Types of Roulette Games – History, Differences, and Odds

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As one of the classic casino games with a long and rich history, it should come as no surprise that there are many types of roulette games available today. With the first form of roulette dating as far back as the 18th century, the game has been through many eras, spreading throughout the world. This has led to many different roulette variants. 

In this article, we will be looking at some of the most popular variants of roulette games available today. 

American Roulette

American Roulette was thought to be “invented” near the end of the 18th century when French immigrants fled to Louisiana in Southern America. Since New Orleans was the gambling capital in the United States at the time, it was introduced to the gambling houses who were not fond of the game due to the low house advantage. This led to the addition of the double zero (00) pocket.

Besides the numbers 1 to 36, the main difference seen is in the American Roulette wheel where there is the presence of both the single zero and double zero pockets. Although American roulette is often thought of by some punters as the standard, it is not necessarily the best. This is due to the less favorable odds compared to other types of roulette games. 

In this version of the classic casino game, the house edge on single number bets is about 5.3%. Other noticeable differences that do not affect roulette odds is the order of numbers on the roulette wheel compared to European Roulette. 

European Roulette 

Due to the better odds, European Roulette is often the most popular roulette variation in most online and land-based casinos. One of the best types of roulette to play, the roulette table features the regular numbers 1 to 36 that are split into columns of 12, with an additional single zero (0) on the top which gives the casino its house edge. 

Compared to the 5.3% house edge in American Roulette, the house edge in European Roulette is only 2.6%, making it highly attractive to roulette enthusiasts. This means that your chances of winning are higher just by choosing to play this variant instead of American Roulette. 

French Roulette

Known as the Queen of Casino Games, the French Roulette gets its nickname as it is one of the oldest casino games in the world. It is said the game has roots in ancient China while others believe that it has Greek-Roman origins. The game is then credited to French mathematician Blaise Pascal, who created the first roulette wheel accidentally while trying to create a wheel that would turn forever.

Like European Roulette, French Roulette only has one single zero (0) pocket. Depending on if the rule is enforced, some French Roulette games may have the La Partage rule where bettors will not necessarily lose their bets if the ball lands on the 0 pocket. 

Instead, the La Partage rule means that in the event the roulette ball lands on the 0 pocket, punters receive half of their stakes bet as opposed to losing it all in American or European Roulette. Alternatively, there may also be the En Prison rule where instead of getting half their stakes back, the bets are locked in place on odd or even, or red or black for the next spin.

Due to the lower house edge and additional rules such as La Partage and En Prison, French Roulette is thought to be the best version of roulette to play as it benefits players the most.

Double Ball Roulette

Double ball roulette first appeared in Las Vegas. This variant of the game increases the excitement by adding another roulette ball into the game. It was first started as an experiment by Las Vegas casinos to entice beginners to try roulette. 

Typically played on a European wheel, double ball roulette has a lower house edge compared to American Roulette. However, this version of the game may be easiest to find in online casinos as these operators are more likely to offer variety in their table games. 

Multi-Wheel Roulette

As the name of this roulette variant suggests, the multi-wheel roulette involves betting on multiple roulette wheels simply by placing one bet. Instead of betting on the outcome of one roulette wheel, players get to bet on eight wheels at once. 

Players get to control which wheels are active. This means that not all eight wheels have to be in play. Mostly found in online casinos, those who are interested in this roulette variant are advised to find a version that is visually manageable. 

Multiplayer Roulette

Multiplayer roulette games mirror the atmosphere in a real casino. In this variant, you bet with multiple players at the same time. Similar to live roulette, players can interact with each other and are able to see who is winning or losing at the table. 

Mini Roulette

Mini roulette games are essentially still the same game, just at a smaller scale, making it much simpler. Instead of the standard 37 numbers in European Roulette or 38 in American Roulette, the mini roulette game is played on a wheel with only 13 pockets. 

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    A Quick Comparison Between Different Roulette Variants

    Number of Pockets38 (Numbers 1 to 36, 0, and 00)37 (Numbers 1 to 36 and 0)37 Numbers 1 to 36 and 0)
    Pocket PatternsFrench bets are impossible due to distribution of numbers on the wheelFrench bets are possible French bets are possible
    Label LanguageEnglishEnglishFrench
    House Edge5.26%2.70%2.70%
    Bet CategoryType of Bet Roulette PayoutsOdds of Winning (%)
    Inside BetStraight-Up Bet35:135 to 135:12.702.702.60
    Inside BetSplit Bet17:117 to 117:15.405.405.30
    Inside BetStreet Bet11:111 to 111:
    Inside BetCorner Bet8:18 to 18:110.8010.8010.50
    Inside BetBasket Bet*6:113.2
    Inside BetLine Bet5:15 to 15:
    Outside BetRed/Black Bet1:11 to 11:148.6548.6547.37
    Outside BetOdd / Even Bet1:11 to 11:148.6548.6547.37
    Outside BetHigh / Low Bet1:11 to 11:146.6546.6547.37
    Outside BetColumn Bet2:12 to 12:132.4032.4031.60
    Outside BetDozen Bet2:12 to 12:132.4032.4031.60

    *The basket bet is only available in American Roulette. 



    Roulette is a classic casino game that has a long and rich history, leading to a wide variety of different variants of the game. While all the different versions retain the same basic set of rules, there are some differences that players should take note of as it can help increase your odds of winning. If you're just starting, check our guide on how to play roulette.


    Is there a best roulette strategy?

    Many experts believe that the best roulette strategy is to gain an understanding of how the game works. This includes the different bets available and the odds of winning. By doing this, players understand how to pace their bankroll. 

    What is 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in roulette?

    This may refer to the different roulette bets. Column bets refer to betting on the first, second, or third column based on how the numbers are arranged on the betting board. For the dozen bet, it is based on the first, second, or third dozen. In this bet, numbers 1 to 12 are in the first dozen, numbers 13 to 24 in the second dozen, and numbers 25 to 36 in the third dozen. 

    What is the most successful roulette strategy?

    Besides understanding the basics of the game, a successful roulette strategy would be to cover as much of the betting board as possible while minimizing the impact on your bankroll. There are several strategies available based on this concept including the 666 strategy, 24 + 8 strategy, and double street quad strategy. Be sure to test out these strategies on free online roulette games before committing to real money games.

    What is the difference between roulette and baccarat?

    Although both are classic casino games, roulette and baccarat are very different table games. While roulette is a game played using a roulette wheel, roulette ball, and betting board, baccarat is a card game. You can play both games online with reputable online casino sites.

    Is roulette rigged?

    If you choose to play real money roulette with a credible operator, be it in a land-based casino or online casino, the likelihood that the roulette games are rigged are very low. Roulette games are games of chance where the odds of winning are based on mathematical probability and luck.