Online Mini RouletteBy: rkingsley, Sunday December 18th 2011
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The popular variants of roulette at online casinos are American Roulette, European Roulette and French Roulette. Some online casinos offer a version titled Mini Roulette as well. It is called Mini Roulette because the number spread is one third. The normal roulette variants have numbers from 1 to 36 on the wheel and the layout. Mini Roulette has numbers from 1 to 12 on the wheel and the layout. These numbers are laid out in three columns and four rows on the layout. The single zero is also present. This reduction in numbers has an adverse effect on the house edge and this is the reason for the unpopularity of Mini Roulette. This article first explains the mechanics and the bets available and then demonstrates how the house edge changes for the worse.
Mini Roulette is actually available as a compact home game with the wheel and the layout on one platform and this is replicated on the screen in the online version. The same bets are available but the odds are different because of the changed configuration. The Straight Up bet covers single numbers from 1 to 12 and 0. The odds are 11 to 1. $1 wagered on this bet will pay $11 if the bet wins and the original wager of $1 will also be returned to the player. The Split bet covers two numbers, horizontally or vertically, and the odds are 5 to 1. The Street bet covers three numbers in a horizontal row and the odds are 3 to 1. The Corner bet covers four numbers in a square format and the odds are 2 to 1. Another bet that covers four numbers is the column bet. Players can wager on any of the columns and each offers odds of 2 to 1.
There are a number of bets that cover six numbers, which is half the layout. Each of these bets offer odds of 1 to 1. These bets are somewhat different from the normal online roulette bets. In normal roulette layouts the red numbers can be even or odd, and similarly the black numbers. But in Mini Roulette the red numbers are all odd and the black numbers are all even. Even though the layout has different areas for bets on red numbers and odd numbers, these two bets cover the same set of numbers. The top half bet covers numbers 1 to 6 and the bottom half bet covers numbers 7 to 12. In Mini Roulette there is also a middle half bet that covers numbers from 4 to 9.
A comparison of the house edges of European Roulette and Mini Roulette are possible because both have a single zero. In European Roulette a 1 unit single number bet will win 1 out of 37 times and pay out winnings of 35 units. It will lose 36 out of 37 times and result in the loss of 1 unit to the player. The house edge calculation is as follows:
−1 × (36/37) + 35 × (1/37) = −0.0270 (2.70% house edge)
In Mini Roulette a 1 unit single number bet will win 1 out of 13 times and pay out winnings of 11 units. It will lose 12 out of 13 times and result in the loss of 1 unit to the player. The house edge calculation is as follows:
−1 × (12/13) + 11 × (1/13) = −0.0769 (7.69% house edge)
The house edge for Mini Roulette is almost three times that for European Roulette and there are no compensating advantages. It is for this reason very few online casinos offer this game. If players do come across Mini Roulette they should give it a wide berth.
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