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Extra Bet Roulette game and strategy guide

Tim Crump 22 Nov 2017
  • The Extra Bet Roulette wheel and betting grid is exactly the same as a regular European roulette game – with one exception
  • There’s an additional yellow slot and corresponding space on the betting grid for it, which corresponds to a special bonus game

Extra Bet Roulette strategy

Extra Bet Roulette - found at William Hill outlets - is proving to be a firm favourite among fans of the in-store casino games found in UK bookmakers. 

Similar games appear under other names, such as Key Bet Roulette - and they all work in the same way as Extra Bet. Many players don’t know how to get the best from these games so we’ve developed an easy guide to let you know how to get the best odds and expected return for yourself.

Firstly, a brief re-cap on how it works:

European Roulette with an extra slot

The Extra Bet Roulette wheel and betting grid is exactly the same as a regular European roulette game – with one exception: There’s an additional yellow slot and corresponding space on the betting grid for it. Before each spin, you’re invited to place a £1 minimum bet in addition to your standard roulette bet which qualifies you for a bonus game if the ball lands in the extra yellow slot that you’ll find on the Extra Bet Roulette wheel.

If you’ve made the £1 Extra Bet and the ball lands in yellow, a second wheel is spun – the linear wheel appearing above the main wheel– and you’ll win whatever’s in the sector that lands where the yellow slot is, multiplied by the size of your Extra Bet. 

Your prize for betting the Extra Bet will be 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 50 or 70 times your bet – or the progressive jackpot. The 20, 25, 30 and 40 sectors all appear twice on the wheel, so you’ve got 12 sectors in all including the cash pot prize.

Sort out the optimal pot size and the rest will follow 

Mathematically, then, this is an easy game to play if you know the magic number, i.e., the size the pot has to be to make playing this game worthwhile.

Your standard roulette bets will be subject to the usual European Roulette house edge of 2.70%, but your main concern here is the Extra Bet – that is, what happens when the ball hits the yellow slot:

First off, there’s a 1 in 38 chance that this will actually happen. When it does, though, you can expect a typical return of the total of the numbers on the wheel plus the progressive pot (hereafter denoted as ‘P’), divided by 12:

That’s (385+P)/12.  

Given that you’ll typically need to spend £38 to activate the Extra Bet, the above return will need to be greater than this figure to make it worthwhile paying the ante, which gives the following equation:

(385+P)/12 > 38

That means the progressive prize needs to be at least £71 to make the average trip to the bonus wheel worthwhile. 

However, as a clued-up player on the lookout for that extra edge, we’d advise factoring in the regular roulette games you’ll need to play in order to be able to reach the coveted yellow slot in this game – after all, standard European roulette comes with a house edge so it’ll generally cost you a small amount to get a return on your Key Bet - the 2.70% mentioned above. 

Wait until the jackpot reaches £73 and go for it! 

Consequently, if you factor this in by taking your expected return of (100-2.7)%, and dividing it into your £71 you end up with a figure of £72.97. Call it a round £73, and there’s your magic number: The minimum size the progressive pot needs to be to make playing this game worthwhile.

Obviously you’ll typically need to keep playing to get the intended return, but at least you can do so safe in the knowledge that the numbers are on your side. 

This analysis does assume that you’ll only be putting the minimum £1 on the Extra Bet. Obviously you can bet more, and enjoy greater reward from the fixed amounts on the bonus wheel – but the pot won’t change if you bet more, so the expected return from the bonus round goes down the more you bet on the Extra Bet slot. 

We’ve never seen anyone bet anything other than the standard £1 on the Extra Bet option, so think of it as a £1 ante bet and you’ll be approaching this game in the best way.

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