Whether betting red or black, inside or outside – gamblers looking to bet the wheel can play Roulette online or at a live casino. There are many advantages to playing Roulette online as opposed to taking a trip to the casino. Dictating the pace of the game, flexibility in tracking statistics, and the ability to multi-task while playing Roulette are just a few of the many compelling reasons to play Roulette online.
Best places to play online roulette
With the advent of online casinos, roulette has found its place in the virtual space and is now a major attraction at many premium gambling websites. While the online version is identical to its physical counterpart, online casinos include multiple variations from all over the globe. To give yourself a leg up during your online betting sessions, it might be useful for you to read up on certain key aspects of the game and we are here to help you do just that.
Below, we include crucial information about this genre. You will be able to learn about the three main variations, as well as the various betting options available. Moreover, we also provide detailed explanations to each bet type along with the payout ratios and probability of winning, as well as some special rules found in particular variations. Not only that, but we also go into detail regarding the house edge and RTP values of roulette variations, giving you some insight as to how the genre works.
Online Roulette Variations
Roulette is a major genre and as such, it comes with multiple variations. These are different versions of the base game which do not differ too much from the original but enough so that each offers a different experience. There are three main variations that you will come across during your online gaming sessions. While there are alternatives, they are not broadly available and the big three will be the variations that you will most often encounter.
European and French Roulette
The European and French variations are the most popular in the gambling industry and both originate on the European continent. Both come with 37-pocket wheels, with 36 alternating red and black slots and a green single zero. This format is closest to the original and also provides you with the best odds. The difference between the two is mostly in terms of style and table layout. The European variation usually comes with the outside bets placed to the side of the numbers grid, while the French one has them on both sides. This is purely cosmetical and has no real effect on the gameplay. Additionally, French Roulette may come with certain interesting rules, exclusive to that variation. These are referred to as the ‘la partage’ and ‘en prison’ rules and they work quite well in the players’ favor. However, we will take a closer look at these later on.
The American version is different from the previous two variations in the wheel layout and certain bets that you can place. For starters, the American wheel does feature the usual 37 pockets, rather it includes 38 of them. Of the 38 pockets, 36 are alternating red and black ones, while the other two are green. These final two come in the form of the single zero and double zero, the latter of which is not included in the French and European variations. Moreover, the numbers on the American wheel are also lined up in a different sequence. As the name implies, the American variation is primarily featured at US land-based casinos, however, it has also made its way into the online gambling sphere. Therefore, you can play American roulette at most online casinos and have a great time doing so.
Roulette Bet Types and Odds
Roulette gives you much in the way of betting options. In fact, there are some many ways to place bets in this game that it is difficult to keep track of all of them. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of the possible roulette bets and their respective odds and payouts.
Inside bets are wagers that are placed within the borders of the numbers grid. They are on specific numbers, chosen by you for the purposes of the bet. If the ball lands on a number you have bet on then you win the payout for the respective bet. Each bet comes with its own unique odds and payouts, which you will find below.
Straight – This is a bet on any single number within the grid. It has the lowest odds of winning but the highest payout in the game. Winning a Straight will net you 35 times the bet value and the chance of winning is 2.7% and 2.63% in European/French Roulette and American Roulette respectively.
Split – This is a wager on two adjacent numbers in the grid. You place the chip on the border between them. A successful Split pays 17:1 and your chances of winning are 5.4% and 5.26% on European/French Roulette and American Roulette respectively.
Street – A Street bet involves a whole row of three numbers on the grid. The chip is placed on the leftmost border of the row and if the ball lands on any of the three numbers, you will receive a payout of 11:1. The chances of winning this bet are 8.11% and 7.94% on European/French and American Roulette respectively.
Corner – Referred to as a Square bet, the Corner bet involves four neighbouring numbers on the grid. The payout for a successful Corner is 8:1 and you will win this bet 10.81% or 10.52% of the time on European/French Roulette or American Roulette respectively.
Double Street / Six Line – Mostly self-explanatory, this bet includes two neighbouring rows on the numbers grid. The payout is 5:1 and your chances of winning are 16.21% or 15.78% on European/French Roulette or American Roulette respectively.
Trio – This bet involves one of the zero pockets and two other neighbouring numbers. For example, 0-1-2, 0-2-3, or 00-2-3. The payout for this wager is 11:1 and you can win it if the ball lands on any of the included numbers.
Basket – The European/French variation includes numbers 0-1-2-3 and a successful bet pays 8:1, not unlike the Basket bet. The American version uses the 00-0-1-2-3 sequence but only offers a payout of 6:1. These are the worst odds in the whole game and the house edge associated with this bet on American Roulette is 7.89%, whereas other bets only come with 5.27% advantage.
Outside bets are wagers placed outside of the numbers grid and include a whole group of numbers sharing a common feature. This can be color, column, or others. Below, you will find all the possible outside bet along with their respective payouts.
Low/High – This bet separates the numbers based on their value into two groups – 1 to 18 and 19 to 36. It does not include the zero or double zero. The payout for this bet is 1:1.
Red/Black – This wager is similar to the one above, only the divide is based on color. Once again, the zero and double zero (if applicable) are not included as they are green. The payout is 1:1.
Odd/Even – Mostly self-explanatory, you can bet on whether the ball will land on an odd or even number. The zero and double zero do not fall under either category and as such, are not included in this bet. The payout is 1:1.
Column – You can be on one of the three vertical lines of the numbers grid. If the winning number is within your column you win 2:1 your bet.
Dozen – Just like the previous bet, the Dozen splits the numbers into three categories – 1 to 12, 13 – 24, and 25 – 36. Winning this bet will net you a 2:1 payout.
House Edge and RTP
Something important to consider is any game of chance is the expected return and the house edge inherent to it. The house edge refers to the inherent advantage that the casino has over the players in terms of odds. This is realized over a long term period, usually after hundreds of thousands of spins. Additionally, this percentage also indicates the profit that the casino stands to make from all bets placed. The house edge is static and persists through all variations though to different degrees.
Calculating the house edge is quite easy and there are certain aspects that we have to take into account. For starters, we will take a look at the European and French variations, since they are so similar. On a standard Straight bet, you have a 1 in 37 chance to win. Therefore, on average you will lose 36 spins and win one. If the odds were fair you would receive a payout of 36:1 for a winning bet, however, this is not exactly the case. A winning Straight bet pays only 35:1 and this discrepancy between the true odds and the payout ratio is what call the house edge. With this information readily available it is simple enough to calculate the casino advantage. To this end, we utilize the following equation:
(Odds Against Winning – House Odds) * Probability of Winning * 100 = House Edge
Putting in the appropriate numbers, we get:
(36/1 – 35/1) * 1/37 * 100 = 2.7%
Doing this for American Roulette is just as easy, except we have to consider the extra pocket and how that affects the probabilities. On a Straight bet, we have 1 in 38 chance to win. Therefore, if we play 38 spins, on average, we will win one and lose 37. True odds dictate that we would receive a payout of 37:1 for a winning bet. However, not only does American Roulette add an extra pocket to the wheel, but it also keeps the same payout ratios as European and French Roulette, 35:1 in the case of a Straight bet, for example. As such, this pushes the odds further in favor of the casino and the house edge increases. Taking the above-mentioned formula, we get:
(37/1 – 35/1) * 1/38 * 100 = 5.26%
This formula can be applied to just about every bet available on the roulette table and you can easily use to calculate the house edge. However, doing so would not be particularly useful as all roulette bets from a particular variation share the same house edge values. The only exception is the Basket bet from American Roulette, which we covered above since it comes with a 7.89% house edge. With this information in mind, you can make a wholesome decision as to which game to play.
La Partage and En Prison
Above we mentioned that French Roulette had some unique and exclusive rules not featured in other variations. It is time to elaborate on that statement. Generally, when you play French Roulette you will have the benefit of either the ‘La Partage’ or the ‘En Prison’ rule. They are mutually exclusive and the table will only include one of them. The La Partage rule applies to outside bets and comes into effect when the ball lands in the zero pocket. As you already know, spinning a zero having put down an outside bet is an automatic loss. This is where the La Partage rule works to your benefit. When that situation occurs, you will get to take back half of your bet, instead of losing all of it.
The En Prison applies when the ball lands in the zero pocket if you have an outside bet placed. Your money will not be lost automatically, rather it will be kept on the same bet for the next spin. If your bet’s win condition is met, then you get to take back your funds without making a profit.
Both rules give you the opportunity to make the best out of a bad situation, either refunding half of your lost bet or giving you a chance at reclaiming the initial bet value. Because of this, they also lower the house edge value for outside bets. When either of these rules is active on the table, the house edge for outside bets is lowered from 2.7% down to 1.35%. These are the best odds in the world of roulette and you should take advantage of them whenever possible.
Online Roulette Features
Dictate your Own Pace
Unlike playing Roulette in the brick and mortar casino, when you play Roulette online, a roulette player can play at their own pace. Instead of waiting on all the bets to be placed by slower players, an online Roulette player can click and start the ball in motion at will. Additionally, an online player of Roulette can slow the game down.
Track your Stats
As live casinos, roulette players may find it both difficult and against casino rules to log the outcome of the wheel into a computer or blackberry for tracking purposes. When playing Roulette online, a player can freely track the outcome of the wheel in an effort to identify trends in the wheel.
Yet another great benefit of playing Roulette online is the ability to do multiple things while hitting the roulette wheel. In addition to betting the wheel, an online roulette player can play online bingo, craps, and slots all at the same time. Time and location restrictions make doing such things while playing Roulette at the casino all but impossible and would require a roulette player to have the ability to be in multiple places simultaneously. A roulette player can even play online poker at the same time he is wagering on the Roulette wheel. Online Roulette is quite flexible in allowing many things to go on while playing the Roulette game.
When playing Roulette online, a player can make the same exact wagers with a simple push of the button. When playing Roulette in the casino, a player must physically place chips on the desired betting areas of the Roulette table. An online roulette player has the luxury of clicking the rebet button, at which time all bets will be replaced at the exact amount as the last spin.
Playing Roulette online is convenient, and can be done without making a trip to the casino. Online roulette allows players to focus on other casino table games and activities in addition to the actual roulette game.