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Different Roulette Variations Explained

While all roulette games have the same standard rules in place, there are several different variations of roulette. 

To a casual observer, roulette is the same no matter where you play it: A wheel, betting grid and either a croupier or an automatic spinning facility –but in fact the games do vary, and you’ll need to pick the right one for you. 

Since the advent of online gaming a number of weird and wonderful roulette ideas have appeared, but the fundamentals never change, and you should certainly start by playing the traditional game to get an understanding of what roulette is all about.

Roulette in its basic form comes with a wheel containing numbers 1 to 36, and one or two green ‘zero’ slots – one for European Roulette and two for American.

The green slots can be bet on like any other number, but their inclusion on the wheel gives the casino a house edge as winning bets on a single number get odds of 35 to 1. If there were no house edge then they would pay 36 or 37 to 1 (for single and double zero games respectively). You also lose any outside bets when the ball lands on green, which again gives the house an advantage - however the French roulette variation will give half of it back to you under these circumstances, making French games the best value basic style of roulette.

Many players assume ‘French’ and ‘European’ are the same thing in roulette, but they aren’t. Thanks to the 50% - or La Partage– rule on even bets, French roulette is exposed to only half the house edge of European roulette. 

Generally speaking, European roulette odds are considered acceptable, whereas American games are simply avoided. French games are not always on offer, or may require a larger minimum stake, which is the only reason you would choose not to play them.

Nowadays, thanks to online technology, roulette is becoming a little more spiced up, thanks to the advent of various bonus roulette games.

These have an additional slot on the wheel – usually bigger than the others – that can be bet on with an ante. The rest of the game is the exactly the same, but if you make an ante bet and the ball lands on the bonus slot, you get to take part in an additional game, which can take a number of forms.

In Double Bonus Roulette, you’ll see a pair of blue LED lights spinning round above the ball carousel which stop, randomly, paying you according to your main bet if they land on your number. They effectively give you two more chances of winning in return for your ante, though if one of them lands on the ante slot you’ll win much more. If they both stop on the ante slot, you’re in for some serious cash – way in excess of a regular roulette win.

In Triple Bonus Roulette, the ball landing in the ante slot triggers the appearance of two more roulette wheels inside the main wheel. These spin as well, giving you more chances to win.

Playtech’s Marvel Roulette is the most unusual of the lot. Blending branded slot game ideas with roulette, it’s the ultimate mash-up of traditional table games meeting modern slot games, and there’s actually a slot game that appears when the ball lands on the elongated Marvel-branded ante slot. Every spin on this game results in a win of some sort, and you could even get the Marvel 4-way Mystery Progressive Jackpot and win a life-changing amount of cash.

For less demanding roulette, there are games with less numbers on and correspondingly lower payouts like Mini Roulette and Spingo, aimed at the bingo market. 

For the same game but with a completely different visual format there’s Pinball Roulette, which fires the ball into a bagatelle game and lets it drop down into a rotating set of slots scrolling across the bottom of the screen.

For some seriously action-packed sessions, though, you’ll need to try Multi Wheel Roulette: It’s a lot simpler than it sounds, with multiple wheels on offer for the same bet. Your bet size is multiplied by the number of wheels you want to play (up to 6 for Playtech casinos, or 8 for Microgaming) and they all spin at once, making a win that much more likely. In effect you’ll play up to 6 or 8 games at once, so if you’re short of time or just want more bang for your buck, then this is the way to go. 

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Different Roulette Variations Explained

While all roulette games have the same standard rules in place, there are several different variations of roulette. Find out more about the different exciting roulette variations.

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