Roulette is a game of chance, but we are always on the lookout for strategies to improve our odds of winning. One of the most popular roulette strategies is based on hot and cold numbers. But will understanding and implementing it improve our chances of winning?

In this article, I will explain what hot and cold numbers are, and whether betting on them can really help you win at roulette. I will also introduce a new roulette betting strategy that focuses on warm zone roulette numbers, which may increase your chances of winning. 

Roulette can be said to be a sophisticated form of gambling as there are many ways to bet. Plus the total numbers change depending on if you are playing on single-zero European roulette wheel or double-zero American wheel.

Hot and Cold Numbers in Roulette

When playing online roulette, you’ll notice three to five numbers displaying for each of the "hot" and "cold" sections. Hot numbers are the ones that have appeared more frequently, while cold numbers are the opposite.

These numbers are based mostly on the last x00 spins, but it can be a different game number range too such as the stats based on the last 500 games.

At any stage when playing a session of games or when just observing the outcomes you can trust the information about hot and cold numbers. However, this doesn’t mean that:

  • You’ll make a significant profit by only betting on any of the hot numbers, considering they have appeared more frequently.
  • If you bet on one or more of the cold numbers that any will hit because you bet on them or if they do hit that they will then hit frequently enough to make you money.

Despite the changing flow of hot and cold numbers, the probability of the ball landing in any numbered pocket on a roulette wheel remains the same at the start of a new game and until the outcome is known. This probability includes all numbers, not just the hot and cold ones.

The probability can be determined with the simplified formula: (ways to win) / (ways to win + ways to lose). 

Assuming the single bet scenario, this comes out to be 1/37, as there are 37 numbers on the single green zero European roulette wheel. While on the double-zero American roulette wheel, the total numbers are 38, making the probability 1/38.

So you always run the risk of losing by playing only hot or cold numbers. Or by betting on all the hot and cold numbers. Likewise, opting to play non-hot or non-cold numbers could also result in a loss.

As I wrote at the start, roulette is a sophisticated gambling game. The fewer numbers you select to bet on in pursuit of the higher payout odds, the less likely you are to win.

This is because there will be many more numbers that you have not covered, but they may occur more often than those you've selected, making it a net loss.

When playing roulette games can your win rate improve using Hot and Cold Numbers?

On roulette games conducted on properly balanced wheels (where no obvious bias exists), all numbers will go through hot and cold periods. This is simply the random nature of roulette games.

No specific number should be assumed better or worse merely because the ball lands in pockets frequently and avoids other pockets for what seems like ages.

It's hard enough to find a winning even-money betting strategy, let alone betting on only a few roulette numbers, but that juicy 35/1 payout appeals to our greedy urge to win and increase our chip stack.

Still, information regarding hot and cold numbers is valuable and some of the essentials to bear in mind are as follows:

Cold roulette numbers

Suppose you bet on cold numbers and lose, obviously you’re losing money. But the more money you lose, the greater the urge to increase wagers to mitigate the losses in trying to make a profit in case the cold numbers do hit.

The problem is, cold numbers can remain cold for 100 spins or more. It’s not uncommon to see some numbers not having appeared for 200-plus games in a row. 

If you happen to pick ice age cold numbers, your roulette session is likely to end with losing your entire bankroll and feeling confused and frustrated.

So my advice would be to not rely on cold numbers hitting just because you bet on them. Also, if they do hit, don't rely on them turning into hot numbers. They may hit once or twice and then return to the ice age again.


Hot roulette numbers

Now, if you jump on the hot numbers, there’s no guarantee that they will remain hot. They may not continue to hit or not hit as often as you expect. Remember, the statistics on hot numbers are only based on a certain number of previous roulette spins.

A new sequence of hot and cold numbers is beginning and ending all the time.

Those hot numbers could be turning cold, and as such, they would be in the process of being replaced by a new set of hot numbers. Therefore, I wouldn’t bank on winning by backing hot roulette numbers since the trend is always changing.

Even if you were lucky enough to pick a set of numbers that turned out to be hot, adding up all your wins and subtracting the amount you won per spin may not yield much of a profit after a few hundred games.

For example, let’s say you selected five numbers and bet $1 on each per spin within 300 roulette games. If the ball lands in each of the hot numbers say eight times, at 35/1 plus your 1 chip stake returned per win, you would see a return of 1,440.

How? Take a look: 8 x (35 + 1) = 288 per number. Since all five hot numbers won, 5 times 288 makes the total payout 1,440.

Now factor in your stake of five chips within 300 games and that would cost 1,500, as you can see that in fact you’d be losing -60 chips. So not only do you have to be lucky enough to pick a set of flowing hot numbers, but you'd also have to stop betting when in profit (if possible) at some point before reaching the end of x300 games.

Of course, some numbers can hit more than 10 times within 300 roulette games, but not all hot numbers will, so there will be an average.

This can be determined as the total number of wins for each number, divided by the number of games. And I believe I’ve been fair with eight wins for each of the five numbers in the above example.

You may disagree, however it's highly unlikely that you would be able to select the hottest of the hot combinations, ones that are hitting 12-plus times each within x300 roulette games.

Summary of betting on hot and cold roulette numbers

Some people experience a strong pull to bet on cold roulette numbers because they believe such numbers will begin to hit soon. And there are those who follow hot numbers that are running rich. Both strategies are problematic.


How hot and cold roulette numbers are formed

Firstly, numbers that hit X number of times, above the average within a set number of games (e.g. within 300 games) are hot numbers. And those numbers that have not hit for X number of games within the 300 games range are regarded as cold numbers.

Some examples of hot and cold numbers:

  • 17 is a hot number because it has occurred 10 times within the last 300 spins.
  • 21 is a cold number because it last occurred 56 spins back.

Secondly, hot numbers that begin to hit a number of times in spurts within the 300 range are regarded as "running rich numbers." Such numbers can include those that have been cold for many spins but suddenly erupt into action.

Example: 10 is a cold number because it last occurred 128 spins back. However, within the last 16 spins, 10 has occurred four times.

Although 10 has only occurred four times within the last 300 spins, because it is now running rich, it can be regarded as a hot number.

Whether it should have more relevance than a number that has already occurred 11 times within the last 300 spins is a matter for roulette bettors and advantage players to determine.

Personally, I believe this could be a sign that such numbers are "the new future hot hitting roulette numbers" that could go on to score eight or more occurrences within the last 300 spins, and could even score within a 12-16 hit range. But of course, there’s no guarantee of this happening.

Likewise, a future high ranking number could be a creeper, hitting on average once in every 20 games. I’d monitor the stats as the roulette games progress and take note of such numbers and the ones that hit a number of times within a limited number of games.

Both hot number types are relevant, but you’re only ever going to profit from the mid to tail end of the streaky runs they make.

By the time you’ve realised that these may be worth betting on – be they slow and steady or frequently hitting numbers within a limited range – there likely won’t be much of an opportunity to take advantage.

In the end, you can’t always rely on random luck to be on your side in the ever-changing world of live roulette games.

Are hot and cold roulette numbers important to consider when trying to win?

On the face of it, with each roulette number possessing the same odds of hitting on future games, a roulette player might want to ignore the data.

They might view the information as a distraction to their betting plans. However, there are many roulette gamblers whose focus is to only bet on hot or cold numbers.

Warm zone roulette numbers betting strategy

An alternative to betting on only hot or only cold roulette numbers is to select a mix of semi-hot and semi-cold numbers. When you play live roulette online, you should look for stats on all of the numbers, from 0 to 36.

There is a high probability that future hot numbers will turn out to be numbers that score within the normal expected range, like midway between the coolest cold and the coolest hot.

These warm roulette numbers represent a fair distribution of occurrences that, in my view, are primed to become key players.

Roulette hot and cold numbers vs. warm zone numbers conclusion

To try and improve your chances of winning on hot and cold numbers, you've got to put effort into deciding what your bet selection should be.

A poorly structured bet selection may serve you well in the short term. But, in my view, a better tactic is to focus on betting on roulette numbers that may be about to hit or have just started hitting.

In this respect, I’d bet on some of the hot numbers and then skip every other number towards the coldest, so that you’re betting on about 18 numbers.

If some of the roulette numbers you pick are not occurring as often as you need them to, you can always replace them with other warm zone numbers that appear to be hitting more frequently.

Stephen R. Tabone is an English Writer from Great Britain. He is a casino games professional pattern player and outcomes systemiser. He is the Author of Bestselling Baccarat books, ‘The Ultimate Silver Bullet Proof Baccarat Winning Strategy 2.1’ and ‘The Ultimate Golden Secret Baccarat Winning Strategy 3.0’.

In 2011, Mr. Tabone earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Creative Writing and Philosophy from the University of Greenwich, London. And holds qualifications in Law and in Business.