History clearly shows that roulette is easily the most popular casino game. That should come as no surprise, after all it combines elements that everyone likes and enjoys. Entertainment, tension, and of course the possibility of winning a large prize. With these ingredients, it's popularity is easy to explain and not surprising at all.
However, there’s more to roulette than meets the eye. More experienced players know that there are several variants of this popular game – notably the European, French and American roulette. Here, the most popular variants are the European and French ones. Each of these has its own specifics and rules, and now we’ll have a closer look at these.
Let's begin with the French roulette. The consensus is that French roulette was the original one, the one all other variants are based on. It’s very similar to the European roulette, and in fact we believe that the vast majority of players might not even notice the differences. This is mainly due to online casinos and their game developers, who mixed the two to create some kind of hybrid, which is today considered the standard. One fundamental fact is that the French roulette only has a single 0. This means that the house edge is, in terms of statistics, only 2.7%.
There are several things which make French roulette very specific. All text on the table is written in French. Even the dealer speaks in French. There’s no black color on the table. This means that only the red fields have a specific color. The special La Partage rule is also part of the French roulette. Originally, the use of special bets such as “Voisins du Zero“ (neighbors of 0), “Tier“ (thirds) and “Orphelins“ (orphans). However, today that’s not true anymore, since you’ll find these also in other versions of roulette.
The numerical sequence on the French roulette wheel is: 0-32-15-19-4-21-2-25-17-34-6-27-13-36-11-30-8-23-10-5-24-16-33-1-20-14-31-9-22-18-29-7-28-12-35-3-26
The European roulette is currently the most popular type of roulette in Europe, and possibly even in the world. It’s very similar to the French variant. The wheel in both variants has a single zero, and so the house edge is very small.
One of the differences is that here the text on the roulette table is either in English or in the local language. The table also features the black color.
One specific trait of European roulette in brick-and-mortar casinos is that the chips of players have the same color. So it's up to the players to remember which bet is theirs. Other variants have different colors for each player. However, this property is meaningless in the online setting.
American roulette is not very popular in Europe. While it allows you to make bets that are not possible on the types of roulette that are traditionally played on the old continent (combinations with 00), this comes with a very significant disadvantage. In particular, there are two zeros on the wheel: 0 and 00. This substantially increases the house edge. In particular, statistically the casino is 5.26% more likely to win than the player.
Otherwise, the American roulette is virtually the same as the French one. But we certainly don’t recommend trying it out, especially for beginners.
The numerical sequence on the American roulette wheel is: 0-28-9-26-30-11-7-20-32-17-5-22-34-5-3-24-36-13-1-00-27-10-25-29-12-8-19-31-18-6-21-33-16-4-23-35-14-2.
As you can see, indeed the biggest difference lies in the number of fields on the wheel. While the European and French versions have 37 fields, the American variant has 38 fields thanks to the addition of 00. The very minor differences in roulette rules are virtually negligible today. Online casinos and game developers today use the same rules across all roulette versions. And so today you’ll find the racetrack, originally exclusive to the French variant, in all roulette variants.
Other modern roulette variants
If you play roulette in online casinos, you must have noticed that the offer of such casinos is often not limited merely to the basic roulette variants mentioned above. They sometimes also include alternative types, either consisting of combinations or introducing innovative design elements and game concepts. A typical example is Spingo, an online roulette game which combines the best elements of roulette and bingo. But there’s many more such “roulette offsprings” in the offers of online casinos. Roulette games with multiple wheels – such as Multiwheel roulette by Microgaming – are another example.