For serious Wheel players, it’s all about odds, and the Old World version has some of the best. The game was invented in Europe, so why not give the original a spin?
Where can you play the best European Roulette online?
European Roulette is a staple of most casinos, be it land-based or online. If you are opting for the online variety, you’ll find two main choices: virtual European Roulette or Live European Roulette.
Whatever your preferences are, you’ll find online casinos offering a selection of both and we’ve listed some of the best operators where you can play European Roulette:
Master the Rules & Odds of European Roulette
Of the three main variations of roulette, European Roulette is the version of choice outside of the Americas and rapidly growing in popularity inside.
Why? The rules and bets are very similar to the American game but, European Roulette gives better odds.
That advantage is significant and high among the reasons players usually migrate. Most Canadian casinos and virtually all online casinos offer European Roulette.
Did you know that Europe has 24 official languages? That’s a lot of ways to say; “Win!” Players bet on a numbered pocket where a white ball circling the roulette wheel will land as the wheel slows to a stop.
If the player guesses the correct pocket, they win. Or Sieg, Vincita, La Victoria, Gagner… you get the drift. European Roulette is played against the casino, not other players.
Types of bets in European Roulette
Except for one Major Variation, the European and American Roulette wheels are virtually identical. But don’t expect to see a double zero (00) pocket on a European Roulette wheel.
That feature is uniquely American. It’s one that only favours the House advantage and an excellent reason to make European Roulette your preferred Wheel game.
There are three categories of bets to consider when playing European Roulette:
- Outside Bets – The outer section of the roulette wheel. This area is preferred by beginners – primarily because the chances of winning are statistically higher.
- Inside Bets – Those numbers, pockets and sections of the wheel closest to the centre. Inside bets are usually preferred by experienced European Roulette players who understand that while the odds are less favourable, the payouts are higher.
- The Rest – variations and combinations of bets available that offer players a range of opportunities to win on a given spin.
Outside Bets for European Roulette
On a European Roulette wheel numbered from one to thirty-six and containing one additional pocket for zero, a bet on any number between 1 and 18 (inclusive) is a Low bet. A number between 19 and 36 is a High bet. Both bets pay even money.
- Red/Black (Colour bet)
Choosing Red or Black correctly will pay even money, irrespective of the number the ball lands on. Keep in mind that the green pocket for zero reduces the odds on a Colour bet.
Players can bet on an odd or even number between 1 and 36 (inclusive). This bet also pays out even money.
- Dozen (Section bet)
The European Roulette wheel is divided into three sections. Each section contains twelve numbers; 1 to 12, 13 to 24, and 25 to 36. Players can bet on one of the three sections and should the ball land in the one chosen, the house will pay out 2:1 on that wager.
- Column bet
Similar to the three sections, three columns form part of the wheel design and each contains a group of twelve numbers.
Unlike in the sections, the column groups of numbers are unsequenced. If players bet on a column containing the number pocket where the ball lands, this bet also pays out at 2:1.
Inside Bets in European Roulette
- Straight (Up) bet
Players bet on a single number on the wheel. If the ball lands on that number, the payout is 35:1.
Players choose two numbers and split their bet across them by placing a chip on the line that divides them on the betting table. Therefore, the two numbers must be adjacent to each other. Players can expect a 17:1 payout.
- Street (Row) bet
Players bet on a row of three numbers displayed on the betting table. By placing a chip at the edge of the row, players can win when the ball lands on any of those three numbers and expect a payout of 11:1.
- Corner/Quad (Square) bet
Choosing the intersection where four numbers meet on the betting table to form a block (or cube), players can place a chip and spread the bet across the number group. The Corner is a four-number bet and pays out a handsome 8:1.
- Six/Line (Double Street) bet
This wager spreads across a line of six numbers, or two adjacent lines each containing three numbers. A chip is placed at the end of the two rows or on the borderline separating them. Expect a payout of 5:1.
Other types of bets
Europe wouldn’t be truly European without a little ‘Je ne sais quoi’ added to the mix. As one might expect from a game named roulette, the influence of France is foremost. Wagers known as “French Bets” are available at most casinos offering European Roulette. These include bets that cover certain sections of the wheel:
- Voisins de Zéro (Neighbours of Zero)
This bet includes the seventeen (17) numbers that are situated closest on the wheel to the zero pocket.
- Jeu Zéro (Zero Game)
This bet includes the seven (7) numbers that are situated closest on the wheel to the zero pocket.
- Le Tiers du Cylindre (Thirds of the Wheel)
This bet focuses on those numbers at the bottom of the wheel directly opposite to the zero pocket. The section includes the stretch between the 33 and 27 pockets.
RTP, Payouts and House edge in European Roulette
When considering European Roulette, players can benefit from the information summarised in the table below. As can be seen, the house edge is uniform across the range of typical bets.
The payouts are based on the probability that varies between a low of less than three percent (a win less than three times in every one hundred spins of the wheel), and almost fifty percent – nearly the same odds as winning a coin toss.
RTP in European Roulette
The Return To Player (RTP) percentage offered by European Roulette is 97.30%. Expressed in dollars, this means that players can expect to lose $2.70 on every $100.00 wagered.
When compared to the average 94.74% RTP American Roulette offers, it becomes clear why a growing number of players eventually migrate to European Roulette.
Payouts in European Roulette
Probably a key attraction for most players is that European Roulette offers a wide range of payouts. Conservative players can enjoy the game betting even money or even try 2:1 odds.
Ambitious players looking at the long game can reap rewards as high as 35:1.
House Edge in European Roulette
The house edge in European Roulette is 2.70%. In comparison with other Roulette games, it is on par with French Roulette and nearly half of the edge the American version commands.
This is primarily because of the double zero pocket on the American wheel, a unique feature that nearly doubles the house advantage when compared to European Roulette.
European Roulette vs. other Roulette Variants
As mentioned, the main difference between European Roulette and other variants is the wheel. While French and European Roulette share the same 37 pocket design, the double-zero pocket found on the American wheel is unique to that game.
The additional pocket negatively impacts RTP and the betting menus. The table below provides a snapshot of how European Roulette compares to the two other most popular versions:
|European Roulette||American Roulette||French Roulette|
(0-36 + 00)
|Bets||Inside, Outside, Call, Announce||Inside, Outside, Exotic||Inside, Outside, Call, Announce, En Prison, La Partage|
Difference between European and American roulette
The biggest difference between European and American Roulette that is of interest to players is the House Edge.
European Roulette wheels feature thirty-seven pockets rather than the American version of thirty-eight that incorporates the double zero. This translates into a nearly 50% reduction in the House advantage faced by European Roulette players.
Difference between European and French roulette
Using the same wheel as the European version, French Roulette reduces the House odds still further with a wider betting menu and wagering rules that advantage the players.
As the game rules are nearly identical for these two versions, players who learn the basics of European Roulette eventually try the French game for the superior odds it offers.
How to play European Roulette – Breakdown of a Round
Like most casino games, playing a round of Roulette begins with making a bet.
- Players place a chip on the betting table to indicate and confirm their wager. The betting table is a corresponding map of the roulette wheel that displays each number, colour and section.
- The Dealer (or Croupier) will usually announce when players can place their bets. This period may include after the roulette wheel has been spun.
- The Dealer will close off the betting at some point while the roulette wheel is still in motion. No more bets can be placed after that announcement.
- When the ball lands, the Dealer will use a puck or other marker to identify the number that has won. At this point, all losing bets will be cleared from the table.
- The Dealer will pay out the winning bets.
- After the bets are paid out, the Dealer will remove the puck from the winning number. At this point, new bets can be placed on the next spin.
Strategies for advanced players
European Roulette is first and foremost a game of chance. There is no possible way for a player to influence the outcome of a spin.
That said, some players have adopted and practise betting strategies for roulette based on a number of different rationales including betting styles and chip placement.
The Martingale System
Used by Roulette and Blackjack players alike, the Martingale system is a popular and well-known betting strategy. Players double the bet value after every loss in order to win back their bankroll.
After a win, players revert to the initial betting amount and begin the process again.
While popular, the Martingale system is not well-liked by experienced roulette players. Typically, when using the system, large bets earn small wins and the potential to rack up large losses quickly is its main weakness.
Reverse Martingale Strategy
Also commonly known as the Paroli Strategy, the Reverse Martingale strategy recommends that players start a roulette game with a minimum wager and double their bets after every win. At the first loss, the player reverts to the minimum wager again and restarts the betting cycle.
The Reverse Martingale Strategy is designed to take advantage of winning streaks and unlike its namesake, tries to avert significant losses. Considered a more balanced approach to the mathematics of probability, its biggest advantage is in the fact that players don’t lose a large sum at once.
Named for a medieval Italian mathematical principle and adopted by gamblers down through the years, the Fibonacci Strategy relies on betting according to a sequence of numbers. Usually starting with the number one, players bet an amount that is the sum of the previous two numbers in the sequence; 0+1=1, 1+1=2, 2+1=3, 3+2=5, 5+3=8, 8+5=13, 13+8=21, etc.
Players move back two numbers in the sequence when a bet is won.
Only to be used for outside bets where even money is at stake, the Fibonnaci System is considered a strategy that takes advantage of winning streaks.
Like all gambling strategies, it is not failsafe and in real terms, only gives players an organized method of wagering – but no proven advantage.
James Bond (007) Roulette Strategy
Most fans can attest that British secret service agent James Bond knows his way around a casino. Typically a Baccarat fan, Bond was also famous for making a very specific bet on the roulette wheel.
Known as a flat bet (the same amount used on each spin), it consists of placing the equivalent of $20, $200, or $2,000 across the betting table.
The ratios are what is considered important: $14 on the high numbers (19-36), $5 on the six numbers of 13 through 18, and a dollar on zero for insurance.
Whether players are shaken or stirred by this strategy remains to be seen. While one segment of the bet may win, the other two will lose. Having the luck (or designation) of a couple of zeros turning up at the table is a hefty part of the success – or failure – of this strategy.
Whether you call it “Old School” or “Old World”, European Roulette is the most popular version of the game outside of the Americas. Like German automobiles, French wine and Italian food, European Roulette is another export success story that travels extremely well.
Players can find a game of European Roulette at most full-service casinos in Canada and at virtually all online casino sites operating in the North American markets. Add some style to your next spin at the wheel, enjoy better odds and a little continental culture that can’t be found in Vegas. No passport required.