Understanding the House Odds in Different Variations of Roulette

Two Roulette Wheels

Roulette can either be one of the best or worst casino games in terms of odds. Everything depends upon which variation you choose.

That being said, it’s imperative that you pick the roulette games with the best odds. But exactly which games are these?

Below, you can see the three variations of roulette that provide the best chances to win. You’ll also see the three worst games in terms of odds.

1 – French Roulette

French Roulette is played on a European wheel, which features 37 pockets. One of these pockets is a house-friendly zero. By dividing the single-zero pocket by the 37 total pockets (1/37), you’ll find that the European wheel has a 2.70% house edge.

A 2.70% house advantage is fairly low in the grand scheme of gaming. However, French Roulette takes things even further by offering a special rule called “la partage.”

The la partage rule pays half of an even-money bet back with the ball lands on zero. The key is that you must place an even-money wager.

Here’s an example of la partage in action:

  • You wager $10 on odd (odd/even).
  • The ball settles into the zero pocket.
  • You get $5 back.

Thanks to its unique rule, French Roulette only carries a 1.35% house edge. Again, though, you must make even money bets to capitalize. Otherwise, the house advantage is 2.70% on all other wagers.

2 – American Roulette With La Partage

As I’ll cover later, American Roulette is normally one of the worst-paying variations. It can, however, be worthwhile under certain circumstances.

The American wheel features 38 pockets, including a zero and double zero. By dividing these two house-friendly zero pockets by the 38 total numbers (2/38), you’ll find that the American wheel carries a 5.26% house edge.

Like the French variation covered above, though, American Roulette can also come with the la partage rule. La partage works the same with the American game as it does with French Roulette.

American and European Roulette Wheels

It pays halfback on an even-money wager when the ball lands on either zero or double zero. With la partage in effect, American Roulette only has a 2.63% house edge (5.26/2) on even-money bets.

The main issue with this version of roulette is that it’s extremely rare. And even when you find it, there’s still a better option, which isn’t quite as rare, in French Roulette.

3 – European Roulette

A standard European Roulette game doesn’t come with the la partage rule. Therefore, it features a 2.70% house edge.

While this house advantage isn’t quite as good as what French Roulette offers, it’s competitive with the American game described above.

Unlike the French version, European Roulette doesn’t confine you to any specific wagers either. The 2.70% house advantage applies to all bets—not just the even-money variety. Therefore, you can wager on whatever you want and always enjoy the same house edge.

Roulette Games With the Worst Odds

Moving into the ugly side of roulette, some variations feature terrible house edges. The first two games described in this section are especially bad.

(Tie) Triple Zero Roulette and Mini Roulette Without La Partage

Triple zero roulette wheels faded away from the gaming scene years ago. Unfortunately, they’ve reared their ugly heads in casinos once again.

The triple-zero wheel features 39 pockets, including a single, double, and triple zero. By dividing the three zero pockets by the 39 total numbers (3/39), you’ll arrive at an unsightly 7.69% house advantage.

This figure isn’t to be outdone by mini roulette, though. A mini wheel features 13 pockets, including a single zero.

At first glance, mini roulette seems like a harmless and fun variant. But when dividing the zero pocket by the 13 total numbers, you’ll find that this game also has a 7.69% house edge.

Roulette Board

Triple zero and mini roulette are not only the worst-paying roulette variations, but they’re also two of the worst-paying casino games overall.

Mini roulette does have redeeming qualities, though, in the fact that it can come with the la partage rule. In this case, its house edge goes down to 3.85% (7.69/2).

While a 3.85% house advantage isn’t amazing, it’s at least passable in the gaming world. If you’re going to play on a mini wheel, then you should make sure that la partage is in play. The good news is that many mini variations do come packaged with la partage.

American Roulette Without La Partage

The vast majority of American roulette games don’t feature of the la partage rule. Instead, they’re just straight games played on American wheel.

As covered before, the American wheel carries a 5.26% house edge under normal circumstances. The only games that feature a worse house advantage are mini and triple zero roulette.

Unfortunately, American Roulette is the dominant variation in the US gaming market. You may have trouble getting away from this game when playing in US casinos.

Where Can You Find the Best Roulette Games?

Knowing which roulette variations offer the best odds is only part of the equation. You also need to be able to find these games. Here’s a closer look at where to begin your search both online and in brick-and-mortar casinos.

Europe

If you want to play the European or French versions of roulette in a land-based casino, then you should hit up European casinos. Western Europe has an abundance of European wheels. Some of the same wheels feature of the la partage rule along with reasonable stakes.

Of course, you’re not going to visit Europe just to enjoy favorable roulette action. Assuming you live on this continent or vacation there, though, then you should definitely consider playing roulette.

Online Roulette Game, Hands Typing on Computer

France and the surrounding countries are especially great for roulette odds. Plenty of casinos in this region offer the coveted French variation.

Online Casinos

You’re not out of luck just because you can’t make it to Europe. Instead, you can enjoy the best roulette games at online casinos.

Almost every online casino that features roulette offers the European wheel. With that said, you’ll have no problem enjoying European Roulette and its 2.70% house edge at any time.

Some online developers also provide French Roulette. RealTime Gaming and Microgaming are two developers with the French variation.

The best thing about playing either French Roulette or European Roulette online is the stakes. You can play either of these games for just a dollar per spin.

Las Vegas

Sin City doesn’t suffer from the same roulette problem as other American gaming destinations. Instead, it offers a few European wheels with low stakes.

The Plaza, for example, provides European Roulette with just $5 minimum bets. The Cromwell also has a reasonable European game with $25 minimum wagers.

You can find French Roulette in Vegas as well. However, you should be careful when playing this game in Sin City due to the stakes.

Treasure Island offers the cheapest French game at $50 per spin. All other casinos with this variant require between a $100 and $300 minimum bet.

Our Conclusions About the Different Roulette Games

Ideally, you’ll be able to play French Roulette at reasonable stakes. In this case, you’ll only be facing a 1.35% house edge, which is one of the lowest in all of gaming. You just need to make even-money bets to benefit from the 1.35% house advantage.

More realistically, your best bet is European Roulette. This game is available in a wider number of land-based and online casinos. It features a 2.70% house edge on all wagers.

American Roulette with the la partage rule is actually slightly more favorable (2.63% house edge) than the European version. Unfortunately, it’s even rarer than low-stakes French Roulette.

You’ll do well to avoid the rest of the games covered here, including triple zero and mini roulette (both 7.69% house advantage).

If possible, you should stay away from regular American Roulette, too. You may find this difficult, though, if you live in the US.

Assuming you can’t find any of the best variations, then online roulette is always an option. Nearly every gaming site offers European Roulette. Some even feature the coveted French variation.