When it comes to the most common casino games, it’s easy to forget that the version played at your local gaming establishment isn’t the only thing out there.
In fact, casino staples like blackjack, craps, and roulette, all have several variations that are used in casinos, both physical and online, all across the world. The best part? These “other” versions often give players better odds than their American counterpart.
Nowadays, nearly every version of every game is available somewhere online. In this article, I’ll lay out all the versions of roulette, and explain why some are better than others for gamblers.
1 – American Roulette
You know it, you’re familiar with the rules, and you’ve accepted the American version of roulette as the standard. To be fair, it’s not a bad option. In terms of all the games available at most casinos, regular roulette is among the top options in terms of a odds and low house edge. When you consider online options, however, it doesn’t look quite as appealing.
Just because it is a good option does not mean that it’s the best available. First, I’ll get into the specifics of this particular version of roulette.
The version Americans are most familiar with made its way here near the end of the 18th century. Upon arrival, it underwent a few different transformations before eventually settling on what we accept to be “our” version of the game.
Although it is a good option for gamblers and provides an opportunity to make some money, the odds are not quite as favorable as in other forms of the game. The house edge on single number bets in American roulette is around 5.3%.
The bottom line is that even though American roulette doesn’t have the absolute best odds, if you’re in an American casino, you can certainly find worse games to play.
2 – European Roulette
European roulette is not that much different than American roulette, but there is one major distinction. The reason the European version of the game is more popular among gamblers is due to the house edge being half of what it is in its American counterpart.
Unlike American roulette which has 38 total pockets, including two zeros, European roulette has 37 pockets and only one single zero space.
When compared to the 5.3% house edge in American roulette, the 2.6% house edge in European roulette undoubtedly looks more attractive. Why did America end up with the extra zero, and thus a doubled house edge? Unfortunately, that is a question to which I could not find an answer.
3 – Double Ball Roulette
First appearing in Vegas, double ball roulette takes the action up a couple notches by, you guessed it, tossing another little white ball into the equation.
The game actually started as an experiment by casinos (only a few have ever offered it). The idea was that it provided a little bit more excitement than the standard version of the game, and it would entice new players to give it a try.
Typically the game was played on a European wheel, meaning that low house edge that is seen in European roulette applied to double ball roulette as well.
If this version of the game sounds appealing to you, it’s probably best not to go around to every casino looking for it. Instead, browse some popular online casinos, which are much more likely to include double ball in its game offerings.
4 – Multi-Wheel Roulette
If you thought double ball roulette sounded exciting, wait until you hear about multi-wheel roulette.
Instead of wagering on simply one ball and wheel combination, you get eight (!!) wheels to bet on at once. Now, one important thing to note is that you place the same bet on all active wheels, so you aren’t making eight bets each round, which would get pretty intense after a few spins.
One interesting aspect of this game is that you do get to choose which wheels are active. Meaning you don’t need to set all eight wheels in motion at one time, but if you want to, let the balls fall where they may.
It should be noted that you likely won’t find this game in a land based casino. With that being said, plenty of online versions exist which is good for one main reason: the visual aspect of the game interface.
Obviously, there is a lot going on when up to eight roulette wheels are going at once. That means it’s important to find a version of the game that seems visually manageable. My advice would be to look around for a website you feel comfortable with before depositing a large amount of money on a platform.
5 – Rapid Roulette (or Video Roulette)
Real money roulette has a relatively low house edge. For casinos, that means they need to have players wager on more spins in order to get the volume of bets necessary to make a nice profit. This is the philosophy behind the low house edge, but highly profitable, slot machine industry.
Rapid roulette differs from the traditional setup by offering the game in a video form – or at least the players are placing their bets on a video board. The wheel itself is not virtual, and may or may not have a real person performing the spin each time. In some cases, the ball will be deployed electronically, although once it hits the wheel, it’s free to land wherever.
So if the casino has put this video-hybrid version of roulette in place to increase their profits, is it all bad news for the players? The answer is – actually, no.
Experienced roulette players who have frequently played at tables with several other bettors know that it can be frustrating getting paid out after a win. This problem is entirely eliminated when playing the video version of the game. Payouts are automated and instant, so you’ll get your money in plenty of time to make your next play.
If you’re looking for a quick in-and-out version of roulette, it’s hard to beat rapid (often called video) roulette. It might not be where you were expecting in your favorite casino, so ask someone to direct you.
Personally, this is my favorite version on the list. It’s quick, requires no interaction with other players or a dealer, and you get money instantly.
6 – Mini Roulette
Looking to simplify the regular version of roulette? I bring you Mini Roulette!
This game, which functions just like it sounds, involves the familiar roulette procedures but on a 13-number wheel instead of the standard 37 (for European) or 38 (for American).
One thing to note that does make mini roulette slightly different, aside from the reduced numbers, is the fact that a bet that does not cover zero will only lose half if the ball ends in zero. In regular roulette, you would lose it all.
Mini roulette is more of a novelty than some of the other versions on the list, but nonetheless it’s a fun game and can be profitable if luck (and a good betting strategy) is on your side.
Roulette is about as classic and traditional as it gets in terms of games you’ll find at the casino. While the familiarity is ultimately a good thing for most bettors, it can lose some of the excitement after so many spins.
If one form of the game is starting to lose its luster, consider giving another version of the game a shot. If you can’t find it at your local casino, head online and it should only take a few minutes to track down any version in this article.