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A Guide to Roulette – All the Variants Explained

A Brief History of Roulette 

If you’ve ever set foot in a casino before, chances are you’ve heard of or seen a roulette table. 

This game is among the most popular features at any casino, online or land-based, and routinely commands a following of novice and veteran players alike. 

Conceived hundreds of years ago in Europe, Roulette’s name is a French word that translates to “little wheel”. First emerging in 18th century France, some historians believe the birth of roulette resulted from attempts to devise a perpetual motion machine. Instead, this gaming wheel was born and has captivated gamblers the world over. 

The game proliferated through European casinos in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Many variations emerged as well, featuring different modes of play and different payout structures along with a higher or lower house edge. There is even a Roulette variation played with cards, rather than a wheel. 

The Evolution of Roulette 

By the mid-19th century Roulette had reached North America and Asia, further growing in prominence and popularity. Three main variants emerged as the most popular among players and casinos, including European Roulette, French Roulette, and American Roulette. All other variations of the game to emerge in the following decades up to the present day are based on these standard rule sets. 

Today, there are dozens of Roulette variations played across the globe. Different mechanics, depictions, and technologies involved make the landscape of Roulette a rich and rewarding place, wherever it is played. 

Standard Roulette Variants 

In this section, we will provide a summary of the Roulette variations you are most likely to encounter. You will find these same Roulette varieties at land-based and online casinos all over the world. While the distinctions between most may be subtle, these slight variations can elevate your experience tremendously. Making the most of your chosen Roulette variety alongside a particular Roulette strategy can help you achieve new heights of success at the tables. 

European Roulette 

This version of Roulette features one fewer pocket, with only a single zero, and a lower house edge than American roulette. European Roulette will sometimes include the unique La Partage rule with which a player use to mitigate their losses on a losing spin. This is the standard version of Roulette played outside of the United States. 

The European Roulette wheel contains 37 pockets, numbered 1-36 in on-consecutive order, along with a single zero. 

Many players enjoy the lower House Edge this game features over the higher risk associated with American Roulette. The Bets Allowed in European Roulette include: 

Inside bets 

  • Straight bet – A bet that a specific number will hit on the next spin. The wager is placed directly on the number. This bet pays 35:1. 
  • Split bet – A bet that one of two numbers will hit on the next spin. This wager is placed on the border shared between the two numbers. This bet pays 17:1. 
  • Street bet, Trio bet, or Three Number bet – This is a bet that one of three numbers will hit on the next spin. The wager is placed on the outside line of the row containing the three numbers. This bet pays 11:1. 
  • Corner bet, Square bet, or Four-Number bet – A bet that one of four numbers will hit on the next spin. The wager is placed on the corner shared by all four numbers. This bet pays 8:1. 
  • Five-Number bet – A bet that one of five specific numbers, 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3, will hit on the next spin. The wager is placed on the border shared between 0 and 1. This bet pays 6:1. 
  • Six Line bet – A bet that one of six numbers, as part of two connected rows, will hit on the next spin. The wager is placed on the outside corner shared by the two rows. This bet pays 6:1. 

Outside bets 

  • Red – A bet that a “red” number will hit on the next spin. The wager is placed within the layout box labelled “Red”. This is an even-money bet that pays 1:1. 
  • Black – A bet that a “black” number will hit on the next spin. The wager is placed within the layout box labelled “Black”. This is an even-money bet that pays 1:1. 
  • Even – A bet that an even number will hit on the next spin. This bet does not include the 0 or 00 pockets. The wager is placed within the layout box labelled “Even”. This is an even-money bet that pays 1:1. 
  • Odd – A bet that an odd number will hit on the next spin. The wager is placed within the layout box labelled “Odd”. This is an even-money bet that pays 1:1. 
  • Low bet - A bet that a number between 1 and 18 will hit on the next spin. The wager is placed within the layout box labelled “Low”. This is an even-money bet that pays 1:1. 
  • High bet – A bet that a number between 19 and 36 will hit on the next spin. The wager is placed within the layout box labelled “High”. This is an even-money bet that pays 1:1. 
  • Dozen bet – This is a bet that a number from one of the game’s three groupings of one dozen numbers, 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36, will hit on the next spin. The wager is placed within the layout box labelled "1st 12", "2nd 12", or "3rd 12". This bet pays 2:1. 
  • Column bet – This is a bet that a number from one of the game’s three columns within the numbered layout will hit on the next spin. The wager is placed below the desired column. This bet pays 2:1. 
  • La Partage – A rule unique to the European and French versions of Roulette. Those who choose to utilize the La Partage rule need only place an even-money outside bet. The wager is placed the same as any other spin and only applies to outside bets. In the event either 0 turns out, the wager is split in half to be divided between House and player. 

American Roulette 

Upon gaining considerable popularity among American gamblers, Roulette was changed slightly following its export to North America. Thus, a new variety of Roulette emerged. This one featured a higher House Edge alongside its addition of the double zero pocket on the wheel. With the heightened House Edge, the game’s level of risk increases. Perhaps this is what entices so many gamblers, even to this day. 

In all, the American Roulette wheel has 38 numbers. These are labelled 1-36 in non-consecutive order with the addition of a 0 and 00 pocket. 

In general, the standard roulette layout exists with a number field and outside betting field. The bets allowed in American Roulette include: 

Inside bets 

  • Straight bet  
  • Split bet 
  • Street bet, Trio bet, or Three Number bet  
  • Corner bet, Square bet, or Four-Number bet  
  • Five-Number bet  
  • Six Line bet  

Outside bets 

  • Red  
  • Black 
  • Even 
  • Odd  
  • Low bet 
  • High bet 
  • Dozen bet 
  • Column bet 
  • Surrender – A rule unique to the American version of Roulette. Those who choose to utilize the Surrender rule need only place an even-money outside bet. The wager is placed the same as any other spin and only applies to outside bets. In the event either 0 or 00 turns out, the wager is split in half to be divided between House and player. 

French Roulette 

A variation of roulette that includes multiple unique rules and advanced bets, French Roulette is a connoisseur’s game and considered among many to be the best version from a player’s perspective. 

The French Roulette wheel is essentially the same as a European Roulette wheel, featuring a single zero pocket. The French Roulette wheel has 37 numbers. These are labelled 1-36 in non-consecutive order with the addition of a single zero pocket. 

There are several advanced bets and two recovery rules in play that players may utilize to their advantage during a session. The bets allowed in American Roulette include: 

Inside bets 

  • Straight bet  
  • Split bet 
  • Street bet, Trio bet, or Three Number bet  
  • Corner bet, Square bet, or Four-Number bet  
  • Five-Number bet  
  • Six Line bet  

Outside bets 

  • Red  
  • Black 
  • Even 
  • Odd  
  • Low bet 
  • High bet 
  • Dozen bet 
  • Column bet 

Called bets 

These are bets which a player utters aloud their bet and wager. The croupier will then indicate the wager on the betting layout. This form of betting is illegal in some jurisdictions, such as the UK with its strict responsible gaming legislation, as it amounts to betting on credit with the casino.  

Announced bets 

Announced bets function the same as a called bet, except the player will need to immediately place their wager on the appropriate position(s) within the layout. 

Advanced bets 

  • Voisins du Zero (neighbours of zero) – A bet that one number between 22 and 25, as they appear on the roulette wheel, will hit on the next spin. The wager is placed using nine chips spread between splits, corners, and Trios of these numbers. This bet may pay different amounts depending on the winning bet. 
  • Le Tiers du Cylinder (thirds of the wheel) – A bet that one number between 27 to 33 as they appear on the roulette wheel, will hit on the next spin. The wager is placed using six chips placed as splits between these numbers. This bet pays 17:1. 
  • Jue Zero (zero game): A bet that one number between the six numbers located on either side of 0 and the 0 itself. The wager is placed using four chips as three splits and a straight bet on 26. This bet may pay different amounts depending on the winning bet. 
  • Orphelins (orphans): A bet that one of the eight numbers not included in the above bets will hit on the next spin. There are two ways to play this bet. The first is as orphelins en cheval, in which the wager is placed using five chips as four splits and a straight bet on 1. The second is as orphelins en plein, where the wager is placed using eight chips as straight bets on each number. This bet may pay different amounts depending on the variation and the winning bet. 
  • Finales – A bet on all the numbers ending in a certain value. For example, Finales 6 includes all numbers on the wheel that end in 6 – 6, 16, 26, 36. The wager is placed as either finales en plein, as a single number, or finales a cheval, as either of the two numbers. This bet may pay different amounts depending on the variation and the winning bet. 
  • La Partage – A rule unique to the European and French versions of Roulette. Those who choose to utilize the La Partage rule need only place an even-money outside bet. The wager is placed the same as any other spin and only applies to outside bets. In the event either 0 turns out, the wager is split in half to be divided between House and player. 
  • En Prison – Similar to the La Partage rule, in the event the 0 hits on an even-money outside bet, the player can either recoup half their wager or let their wager remain “imprisoned” for another spin. If the result of the second spin is a win, the player retrieves their bet from prison. 

Triple Zero Roulette 

A game that emerged in 2016 at the Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, Triple Zero Roulette includes an additional pocket that is treated as an additional zero, though it was in fact the logo of the casino. 

Applying the 0 and 00 outcomes to the third zero, this version of the game includes an additional bet, only found in Triple Zero Roulette, a bet on any Green pocket. This bet has a house edge of 7.69 percent and pays 11:1. 

Video Roulette 

A modern iteration of Roulette, Video Roulette is most often played with the European ruleset.  

Rather than players crowding around the table on a smoky casino floor, this version of the game is played at a digital terminal or on a digital device, like a PC or smartphone. 

Video Roulette is marked among players for convenience and ease of play. Many digital tools help players keep track of their own betting, outcome history, and more. Many online casinos will feature their own unique brand of Video Roulette varieties. So, it may be worth a player’s time to shop around for the version that best suits their taste. 

Branded Roulette 

A Roulette variation made popular by its agreements in tandem with the iconic brands, Branded Roulette brings unique mechanics and memorable themes to the casino world.  

Take, for instance, Frankie Dettori Roulette. This game is branded in partnership with the legendary jockey, Frankie Dettori.  

A digital Roulette game with convenience, atmosphere, and high-paying potential, this game is played with the European ruleset and includes advanced betting options as well as several bonus opportunities.  

Betting on the special ‘Magnificent 7 Bonus’ segment on the roulette wheel opens up the possibility for a bonus game within this roulette variation. When unlocked, the player enters a horseracing track. There are twenty positions from which the player will select. Each selection results in a cash prize of some amount, between 1x and 5x the player’s wager, or a trophy that acts as a win multiplier of 1x to 7x the total win amount derived from the bonus round. 

The choosing continues until the player is prompted with a COLLECT. At that point, a final trophy is awarded, and the round is concluded. In all, players can win up to 280x their total bet in this feature. 

Additionally, this branded Roulette game implements jackpot mechanics with two separate prizes far beyond the value of any bet made on the layout. 

Jackpot Roulette 

Following either American or European rules sets, this variation of the game features a jackpot mechanic that can potentially payout several thousand times a player’s wager. 

For example, look to the Age of the Gods franchise of casino games, particularly Age of the Gods Roulette. This game plays just the same as its European or American counterpart. However, the inclusion of a jackpot pocket provides the opportunity to win far more than any regular Roulette game.  

In this case, if the bonus pocket hits and the player has an active bet on the Age of the Gods space in the layout, the bonus is unlocked. The player is then transported to a jackpot select screen that features 15 positions. Players will then have an opportunity to select match identical symbols in hopes of claiming one of the sizable cash prizes. 

There are many different forms Jackpot Roulette games take. Some are fixed jackpot games, while others are network-linked progressive jackpots that grow and grow until someone wins the colossal prize. 

Land-based and online casinos know Jackpot Roulette games are among the most popular versions of Roulette. They often have a bit of fanfare pointing players in their direction and make the games easy to find. 

Spread-Bet Roulette 

This variation of Roulette plays the same way French Roulette does, using a single zero wheel and advanced betting layout. 

However, Spread-Bet Roulette also contains a second, inner wheel of gold with its own numbering system, ranging from 0 to 36. 

The addition of Spread-Bets is unique in that it allows players a second level of betting, in which they can wager to win on specific number ranges within the game’s second, golden wheel. The ranges and their associated payouts are: 

  • Group 1: 0 – 1 pays 400:1 
  • Group 2: 2 – 11 pays 15:1 
  • Group 3: 12 – 18 pays 10:1 
  • Group 4: 19 – 33 pays 2:1 
  • Group 5: 34 – 54 pays 1:1 
  • Group 6: 55 – 67 pays 7:1 
  • Group 7: 68 – 72 pays 80:1 

These numbers represent the spread. That is the sum of pocket values of the inner and outer wheels. For example, if 10 hits on the outer wheel and 20 on the inner wheel, the total is 30. In this case, a bet on the 19-33 group would be a winner. 

A truly unique experience with a tremendous opportunity to win each spin, Spread-Bet Roulette is one variation players will not want to pass over. 

To Conclude 

With so many truly engaging and rewarding Roulette variations available, players may find it hard to settle on just one. Fortunately, they do not have to. There are plenty of games available for players to enjoy at their own pace and schedule. With our comprehensive guides to the game, you’ll never be missing out on the latest release or useful strategy to enhance your Roulette sessions. Try these and other Roulette variations to experience the depth and breadth of this legendary game in a modern setting. 



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