Roulette is one of the oldest and most popular casino games. Many variants of Roulette have been developed over the years in different parts of the world. This has continuously caused confusion among players, but also professionals. In an attempt to remove some of the widespread confusion, this article offers an overview of the most common Roulette variants. If you first need an introduction to the game of Roulette, read our article on How to Play Roulette.
Free Roulette Practice
Once you are familiar with them, you can also practice-play the most common Roulette variants for free. Click on the relevant link to practice playing European Roulette, American Roulette and French Roulette for free.
European Versus American Roulette
The two most common variant are European (also known as English Roulette), and American Roulette. The main difference between them is that the European Roulette wheel has numbers from 1-36 and one zero slot, while the American Roulette Wheel has numbers for 1-36 and two zero slots. Theoretically, you could easily tell the variant by simply looking at the table and counting the zeros on the wheel.
While this is pretty much the rule industry-wide, there is still a lot of confusion among players and professional alike. One example is the respectable German Westpiel Casino group. I visited Westpiel Casino Aachen not long ago, and was surprised to see a single Zero table, with a sign saying “American Roulette” (see also the casino website at http://www.westspiel.de/spielangebot/Roulette/). But this is by no means the only example of such confusion.
The rules of the game are mostly the same. The twist lies in the second Zero on the American Roulette wheel. In both American and European, all bets other than Zero are lost if the spin outcome is Zero. This makes the additional zero significant. The second zero raises the [House Edge] from 2.70% in European Roulette to 5.26% in American Roulette and reduces the player’s payouts accordingly. Many casinos offering European Roulette sometimes adopt rules that mitigate this result of a Zero spin. For example, in casinos offering the La Partage rule, in case of a Zero spin, you would retain half the value of your even money bets. You can read more about this below.
French Roulette is another common variant. French Roulette follows the European example and is played with single Zero wheel with 37 slots bearing the numbers 1-36 and one Zero slot. The rules of the game also closely follow those of European Roulette. The most significant distinguishing feature is the La Partage rule. Casinos offering French Roulette tables adopted the La Partage rule to mitigate the harsh result of a zero spin. The La Partage rule only applies to even money bets. According to this rule, the player looses only half the original bet if the spin outcome is Zero.
Some casinos adopted a variant of this rule, which is even more generous to the player. The En Prison rule similarly only to even money bets. In case of a zero spin, the player can choose between two options: either reclaim half the value of his original bet, or leave it on the table (“imprison” the bet) for the next spin. The rules determining what happens if the next spin outcome is also zero are different from casino to casino. In some casinos, the player looses the bet; in other casinos, the player bet is imprisoned – remains on the table, until a non-zero spin is played.
Where to Play Roulette
Many European casinos advertise offering “American Roulette”, even though they only offer single Zero Roulette tables. This could be because American Roulette is considered more stylish or modern. In truth, you will be hard pressed to find a double-zero table outside of the United States.
The standard across Europe is Single-Zero tables. It is worth while checking for casinos in your area offering the more favorable variants of the game. Many of the leading European casinos offer tables where you can play the classic En Prison /La Partage or some variation of them. Casinos offering En Prison tables include the Casino Monte Carlo, Casino Hamburg, Casino Copenhagen. Casinos offering La Pertage tables include the Casino Wiesbaden in Germany, the UK Aspers Casino group, including Aspers Casino London, and Aspers Casino Newcastle.
If you are an online gamer, you have just as great a choice of online casinos. For example the popular William Hill casino offers classic European Roulette, French Roulette and American Roulette. You can even practice playing the various variants for free on the casinos website at [http://casino.williamhill.com/index/#table-games].