Roulette is a popular game of chance, generally found in casinos. The famous wheel offers the chance to test your luck, place your bets, enjoy the thrill, and hope that you can boost your bankroll with the outcome. The Roulette wheel is said to have originated in 18th century France, after famous physicist and mathematician Blaise Pascal created an early version of the wheel in the 17th century.

There are manyversions of the Roulette wheel, available to play at both online and land-based casinos. Join us as we discover the three main variations of the beloved wheel, and the differences between them.

American Roulette

Most popular in – you guessed it – America, this version of the Roulette wheel is the one you’re most likely to find spinning on the Las Vegas Strip. To many, this is the standard version of Roulette, as it was one of the first to gain popularity.

The game consists of a total of 38 pockets, with numbers one through to 36, sat in between both the green zero and double zero pockets that are displayed on the wheel. Despite the table layout being the same in all versions of Roulette, the wheel’s numbers are arranged in a slightly different order. The concept of the game stays the same, and American Roulette remains a good option for avid-gamers to attempt to make some money. The house edge in this game is 5.26%, however, which makes the version slightly less favourable to other forms of the game.

European Roulette

European Roulette is not much different from American Roulette. The European version of the game, however, is generally more popular. This is because, instead of having two zero pockets, like the American wheel, it has just a single zero pocket. This reduces the number of pockets on the wheel from 38 to 37, as well as the house edge being almost half of what it is in the American game – 2.7%.

It was in 1843 that French brothers Francois and Louis Blanc created a Roulette wheel with a single zero. This version took Europe by storm, as the brothers moved around to stay within the laws at the time, and help casinos boost their income, before eventually residing in Monaco, and helping to build the first modern casino of the time – the Monte Carlo Casino.

The European wheel didn’t gain popularity in America, as many Americans preferred other casino games such as Blackjack, and therefore the version of the wheel with two zero pockets became known as American Roulette, and this one, European Roulette.

French Roulette

Despite the American and European wheels being the most commonly known versions of the wheels, there’s also French Roulette, which just so happens to be the version with the potential to have the lowest house edge of them all. This variation of the wheel gained popularity in the years following the French Revolution. The game is played on the standard European Roulette wheel, and has twoparticular rules that can reduce the house edge to 1.35%.

These include:

  • La Partage – a rule that can come into place if a player places an even-money outside bet, and the winning number is zero. The even-money bet will immediately be divided by two, enabling the player to recover 50% of the bet, whilst the other 50% is surrendered to the house. With this rule, there’s no option of leaving the original bet for another spin of the wheel, but it does lower the house edge to 1.35%.
  • En Prison – a variation of the la partage rule. The player is given the option to place their original stake en prison (“in prison”). The stake is left on the previous bet, and if the bet wins the next spin, the player can redeem their money. If it loses, the bet is forfeited.

The numbers on the French and American Roulette tables are located in a different way, and the position of the outside betting field is located in a different position on the table. In American Roulette, the outside bets are usually placed on the left side of the table layout, whereas the outside bets on the French variation is split in two and located on both sides of the table layout.