Variations of the Game
The two most popular versions of roulette are American Roulette and European Roulette. These games are played the same way and have the same payouts. The difference is that American has two zeros while European has just a single zero. A third semi-popular version is called French Roulette, which is a single zero game with a table layout and order of numbers on the wheel that differs from the European version.
The French format often has unique rules for what happens when the zero is spun, called La Partage or En Prison. With La Partage when the zero is spun all outside bets (odds, even, red, black, high, low, dozens, and columns) are returned half their stake. With the En Prison rule, when the zero is spun all outside bets are trapped and are released or lost depending on the result of the next spin.
All roulette the payouts are based on what the true payout would have been had no zero existed. For example, bets on red, black, high, low, odd and evens all pay 1:1. In American roulette there are 18 winning numbers and 20 losers. The two extra losing numbers are where the house derives its advantage. For all other types of bets the same is true (two extra losing numbers), and therefore the house advantage for the American version is 2/38 or 5.26%.
With European Roulette there’s only one extra number on all bet types and therefore the house advantage is 1/37 or 2.70%. In French Roulette, where La Partage or En Prison rules are used, outside bets have a 0.5/37 or 1.35% advantage, while inside bets have the same 2.7% advantage as European rules.
Things To Watch Out For
In theory, the best casinos should be any offering the French format with La Partage or En Prison rule, and the best bonus. Unfortunately, these versions are not widely offered online.
While Everest Casino offers En Prison rule and Ladbrokes offers La Partage, at Everest their bonus offer is not clearable at roulette and at Ladbrokes a whopping 400 times the size your deposit is required in rollover if attempting to clear the bonus. Additionally, players from the United States, Turkey, Hong Kong and several other countries are restricted from using these two casinos. With the rollover requirement so massive we suggest those living in countries that can play at these casinos do so while declining the bonus.
Low House Advantage Games
For the reason that the payouts are the same at the European, American and French forms of the game, you would assume the optimal strategy is to only ever play French when available, or otherwise play European.
If you had stuck to the above strategy you’d have missed one of the best roulette games offered online. Although not known as an online casino, the sportsbook www.5dimes.eu has a casino attached that has American Roulette with modified payouts. Here single numbers pay 36.62 to 1, instead of 35 to 1 standard, even money bets pay 1.09 times instead of 1.00 times, and all other bets have increased payouts as well. The result is about a 1.00% house advantage, which is far better than can be found at its European and French counterparts.
Another game worth considering is at www.betfair.com (no US players) where you’ll find a game with no zero, which means literally no house advantage. A small catch is the betting limits are $5 or $10 max on the majority of bets. This is still a great version to play for those who prefer lower stakes.
Playing With A Live Dealer
Considering the majority of online casino bonuses clear poorly at roulette tables, it might make sense to simply choose the most enjoyable game. Today many online casinos employ the latest webcam rendering technology to stream live dealer games. Live roulette online is almost always played with a single-zero (European format). Here players place bets online, watch an attractive dealer spin the wheel of a physical gaming table, and then watch the computer take or pay their bets depending on the results.
There are many betting systems players use in an attempt to try and make a profit on the wheel. The most famous is the Martingale doubling system, while D’Alambert and Labouchere (plus variations thereof such as Reverse Labouchere) are also quite popular. Before trying any of these systems please keep in mind it is believed Albert Einstein once proclaimed the only way to win long-term [without the aid of a biased wheel or some other form of cheating] is to steal chips from the table. Despite what e-books floating around the net might claim, many people go broke using these systems.
Warnings aside, if you do decide to use a betting system the two most important factors are low house advantage and large spread.
As previously mentioned, 5Dimes has an American roulette game with a 1.00% house advantage and here the minimum bet is $1.00 and the maximum $1,000. This allows a Martingale bettor a spread of almost 11 losses. Also, Ladbrokes (no US players) has a French Roulette game with La Partage rule that creates a 1.35% advantage on outside bets. Here the limits are $0.10 minimum $3000 maximum allowing for an 18 bet Martingale progression. These are the two best games for betting systems.
If you’re following a higher stakes betting system, then 888casino.com (no US players) is most ideal. Their live dealer game is played in European format and has $1.00 min and $15,000 max. Be sure not to get carried away here as this game has a 2.70% house advantage.
Please Bet Responsibly
If you use our left navigation menu to browse around you’ll find a plethora of additional content surrounding playing roulette online.
We wish you the best of luck in your online gambling endeavours, but also encourage you to bet responsibly. In many years of playing this game I’ve seen 15 of the same pattern (red/black, odds/even, high/low etc.) appear in a row many times. A lot of players tend to start playing for fun, lose their minds, and then their bankroll when chasing losses.
Remember gambling online is about having fun and taking a chance. Most casino players lose and over long term this is virtually guaranteed. We urge you have fun, stay safe, bet responsibly, and after all this, we wish you massive luck.