Roulette: A Tale of Three Different Games


Most people who are new to the casino world simply view roulette as 'the game with a spinning wheel.' And while this is partially true, roulette actually presents players with a few different options. Depending upon the casino, players can try American, European and/or French roulette. Each of these games are somewhat different, both in terms of house edge and rules, so it's worth discussing them further.

American Roulette

American roulette has a wheel which features 38 numbers. Two of these numbers, "zero" and "double-zero," only favor the house. So when you do the math (36/38), the house edge is 5.26%. As you'll find out below, this is the highest casino edge out of the three main roulette games. However, it's worth adding that some casinos offer the La Partage rule, which pays half of one's wager back when the ball lands on zero or double-zero. If the La Partage rule is in effect in American roulette, the house advantage drops from 5.26% to 2.63%.

European roulette

Before the 1990's, players had to travel to European land-based casinos to enjoy this game. However, this trend changed when online casinos became more widespread. Now people can expect to find European roulette at just about every online casino that they visit. As for the specifics behind this game, the European wheel has 37 numbers, with only the zero favoring casinos. Because the double-zero is gone, the house edge falls to 2.70%.

French Roulette

Those who play French roulette will notice that it's practically the same as the European version. After all, both games use the 37-number European roulette wheel. However, the big difference comes in the fact that French roulette contains the La Partage or En Prison rule. In regard to the latter, En Prison keeps losing bets "in prison" when the ball lands on zero. If the player wins on the next spin, they get the imprisoned wager back. Assuming they lose on the next spin, the imprisoned bet is lost. Based on its player-friendly rules, French roulette only has a 1.35% house edge.

Online Roulette Variations

Aside from making European and French roulette more available, online casinos have also given players a number of very interesting variations. Thanks to internet casino software, roulette games are only limited by the minds of the developers. Just to illustrate an example of what you can expect, online casinos offer chat roulette, 3D roulette, rockin' roulette (numbers determined by glass dome) and live roulette.

The latter is very exciting because it gives players an opportunity to have brick-and-mortar casino action streamed through their computer. The end result is that you get to chat with human dealers and feel as if you're in a land-based casino!

Thanks to advancements in technology, players can enjoy a wide range of roulette games - including the three most popular - without traveling to Europe. That said, the game is more exciting and fun than ever before!

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