Roulette Overview

April 15, 2017

The game of roulette was invented in France, then it was moved to America and adapted for the market. They added a second green pocket with "double zero" which has a direct effect on the house edge.

Nowadays, we have three types of the game:

  • American roulette (double zero roulette). 38 numbers: 0, 00, 1 through 36.
  • European roulette (single zero roulette). 37 numbers: 0, 1 through 36
  • French roulette (single zero roulette). It is similar to European one, but has another table layout.

Games have different:

  • Distribution of numbers on the wheel. Read American roulette wheel diagram and European roulette wheel diagram.
  • Table layouts. Described in details on Roulette table and Roulette rules.
  • Possible bets. Read Roulette rules.
  • Some special rules ("En Prison", "La Partage" and "Surrender") described below.
  • Procedures of the game.

Procedures of the game

Variations of roulette have some another slight differences that pertain to the procedures.

Roulette chips

American roulette is played with distinctly colored chips and each player at the table has his own color, so it's easy to differentiate bets that every player makes. The chips will be worth what you asked the dealer. The chips are only for roulette table and cannot be used in another casino games. After playing roulette, the chips have to be exchanged for regular casino chips.

European casinos use standard casino chips for roulette. Dealer has a long stick known as the Rake to sweep in all chips, while the American casino dealers will take the chips off the table by they hands.

Roulette equipment

In Europe Casinos, you can find roulette tables with two betting layouts and one single-zero wheel in between. There are enough room for 12 to 16 players. Such a table is served by three Casino employees. The spinner (croupier) operates the wheel, and two dealers on either side watch the betting layout and help to place bets.

In the United States, there is only one dealer at the table with one double-zero wheel, mounted at the end of the betting layout. A second dealer usually sorts out chips. Five or six players can be seated at one time.

Table Etiquette

European casinos usually have more elegant atmosphere, some of them require formal dress. Besides, the casino may be a private club, open only to club members and their guests. After applying for membership, you will have to waite for some time before playing. Before visiting the European casino (especially in United Kingdom) find out their rules.

United States casinos are more relaxed. You will find casual dress and the game runs faster. Tipping the dealer is often encouraged, while in European Casinos it is often not allowed.

Special rules

The "En Prison" rule

European casinos offer the "En Prison" rule. This refers to the "outside" even-money bets (Red/Black, High/Low, Odd/Even). When the outcome is zero, it's allowed to leave the bet for another roulette spin. So your bet stays "in prison". If the following spin the outcome is zero again, then the whole bet is lost, if it's a hit, the bet is released with no payout.

European table with "En Prison" brings the house advantage down to 1.35% for even-money bets. This is the lowest for the roulette game.

The "La Partage" rule

The "la partage" roulette rule is similar to the "en prison" rule, only in this case the player loses half the bet and does not have the option of leaving the bet "en prison" for another spin.

The "Surrender" rule

This option can be found on some American roulette tables. Outside bets are not lost on a zero and double zero but you lose half of your bet. With this rule the house edge on the even-money bets is only 2.63% compared to 5.26% on other bets.

Announces (Call bets)

The distribution of numbers on the European roulette wheel gives players opportunity to make Announces (Call bets) during the game.

The house edge

European rules house advantage is 2.7%, while American ("double zero roulette") is 5.26% and 7.9% on the five-number bet, 0-00-1-2-3.

Both the "En Prison" and "La Partage" roulette rules cut the casino edge on the "even-money bets" to 1.35% on the single-zero roulette and to 2.63% on the double-zero roulette ("Surrender" rule).

The table of the house edge under different rules is here. Also find out how the mathematical expectation is calculated.

Roulette overview