Online Roulette Variants
By: R. Kingsley, Sunday August 10th 2008
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Roulette is one of the earliest and most popular land casino games and the popularity has rubbed on to online casinos as well. There is not a single online casino that does not offer online roulette.
The most popular version of online roulette is European Roulette. European Roulette has 37 numbers on the wheel. These are numbers 1 to 18 and 0. If 0 is called then all bets lose, except those placed on the single number 0. This creates a house edge of 2.57%. The implication of this is that for every $100 wagered by the player he can expect to win $97.43 in the long run.
Another popular version of roulette is American Roulette. American Roulette has 38 numbers on the wheel. These are numbers 1 to 18, 0 and 00 (double zero). In this case all bets lose if either 0 or 00 are called, except those placed on the single numbers 0 or 00. Because of this the house edge is 5.26%. Hence for every $100 wagered by the player he can expect to win only $94.74 in the long run. Therefore American Roulette is considerably less profitable for the online player. This variant of roulette is avoidable.
There is a variant of online roulette that offers a lower house edge than European Roulette. This is French Roulette, which has a structure identical to European Roulette. However the difference is a unique rule known as "La Partage". Under this rule if 0 is called then half of all the even money wagers are returned to the player. Because of this the house edge falls to 1.35%. It is because of this low house edge very few online casinos offer French Roulette. However if you are a die-hard roulette player locate an online casino that does offer French Roulette and wager there. Some of the online casinos that offer French Roulette are Wild Jack Gaming, Ladbrokes Casino, Spin Palace Casino and William Hill Casino.
Another variant of roulette that is offered in some online casinos is Mini Roulette. This has 13 numbers - 1 to 12 and 0. Because 1 number in 13 result in loss of all bets as compared to 1 number in 37 in European Roulette the house edge is 7.69%. Some online casinos that offer this variant offer some bonuses to draw players to Mini Roulette. However it is best to stay away from this game.
Another version of online roulette that bears mention is Microgaming Roulette Royal. It has a progressive jackpot with a $1 mandatory side bet. If the same number is called five times in a row, the player hits the progressive jackpot. The house edge of the side bet is atrociously high, especially at low values of the progressive jackpot. But the jackpot is known to go as high as $660,000 so it may be worthwhile for those who play on the high risk return curve.
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