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Roulette Variants Explained 
For those interested in the history of gaming, the story behind roulette is a fascinating one. It’s roots can be traced back to the 1600s when French mathematician Blaise Pascal was studying figures and probability before inventing what he referred to as a ‘perpetual motion machine’.

With a few modifications, the machine became the roulette wheel that we are all familiar with in the present day. In fact, the name ‘roulette’ derives from the French for ‘Little Wheel’ and has developed over the years to become one of the most popular games among the betting community.

If you’re relatively new to the game and in the process of studying online casinos, you may well have noticed that there are a number of roulette versions. But how do they differ and which one should you opt for?

European Roulette
The differences between each of the classic variants are really only minor. Typically, they vary in terms of the amounts of numbers on the wheel and as a result, the house edge also alters very slightly. European Roulette is the most common version of the game and it’s the one that every player starts with and in most cases, continues to play in preference to the others.

Here, we have the standard red and black numbered pockets from 1 to 36 alongside the green zero. There is a wide choice of available bets from specific number, bank of numbers, colour (red or black) and many more. With the European version of the game, there is a very low house edge of 2.67% and that’s one of the reasons why it remains more popular than the rest.

American Roulette
As its alternative name – ‘Double Zero Roulette’ – indicates, the only real difference with American Roulette is the fact that it carries an extra neutral pocket. Along with the traditional zero, there is a double zero -00 – pocket, together with the regular black and red numbers up to 36.

The same bets are available but the presence of that one extra pocket lifts the house edge up to around 5.26%. As such, it is a tougher game but the rewards are there for those punters who like more of a challenge.

French Roulette
The French variant is the closest to the original version which was first stumbled upon by Pascal in the late eighteenth century. On first inspection, the game is identical to its European counterpart with one main difference – the game mat is all laid out in French.

If you’re looking to ‘keep it real’ French roulette should be played at a physical casino in its native language but there are versions online. Don’t worry, you won’t have to brush up on your own foreign languages but you should acquaint yourself with the La Partage rule. This can allow you to recover your stakes after a spin of zero but only if your bet was at Evens – so a red or black bet would be acceptable in this instance.

Progressive Roulette
At some casinos you will see Progressive Roulette listed as a separate version but usually the rules will be the same as the European Variant. The reason why this is set apart by some providers lies in a potentially huge jackpot which can be triggered by hitting the same number five or more times in succession.

It may sound unlikely but there have been winners and the vast prize pots are certainly attractive.

Generally, there are only very subtle differences with the main roulette versions so there should be no concerns when you look to play online. If you prefer, you can even play some trial games with no money at stake before taking on the wheel for real.


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