Types Of Roulette Compared

Morten
15 February 2023
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Roulette is an age-old casino game that involves a little wheel and a ball. It has remained one of the most popular casino games for decades due to how simplistic yet exciting the game is. In a game of roulette, the dealer (or croupier in French settings) spins a small wheel divided into 37 or 38 partitions and then spins a ball in the opposite direction.

Before the spinning starts and as the wheel is spinning, players place bets on the general or specific area they believe the ball will land. After the wheel stops spinning and the ball slides into one of the partitions, the dealer pays all the winning bettors according to the odds of their bet, sweeps away all losing chips, and another game begins.

Roulette is available in many online casinos in the UK today, so you can easily play the game from the comfort of your home. Most casinos offer both RNG and live game options, allowing you to choose between playing by yourself with a bot or playing with a live dealer using a real wheel.

As more variations of online roulette are made available in a lot of online casinos, many bettors have found themselves wondering what exactly the difference is between European, American, and French roulette. Here, we put that question to rest and also shed some light on how each of these variations works.

Different Types of Roulette

There are three main types of roulette you can find in both land-based and online casinos. They include:

  • French Roulette.
  • European Roulette.
  • American Roulette.

You can find these three both in the RNG and live dealer section of most casinos. They all follow the same basic rules, and the roulette wheels and tables look similar, but there are slight variations.

Apart from these three, some casinos have other innovative variations of the game that are less mainstream. These games are created by software providers to enhance the experience of playing roulette and provide even more options for lovers of the game. Some examples of these variations are:

  • Double ball roulette: This game, as you might have guessed, uses two balls and players get to bet on where they think each of the balls will land.
  • Multi-wheel roulette: With this variation, you can play up to eight games at once! About 8 roulette wheels are made to spin, and players are allowed to place eight different bets. Winning bets are paid out before the next round.
  • Mini roulette: Mini roulette uses a smaller wheel with 13 numbers instead of 37 or 38, as seen in European and American roulette, respectively. It has slightly different rules from regular roulette and is a fun alternative.

Before diving into any type of roulette that has caught your fancy, be sure to read the rules if they’re available. This will help you understand how much the variation diverts from the classic version and can also assist you in coming up with roulette winning strategies.

European Roulette

This kind of roulette is often found in land-based casinos outside the US. Most online casinos also offer RNG and live dealer versions of the game.
It bears a lot of similarities to the French version. The wheel has 37 numbers in red, black, and green partitions, with 0 being the only number in green. There is only one zero and, therefore, only one green compartment. This places the house advantage of European roulette at 2.7%.

At the beginning of the game and as the wheel is spinning (until the croupier says “no more bets”), players place their bets by putting their chips on the betting table. In European roulette, you can only place inside or outside bets. The game begins when the croupier spins the wheel in one direction and rolls the ball in the other. In the case of RNG online roulette games, all players have to do to set the virtual wheel in motion is click a button after their bets have been placed. Wins or losses are determined by where the ball ends up.

You can find European roulette in almost every online casino that offers table games. RNG and live casino versions of European roulette and other roulette variations are created by many software providers, the best of which include:

  • Microgaming
  • Novomatic
  • IGT
  • PlayTech
  • NetEnt
  • Play N Go, and many more.

Bet Types in European Roulette

There are multiple ways you can place bets when playing European roulette. These bets can be placed across all types of roulette, however, not just the European variant. The bets with the lowest odds are the Even/Odd bets, low/high bets, and red/black bets, and those with the highest odds are the single number bets.

There are a few bet types that are universal to all forms of roulette. These bets can be classified into inside and outside bets. If you want to learn even more about this, check our roulette bets guide.

Inside Bets

These are bets made within the rectangle containing all available numbers on the betting table. Below is a list of inside bets and their payouts in European roulette.

  • Straight Up: Bets on any specific number. Pays out 35:1.
  • Split: Bets on two numbers side-by-side vertically or horizontally. Pays out 17:1.
  • Corner: Bets on the four numbers in a 2X2 grid. Pays out 8 :1.
  • Basket (5-number bet): Bets on the top four numbers (0, 1, 2, 3). Pays out 8:1.
  • Street: Bets on three numbers in a horizontal line. Pays out 11:1.
  • Line (six-number bet or double street): Bets on six numbers from two rows. Pays out 5:1
  • Note that as a straight-up bet, 0 pays out 35:1 in European roulette.

Outside Bets

These bets are made in a designated area outside the numbers on the betting table. With outside bets, you can bet on a group of numbers that fit a certain criterion. They tend to have the best odds and a low house edge. Below is a list of outside bets and their payouts in European roulette.

  • Red/Black: Bets on all the red or all the black digits. Pays out 1:1.
  • High/Low: Bets on 1 to 18 or 19 to 36. Pays out 1:1.
  • Odd/Even: Bets on all the odd numbers or all the even numbers. Pays out 1:1.
  • Dozens: Bets on one of the three available dozens. Pays out 2:1.
  • Columns: Bets on one of the three available columns. Pays out 2:1.

French Roulette

According to history, this was the original version of roulette, and American and European variants are just offshoots. French Roulette is quite similar to European roulette in that it has only one zero and a house edge of 2.7% during normal play.

The main difference between European and French roulette is that French roulette has two extra rules, namely En Prison and La Partage, for when the ball lands on zero. In these situations, the house edge can fall to 1.35%, arguably making French roulette a more favourable game for players than the European version.

On the French Roulette table, the words and numbers are in French, so it might take some getting used to if you’re not familiar with it. In land-based casinos or live casino studios, the table is also markedly different from the betting tables of European and American roulette in that it is 3.3×1.3m in size, requires two croupiers, and has an umpire who sits on a heightened chair on one side of the table.

Call Bets in French Roulette

Apart from inside and outside bets, you can place some special types of bets in French Roulette, known as call bets. Although native to French roulette, English versions of call bets have been known to appear in the European Roulette offered by some casinos. They are so named because they cannot be placed by the players themselves. Instead, they are ‘called’ to the croupier, who then places the chips in their appropriate spots.

The designated area for placing these bets is called the racetrack and is separated from other bets on the table. Not all online casinos offer call bets, but some specially made RNG games (like Playtech’s 3D roulette) offer this option. Call bets can be either fixed or variable.

Fixed Call Bets

These bets involve the same group of numbers, regardless of the players’ preferences. Their names are written on the racetrack, and they are positioned in the middle of it. They include:

Voisins du Zéro

Also called neighbours of zero or Serie 0/2/3, this bet requires nine chips and covers numbers 0, 2, 3, 7, 12, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26, 28, 29, 32, 35. On the roulette wheel, these numbers are at the left and right sides of the number zero. This bet comprises splits, one corner, and one basket bet, and the odds are 45.9%.

Jeu Zéro

Also known as Zero Game, this is a form of voisins du zéro with lower odds and higher payout. It uses only four chips and covers numbers 12, 25, 3, 26, 0, 32, and 15. It can be seen as a reduced form of voisins du zéro. It has an odds of 18.9%.

Tiers du Cylindre

In English, this bet translates to ‘thirds of the wheel’, and rightly so, because it covers 12 numbers–approximately a third of the wheel. Its numbers are 5, 8, 10, 12, 13, 16, 23, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36. The numbers are located roughly opposite the neighbours of zero on the wheel. The odds of winning are 32.4%, and the bet is also known as Serie 5/8.

Orphelins or Orphans

All the numbers that are not covered by Voisins du Zéro or Tiers du Cylindre are covered by Orphelins. It involves numbers that are directly opposite one another on the wheel. The odds are 21.6%, and the wagered numbers are 1, 6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 31, 34.

Variable Call Bets

These bets are reliant on the preferences of the player. They are:

Final Bets

With these types of bets, you can place a bet on all numbers ending with a particular digit. So, for instance, you could wager a final bet on numbers ending with 3. This will include 3, 13, 23, and 33. The odds depend on which number is chosen.

Neighbours

When a player requests this bet, they will need to choose a number. The croupier then places a straight bet on that number and the two numbers before and after that number, summing up to 5 numbers. It requires 5 chips and carries odds of 13.5%

Rules of French Roulette

The French version of this popular game maintains all the rules of European roulette with a few added rules for when the ball lands on zero. These rules prevent the player from losing all their money if they hadn’t placed a bet on the number zero.

La Partage

‘Partage’, a French word meaning sharing, sums up what this rule does. When the ball lands on zero under the La Partage rule, all even-money bets (bets that pay out 1:1, such as high/low, even/odd, and red/black) are split into half, and half is returned to you. Without this rule, you lose all your money if the ball lands on zero.

La Partage brings down the house edge of French roulette from 2.7% to 1.35% and is the most favourable way for players to play roulette. Although it is automatically chosen for you in most online casinos when you play French roulette, it’s best to try and find out just to make sure. La Partage is especially beneficial to you if you’re using tried-and-trusted strategies such as the Martingale system or the 1326 roulette system.

En Prison

With the En Prison rule, when the ball lands on zero, you can choose to put your bets “in prison”. What this basically means is that the croupier puts a marker on your bet to indicate that it is in prison, then continues with the next round. If your bet does not win in the next round, you forfeit it completely. You cannot change the position of a bet that is in prison.

The appeal of the En Prison rule lies in the fact that although you technically lost the bet, you may not lose any money at all if the next round goes in your favour. This option is usually suggested to players by the croupier as an alternative to La Partage, as La Partage is seen as the default. In online casinos, some live dealers may also offer this option. Very few RNG games implement this rule, even in their French roulette variants.

American Roulette

American Roulette varies markedly from the other two types previously discussed. In terms of player advantage, American roulette is worse than European roulette, and French roulette, as the house edge is significantly higher at 5.26%. This is because it has 38 partitions instead of 37. The RTP of American roulette is 94.74%.

An American roulette wheel is a wheel with two zero partitions in the colour green: one labelled with a single zero and the other with a double zero. The numbers on the wheel are also arranged differently compared to the French and European versions.

The betting table is 2.9×1.7m in size and has only one dealer who sits by the roulette wheel. The table allows all types of inside and outside bets but provides no option for Call or Racetrack bets. One notable difference between European and American roulette bets is the Basket or 5-number bet. In European roulette, it pays out 8:1, while in American roulette, it pays out 6:1. It also has the highest house edge of all the bets at 7.89%. We recommend that you stay away from this bet.

American roulette is the most ubiquitous across most online casinos and land-based casinos in the United States. Most generic RNG roulette games are actually American Roulette.

European, French, and American Roulette Compared

While the three main types of roulette can appear quite similar from afar, some marked differences make them very different. The difference between European roulette and American roulette is that American Roulette has two zero partitions while the European version has just one. This means that the odds are better on European roulette than the American type.

When all three types of roulette are carefully compared, it becomes evident that the French roulette system is the best for many reasons.

  • Firstly, it prevents players from losing too much money when the ball lands on zero and they don’t wager on it.
  • Secondly, French roulette has better odds in general, with a house edge that can be as low as 1.35%, making it most favourable to players.
  • Lastly, it makes use of additional call bets or racetrack bets which give you a lot more variety, making the game even more entertaining.

Which is Better?

All things considered, you should always play European roulette instead of American roulette unless French roulette is also an option. This is because French roulette has much house edge at 1.35% (when La Partage is employed), and European roulette is the next best option with 2.7%. American roulette is much harder to win, with the lofty house edge of 5.26%.

That said, some bettors may play American roulette over European for the sheer entertainment value and the thrill of the risk it entails. Some may also choose to play this because it is the most widely available option.

Conclusion

French roulette is the most beneficial for players because it has only one zero partition and employs some rules to prevent players from losing too much money when they land on zero. European roulette is almost the same as the French version, without the En Prison and La Partage rules. If you do choose to play American roulette despite its relatively low RTP, it’s best advised that you avoid the basket/5-number bet because it has a higher house edge than the others.

Author Morten

After being a recreational gambler for over 10 years, my professional gambling career started at LeoVegas in January 2019. I am now Head of SEO & Content at Casinogrounds, responsible for what you read on UKCasino.com, Casinogrounds.com, and Casinoscores.com.