The Importance of Choosing the Right Roulette Variant

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A white ball on a roulette wheel, on the red 34, with blurred casino chips in the background.
BetMGM May 16, 2024, 2:12 PM

Roulette is one of the most popular casino games in the world. It’s centuries old, and the classic version has changed little over the years. That said, there are now different variations with subtle differences to choose from. 

Whether playing at a table in a land-based casino or loading up an online roulette game, there are different versions to be aware of.

Different Types of Roulette

Roulette has been around since the 18th century when it was first devised and played in France. Back then, gambling was extremely popular among the nobility, and their new table game quickly spread across Europe. 

Over the years, casinos have developed all sorts of new rules and variations to keep things interesting and exciting. As a result, it’s important to pay attention to the different versions of the game, particularly when learning how to play roulette online. It’s deceptively easy to click and load up the wrong format.

Here are the most common variations of roulette. 


When the game first appeared in the U.S., casinos wanted to increase their edge and minimize losses to high-rollers, so they created an American version of the game.

This version has an extra pocket on the wheel, meaning there are 38 rather than 37 numbers, changing the odds in favor of the house. The extra pocket is the green double zero. In addition, the order of numbered pockets around the wheel is also slightly different.


The European version uses 37 numbered pockets, from 0–36. Unlike the American format, there’s just a single green zero pocket. With one number less on the wheel, the player’s chances of winning are slightly higher, which is why, given the choice, people generally prefer this version.


The French wheel and table are the same as the European version, with numbered pockets from 0–36. The big difference is that one of two rules applies to betting. 

The la partage and en prison rules determine what happens when the result is zero. With the former, you only lose half your stake, while the latter offers you an opportunity to win back half your stake.

These two variations reduce the house edge further, making the French version of roulette very popular.

Live Dealer

Those looking for a roulette game online tend to favor live dealer tables, which use real croupiers and equipment. Traditional online casino games use computer graphics and random number generators to simulate a wheel. But with live dealer games, players get as close to the real thing as they can without actually visiting their nearest land-based casino. In live dealer roulette, the croupier chats to the player as the player places their bet. Once bets are made, the croupier drops the ball onto a real wheel to decide the winner. 

Several different versions of the game exist, such as Lightning Roulette, which includes unique bet types and special bonus rounds. 

Things To Consider When Choosing a Game

The different rules, bet types, and setups will naturally impact your playing experience. Some games may not even be available at certain casinos. Before deciding on a site, it’s worth checking whether there is a casino Welcome Bonus code. Here are some other key considerations. 

House Edge

Every game has a built-in mathematical advantage in favor of the house. This is known as the “house edge,” and it’s how casinos make their money. Even though players may occasionally win, all games are designed to ensure that casinos turn a profit in the long run. 

For the best chance of winning, it’s important to choose a game with a low house edge. Luckily, when playing casino games online, this information is readily available in the form of the return to player (RTP) rate. 

A game with an RTP of 95% has a 5% house edge. The higher the RTP and the lower the house edge, the better the overall chances of winning. This shouldn’t be confused with the exact indicator of how much could be won back. Because luck plays the biggest role, it’s always possible to be luckier or unluckier than the theoretical RTP. 

The American version of roulette features a higher house edge of 5.26%, compared to 2.70% for the European, and 1.35% for the French versions of the game.

Bet Variety

The table also impacts the variety of bets available. Regardless of the version of the game, the aim is to predict where on the wheel the ball might land. Bets are placed by positioning chips on the table to choose a number, color, or various groups of numbers. 

There are many different roulette bet types to choose from, but the exact variety depends on the version of the game. For instance, in the European or French versions, there’s one less number to bet on since only the American version has a double zero. 

This means, among other things, that the American version can offer the five-number bet, which is a bundle of the numbers consisting of 1, 2, 3, 0, and 00. Although having more options isn’t usually a bad thing, this specific bet is best avoided since it comes with a house edge of 7.89%. 

French and European versions have their own special betting options. Known as “call bets,” these include voisins du zéro, which translates as “neighbors of zero” because it covers the 17 numbers closest to the zero pocket. Additionally, the French version uses either the en prison or la partage rules discussed earlier, which decrease the house edge on even money bets since one doesn’t lose as much if the ball lands on zero.


While some casinos offer many different versions of roulette, others have a more limited selection. Thankfully, online casinos provide a much bigger variety of games, with plenty of different versions. One of the reasons BetMGM is considered the best online roulette casino is because of the sheer variety of options on offer. 

Make the Right Choice and Play at BetMGM

Whatever version of roulette a player prefers, BetMGM offers more than enough choices. To get started, register an account, make a deposit, and choose between the different versions and games.

BetMGM Casino is only available and legally active in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia. Players in these regions can benefit from the BetMGM Rewards program, where points are accrued through regular play. Loyalty rewards can be redeemed both online and in land-based casinos.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.