Traditionally, roulette has been played in two main
variations: European and American. The main differences between
these two games will be explained with a comparison of the odds.
Additionally we’ll look at another fairly common variation of
the game, French roulette, and some online versions such as
The primary rules and betting options of all these games are
largely the same. If you aren’t familiar with the basics of the
game, please take a look at our page on roulette rules and
European roulette is the most commonly-offered version of
roulette at casinos in Europe and many other parts of the world.
The wheel has only a single zero, rather than a single zero and
a double zero. You’ll find European roulette games at most
web-based casinos. Below are a couple of screenshots showing the
European roulette on offer at the Bet365 online casino.
American roulette is the version of the game you’ll find in
most casinos in the US. It’s basically the same as European
roulette apart from one significant difference: the wheel has a
single zero and a double zero. Again, you’ll find it at most
online casinos. Below is a screenshot of American Roulette at
the Bovada online casino.
American vs European: Comparing the Odds
Although American and European roulette are incredibly
similar, the extra double zero in the American game does
actually make a big difference. A lot of players prefer it for
some reason, but European is much more player-friendly.
The payouts for each bet in the game are the same, but
because there are only a total of 37 numbers in the European
version, the probability for each of these bets winning is
slightly higher, as demonstrated in the table below.
Probability – American
Probability – European
35 to 1
17 to 1
11 to 1
8 to 1
5 to 1
Dozens or Columns
2 to 1
Red/Black, Odd/Even, High/Low
As you can see, the differences in the probabilities of each
bet winning are really quite small. However, it can make a big
difference in your return over the long term. As such, if you
have the choice, you should always play European roulette.
French roulette is also very similar to European, although
the betting board is laid out a bit differently. The same
betting options are available with the same payouts, and there’s only the single zero. What makes French notably different is
the addition of the “La Partage” rule. Under the terms of this
rule, any player who has made an even money bet receives half
of his stake back if the spin results in a zero.
This is an advantage to the player and makes French roulette
an ever better game than European. Some games also include the
“en prison” rule giving the player the option to have their even
money bet placed “in prison” if a zero is spun. Putting a bet in
prison means that it stays on the board for the next spin. If
the bet wins, the player gets his stake back. If the bet loses,
the bet is lost.
Mini roulette is a much less common form of roulette,
although it has been gaining popularity online. It’s
essentially a scaled-down version of the game with fewer numbers
and less betting options. The basic principle remains the same
however. Below is a screenshot of the mini roulette game at the
Bet365 online casino.
This is a new version of the game that a number
of online casinos have started offering. The rules and betting
options are basically the same, but you can bet on the results
of multiple wheels at one time. Most places that offer this game
allow you to choose how many wheels to bet on, typically between
2 and 8. In the version pictured here, you can see that there
are 6 wheels available.
Other Online Roulette Games
Many online casinos have developed their own versions of
roulette with additional features or rules. The main principle
of the game remains the same, but there will be a few twists to
make them a bit more exciting. For example, there are
progressive games that pay out big jackpots if the same number
appears a certain number of times in a row.
There are far too many variations of roulette to list them
all here. Your best bet is to check out a few casinos to see
what is on offer. Our main
page on roulette includes a list of what we consider to be
the best casinos sites for playing roulette, or you can check
full list of recommended casinos for alternative options as
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