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The Roulette Variations Every Player Must Know 



Roulette is one of the most popular games at any online or physical casino. The action is fast with results dropping almost instantly, and that’s part of the appeal.

It can also be a complex game, with many betting options attached. But did you know that there are several different versions of roulette? Here is a guide to the established options, along with some unusual variants.

The Basic Mechanics

Irrespective of which roulette version you play with, the basic concept is always the same. The game features three main components – a wheel, a ball, and a betting area. Whether you are playing at a physical outlet or one of the many online casinos offering roulette, these base mechanics will be in play.

Players will place their bets and the croupier will then spin the wheel and drop the ball. The wheel comes to rest in one of the numbered pockets on the inside edge of that wheel, and those bets are settled.

Within those standard rules, roulette has several versions, and here are the essential variations that every player should be aware of.

European Roulette

The most common version is European Roulette. If you’re new to the game, but have watched it played in films or on TV, chances are that the European variant is being used.

The wheel has 37 numbered pockets. Numbers 1 to 36 are alternately coloured red and black. In addition, there is a single green pocket marked as zero. While there is some debate on the subject, European roulette is widely considered to be the original version of the game, and it remains the most popular in the current gaming landscape.

In each round of betting, players can consider a number of different options. There are single bets on individual numbers from zero all the way up to 36. At the other end of the risk scale, there are bets that are close to 50/50 such as red or black, odd or even, and high or low.

It’s the leading roulette variant, but the European version has plenty of competition.

American Roulette

At first glance, the set up with American roulette may appear identical to that of its European counterpart. There is, however, one subtle difference. In American roulette, there is a second green pocket.

Around the wheel, there is a regular zero (0), alongside a second double zero (00) pocket. Aside from this anomaly, the mechanics of each game are the same. Players have the same betting options, including single bets, straights, and either/or. Gameplay is identical with the croupier releasing the ball after players have placed those bets.

The key difference with American roulette lies in the marginally bigger house edge that the two green pockets deliver. Despite this, the version remains popular, especially in the United States where it originated from.

French Roulette

The third version that most online casinos provide is French roulette. This time, the wheel is identical to the European game with that single green zero pocket. The house edge is the same, and the usual range of bets is there.

The key difference with French roulette lies in two rules that are exclusive to this version. We’ll start with En Prison which applies to those higher probability. Even Money bets – red or black, high or low, odd or even. If the ball lands in the green zero pocket, the player has the option to reclaim half the bet and lose the other half, or they can remain en prison (in prison) for an all-or-nothing gamble on the next spin.

French roulette has another unique ruling known as La Partage. Here, the player has no option but to lose the bet, if the ball lands in the zero pocket.

Lightning Roulette

The rise in online casino play has led to a rush of new games that provide a unique twist on classic roulette rules. One of these is called Lightning Roulette, and it’s available on many digital platforms.

The game is based on European roulette, and there is one main twist to gameplay. As the wheel spins, ‘lightning’ will strike specific numbers on the board at random, and multipliers will be applied. If the ball lands in the corresponding pocket, those specified multipliers will increase winning bets.

Double Ball Roulette

The clue is in the title of this game, and the concept of double ball roulette sees the croupier release two balls into the spinning wheel. Once again, this game is based on European roulette, and it encompasses all the regular rules and bets that are associated with this variant.

The only difference is that the second ball increases the chances of bets coming in.

It’s just one example of how the casino industry is innovating to keep things fresh. There are many interesting versions of roulette out there, but the classics will always have their place.

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