Playing roulette is great fun, whether in Las Vegas or online, but many online roulette sites offer a huge variety of roulette options. Knowing how they all differ and which is the best type of roulette to play isn’t easy but here we take a look at the most common game types and explain how they work and whether or not they are the best version of roulette… and reveal the one you should be playing every time.
European Roulette v American Roulette
When faced with this decision, there is no real decision – it has to be European roulette every time. There are some things the Europeans just do better and, like Ryder Cup golf, roulette is one of those things. The key difference between the games may only sound small but it has a huge impact on the house edge and your long term profitability.
In European roulette there is just a single zero, whilst American has a zero and a double zero and this extra zero almost doubles the house edge, from 2.70% to 5.26% and, for the really foolish, 7.89% – if they choose to bet on the first five numbers (0, 00, 1, 2 and 3).
Otherwise the games are essentially the same, although European roulette will usually also offer an advantage through the “en prison” rule.
En Prison or La Partage
Found in roulette games listed as Atlantic City rules or French roulette (la partage), as well as being standard with many casinos’ versions of European roulette, this rule reduces the house edge even further on even money bets. Place a bet on red/black, odd/even or high/low and, thanks to the en prison rule, the house edge drops to just 2.63%. Under this rule, should you lose to a zero you only lose half your stake, although there are variations on this rule that allow that loss to be “imprisoned” and potentially won back on the next spin.
So Which is the Best Version of Roulette?
In short, any version of roulette with just a single zero is what you should be aiming for whilst any roulette games with side bets and progressive bonuses should be viewed as fun diversions. These more complex games invariably have a higher house edge but that is offset – in some players’ minds – by the increased fund derived from these games or, in the case of progressives, the chance to win big.