Roulette is the most well-known casino table game in the world. It draws millions of players to both online and offline casinos daily. Much like other casino games, roulette has many variations, and the house edge will differ depending on the Roulette game you’ve chosen. We’ll do our best to give you enough information, going back in time a little bit to the origins of roulette, in order to make you better understand this fascinating game.

Roulette has brought excitement, glamour and mystery to casinos worldwide since the 17th century. The spinning wheel, black and red colours and simple betting has made roulette into one of the most famous casino games out there today. There are many competing theories on who invented European Roulette. The first forms of roulette game had been inspired by a 17th century English game called Roly Poly, featuring a ball spinning around on a wheel. When this game was banned, Frenchmen Beau Nash came up with an even simpler variation called EO, or Even-Odd. It is believed that roulette has been played close to its present form since 1796.
Everybody knows there are different types of roulette games, but between online and Brick & Mortar Casinos, it might surprise you to hear there are over 100 different versions! We’ll explain the three most common and significant ones that are a must know for every prospective Roulette player.

European Roulette

Is the most popular type of Online and offline Roulette games, and was the original Roulette game. It features a single zero and 36 numbers randomly distributed across the wheel. As there is only one Zero, the house edge in European roulette is pretty small at 2.5%, and is significantly less than the house edge on American Roulette.
European Roulette game evolved from one zero to two zero’s as it gained popularity around the world, but thankfully returned to the one zero wheel giving us Europeans a far higher chance of winning.

American Roulette

American Roulette evolved from European Roulette as it made its way across the world leading to new variations. The most notable difference of American Roulette is the double zero – 00. This leads to a much higher house edge of 5.26% and reduces your chances of winning. Another difference is that the numbers on the American Roulette Wheel are placed in pairs opposite to each other, so 1 is opposite 2, 3 are opposite 4 etc.
American Roulette game is popular all over the world, so don’t assume every version you play in Europe is European Roulette with 1 zero. The addition of the second zero increases the house edge quite significantly so make sure you know which version you are playing and know what your potential winnings will be.

French Roulette

Another adaptation of European Roulette is French Roulette. Whilst it is very similar, there is some added variety by the option of different betting options and an even lower house edge than European Roulette.
The “La Partage” rule means that if the ball lands on Zero and you have made an “outside bet”, you’ll only lose half your stake. This added version cuts the house edge down to 1.35%.
“En Prison” is another popular tweak on the traditional European Roulette game. If the ball lands on zero then your bet is placed in “prison” and carried over to the next spin. Note, if your number comes up on this second spin you will get back your stake, but no winnings on the initial bet.


Other versions of the game of roulette include Mexican roulette which contains three zeros, and French roulette, which actually lets you take insurance against the wheel landing on zero. Newer versions have been developed since the boom of online gaming including mini roulette game. This version features 13 slots (twelve numbered and a zero) rather than the full 37 or 38.

Recently, progressive roulette games have hit the online casino scene; these games offer some pretty big progressive jackpots. You can even find Roulette Royale game of European Roulette with a progressive jackpot that accumulates with every spin of the wheel. The traditional game of European Roulette remains the favorite version for casino players and continues to attract gamers in casino and online.

Now that you are aware of the main roulette game types, you can start playing one, three or all 100 variations, and choose which ones give you a better edge at winning. Make sure you know your game rules properly, and are actually playing the version you think you are. And as any experience gambler will tell you, play where the house edge is as much in your favour as possible.

Sally Burns
Sally has been working for us at Top5 for 3 years. She graduated Leeds University and now lives in London with her husband. Sally loves the thrill of casinos, whether online or offline and her favourite games are any of the Marvel series of slots. Her favourite movie is The Avengers.
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