players are guided by the idea about hot and cold numbers, others prefer betting on the action numbers. This article aims at cutting the frills of this method of betting on roulette and elaborating on its effectiveness.

What are Action Numbers?

Assuming that there are no damages or imperfections and the wheel is not biased, the pockets on roulette wheels are of the same length and width. A biased roulette wheel will be such that produces results different from those dictated by chance. Generally speaking, the causes for this might be different, but on most occasions, biases are exhibited because of a manufacturing defect or the repeated usage of the wheel.

What is worth noting about roulette wheels is that there might be section or pocket bias. Sometimes, dynamic bias can also be discerned, but players should be mindful that it exists only for a short time.

Still, it is important to note that biases will not be detected right away and instead, a much closer observation of the wheel will be needed.

Most of the time, roulette wheels are practically the same and the pockets with the numbers are arranged in the same sequence. Of course, it depends on whether you are playing American or European roulette since the arrangement of the numbers on the European wheel differs from that on the American wheel.

Such is the case when players are betting on the so-called action numbers. These are called “action” numbers because when the ball spins around the edge of the wheel, it typically lands on one of these numbers or in close proximity to one of them. From this, it follows that action numbers are evenly spread around the wheel, which makes it difficult for the ball to land on a number that is not covered.

The action numbers on a double-zero American wheel are as follows – 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33. All numbers that are not included in the above group are called “clicks”.

If you look at the wheel, you will notice that the above-listed numbers are indeed spread in such a way so that they are never more than six pockets away from each other. Two of the action numbers have four “clicks” on one side. One of them is 14, which has two clicks on one side and four clicks on the other. Then again, number 33 has four clicks on one side and no clicks at all on the other.

If you drop the ball at random in one of the pockets that do not contain an action number, you will notice it still lands in close proximity to one of the action numbers in the group. In other words, the said action numbers are spread in such a way so that they are “in action” or in play most of the time. In theory, you minimise your chances of losing because the probability of the white ball to land on one of these numbers is exceptionally high. Then again, if you play the action numbers as a group, you can limit the amounts you will put on a stake until you start winning.

Perhaps, the question you are asking yourself now is how to bet on these numbers. In fact, they can be grouped in different ways as for example, numbers 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 can be included in a double Street bet, so you can wager three chips between numbers 10 and 13. With action numbers 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33, you can place a double Street bet and wager three chips between numbers 28 and 31. Then again, numbers 17, 18, 20, and 21 make for a Corner bet, so you can wager one chip on this group of numbers.

Needless to say, the payoffs players will be offered will not be the same and will be determined by the winning number. Therefore, if one of the numbers that are incorporated into the Street bet becomes a winning one, players will get paid out at the rate of 11:1. If the winning number is included in the Corner bet, however, the payouts players will be awarded will be 8:1.

If you decide to give this approach of betting on roulette a shot, you will boost your chances of winning by covering a considerable section of the wheel with fewer chips because a total of 7 chips will be needed so as to bet on these numbers. What is important to note is that this is considered the most basic approach towards betting on the action numbers.

As it seems, some gambling enthusiasts prefer to lay a Six-line bet on the numbers 31 through 36. In order to cover the rest of the action numbers, gambling enthusiasts simply need to place Straight-up bets.

This approach is also highly favoured by roulette fans due to the fact that the wins they will collect for their wagers will be much heftier. As you probably know, when a Straight bet becomes a winning one, you will get paid at the rate of 35:1.

Hot and Cold Numbers

The concept behind hot and cold numbers is relatively simple. If a given number is spun more frequently in the last few draws, it is considered a “hot” number. With “cold” numbers, it is precisely the opposite – they have been spun less frequently in recent draws.

Betting on Hot Numbers in Roulette

As you can see, hot numbers are simply repeating numbers that have been spun more frequently. So, according to the systems that dictate betting on hot numbers, if a given number has been spun X times in Y spins, it is considered a hot number, and players are required to wager on the said number for Z spins. It is important to mention that hot numbers are not necessarily spun several times in a row because they simply come up more frequently than cold numbers.

For instance, if number 24 has been spun five times in the last 36 spins, it is considered a hot number. Therefore, you are expected to place flat or level bets on number 24 for the following 36 spins of the wheel or until this number is spun again. If you win with that number, you stop betting on it and wait to see which the next hot number will be.

If you play the game online, there will be no need to write down which numbers come up more frequently. Many online roulette variations display statistics regarding the hot and the cold numbers, providing players with all the information they need on which numbers have been spun repeatedly within a given period of time.

It is important to remember that just because a given number has come up five or six times in the last fifty draws, there is no guarantee it will be spun again soon.

As it seems, the idea that some numbers are hot while others are cold is a fallacious belief many roulette players fall prey to. In the event that you are making your first steps in betting on the table game, you need to bear in mind that a number will not become overheated if it has hit several times after several spins of the wheel have taken place.

Even if it seems to you that a specific event has taken place a disproportionate number of times, this should not make you think that its occurrence will be less on the cards as well.

An essential detail many roulette lovers tend to overlook is that no matter how many spins of the wheel have taken place and which numbers have hit during the previous rounds, the chances of each number to become a winning one will invariably be the same.

Betting on Cold Numbers in Roulette

As was mentioned above, numbers which have been spun less frequently in the recent draws are referred to as cold numbers. Such numbers are sometimes called sleepers or overdue numbers as well. Many players prefer to place inside bets on such numbers because of the notion that if a given number has not been spun in a long time, it is overdue and will win on the next spins of the wheel.

On the surface, this idea seems to be logical. Since the chances of any given number to win are 1 out of 37 (or 1 out of 38 on American wheels), the expectation is that each number will win an average of once every 37 spins. If number 23, for example, has been a “sleeper” for the last 60 or 70 spins, it is expected to “wake up” and appear on the following spins. This is known as the “law of average” but it can be relied on only over very prolonged periods of time. And in roulette, a long period of time means thousands of spins of the wheel.

If a given number comes up extremely rarely, this might mean that the wheel in land-based venues is biased, either intentionally or unintentionally. For example, if number 23 has not been spun lately, this might indicate that the pad at the bottom of its pocket has been replaced during the routine maintenance of the wheel. The new pad may cause the ball to bounce off the pocket more easily and thus, reduce the probability of number 23 being spun. As we mentioned above, biases are a rarity nowadays because of the strict control roulette wheels are subject to.

No matter how tempting the idea to bet on such numbers is, believing that when a number has not hit for a long time, it will certainly show up very soon is equally incorrect as the idea about hot numbers.

The Gambler’s Fallacy

Players who place even-money wagers or bet on hot and cold numbers often fall prey to the so-called “Gambler’s fallacy” which is the false belief that the outcome of random spins is affected by and depends on the previous spins. Such players assume that if a given number has not come up in quite a while, it is bound to win on one of the following spins because it is “overdue”. Or the contrary, a specific number has appeared more often in a given period of time, so its chances of appearing again on the next spin are smaller.

If you blindly base your decisions on the gambler’s fallacy, you should be prepared that you will lose money in the long run.

However, if you play the game on an unbiased wheel or online, where the outcome is determined by a Random Number Generator, the probability of 1:37 of each number coming up does not change from one spin to another. After all, roulette wheels do not have a memory and do not favour some numbers over the others.

The outcome of each spin is not affected by previous and subsequent spins. If the wheel is indeed random, the probability of any given number coming up remains 1 out of 37, no matter when was the last time that number was spun. That is why players are often recommended to avoid placing Straight Up inside bets on sleepers or overdue numbers. Even more so, when one considers the fact that cold numbers become hot numbers after a specific number of spins and vice versa.

While betting on roulette, gambling aficionados should bear in mind that in spite of the fact that the chances of a specific number to hit on the next spin are invariably the same, this does not mean that all numbers will hit if the wheel is spun 37 or 38 times.

During the course of these spins, gambling aficionados will notice that some numbers might come up two or three times, while others might not hit at all.
As likely as not, players might have heard the terms expectation and variance. So as to make sure that roulette lovers know what these terms are all about, we will provide as an example a toss of a coin.

Needless to say, when a coin toss is concerned, there are just two possible outcomes as players can see either heads or tails, which therefore means that the chances of each of these outcomes to occur are 50%.

What is important to note, however, is that if the coin is tossed a larger number of times, what expectation dictates is that ultimately, heads will have occurred approximately the same number of times as tails. In spite of the fact that the chances of each of these outcomes to take place is 50%, players can toss the coin 100 times, and see heads 20 times, and tails 80 times.

roulette wheel

This is exactly where variance comes into play as it is used to describe how results deviate from the outcomes that are expected to turn up on average. A vital thing to remember is that the outcomes of random events such as the spins of the roulette wheel will not be evenly distributed during a smaller period of time.

Therefore, variance will tail off with each new spin of the roulette wheel or toss of the coin. So, avid casino fans should expect to see heads just as many times as tails after a significantly larger number of tosses of the coin. The same applies to the game of roulette, which comes to explain why basing your wagers on the belief about hot and cold numbers is completely mistaken.

One more thing casino enthusiasts need to take into account when roulette is concerned is that not all types of bets are equally volatile. Naturally, wagers that are laid on individual numbers are the most volatile ones and are followed by Split bets. Since the chances of winning when you place a Street, Corner, or Double Street bets are not that low, such wagers remain in the middle of the spectrum in terms of volatility. The roulette wagers with the lowest volatility, however, are the ones that pay even money.

If you are looking to make the most out of your roulette betting session and win bigger, it is recommended to opt for wagers that cover fewer numbers. Yet, you should not forget that in such cases, you will not stand that good chance of scoring a win. And vice versa, in the event that you wish to spend more time playing at the roulette table and reduce the possibility of losing, placing wagers that cover several numbers will be the way to go. As you might expect, your chances of getting a massive win will diminish significantly.

In other words, players should not get overly excited when they notice that some numbers are hot, while others are cold. What poses as an issue is that in roulette, which the hot and cold numbers will remain is highly unpredictable.

What Problems Does the Gambler’s Fallacy Create

It is an often occurrence that players fall prey to the belief that the outcome of random events is in some way related and even influenced by the outcomes of events that have already taken place.

Most often, this happens at the roulette table, and players tend to forget that the chances each of the numbers to hit are invariably 1 to 37 and 1 to 38 when European and American-style roulette games are concerned.

Neglecting this essential detail might have a major impact on your bankroll, especially if you find it hard to remain disciplined during your betting session.

As gambling enthusiasts might already know, wagers placed on Red and Black pay even money, but the chances of each of these possible outcomes to occur are not 50/50 simply because of the presence of the single and double-zero pockets. Still, this does not mean that the probability of a red or black number to hit is not equal.

Let’s assume that the small white ball has fallen in a red pocket during the previous 10 spins of the wheel, which therefore means that next time, it will surely land in a black pocket. Although this cannot be further from the truth, you can still see players that will put significant sums on a stake that black will win because red has already come up several times in a row.

When the decisions gambling enthusiasts make are influenced by the gambler’s fallacy, most of the time, they end up with drained bankrolls.

Gambler’s Fallacy and Roulette Betting Systems

Another widespread misconception among gambling enthusiasts is that applying a roulette betting system can give them a leg up to win big.

Depending on the type of betting system, players will be required to boost the amount they will put on a stake when they lose and cut it down after a win, while others function in the exact opposite manner.

In spite of the fact that some betting systems that are based on positive progressions might be of use if players are looking to receive smaller wins, they should be mindful of the fact that ultimately, the usage of roulette betting systems is doomed to fail because they are not the key to massive wins. Betting systems that are based on negative progressions are even more unreliable for the simple reason that they can easily eat up the bankroll of players, thus making it impossible to reach the point at which they will get a profit or make up for their previous losses.

Yet, the main reason why betting systems are flawed when applied to the game of roulette is that they develop according to the outcomes of the previous spins of the wheel.


Being an exceptionally thrilling casino game, roulette is immensely popular among old hands and rookies. The mistakes players should avoid so as to ensure that they will have a whale of their time include making use of betting systems and allowing the gambler’s fallacy to guide them.

When betting on the action numbers is concerned, some players might enjoy this approach simply because their chances of winning will be much higher. Still, greater odds of winning translates into smaller wins, which is a detail that is worth noting too.