When it comes to online roulette, not all games are created equal. Although the familiar spinning and red/black board will look the same the world over, the route to success can vary depending on the variant you’re playing.
For example, as most of you will know, the difference between European (single zero) and American (double zero) roulette is marked by the addition of an extra number in the latter. Although a relatively minor cosmetic difference, the difference between 37 numbers and 38 virtually doubles the online casino’s edge from 2.70% (European) to 5.26% (American).
Naturally, once you know about this subtle difference, you can make more informed choices before you ante-up and, potentially, improve your win rate. Now, for most online roulette players, there are two main choices when you ante-up: European and American roulette. However, that’s not the full story. In fact, when you go online today you’ll find the forgotten child of the roulette world, French roulette, and, what’s more, this game can actually be more lucrative than the game’s two main players.
For example, when you play online roulette with 32Red you’ll get a brief history lesson about the “little wheel” (the literal translation of the word “roulette”) and an insight into why it isn’t so little anymore. Indeed, according to the overview, roulette remained unchanged (even after Francois Blanc sold his soul to the devil) for 200 years until the advent of the internet.
Without space implications and accessibility issues, software developers have been able to take the Ancient Greek game and transform it in a variety of ways. From multi-player to multi-wheel options, 32Red can offer roulette in a vast array of guises and, as we’ve said, French Roulette is one of the best options for those with an eye on their bottom line.
Naturally, like many online casinos, 32Red has endeavoured to make its games as affordable as possible, which means a single bet at its French roulette tables will cost you just $1. Although this minimum stake is slightly higher than the site’s multi-wheel tables ($0.5 minimum bet), it’s in line with many of the top operators, including Mr Green and Bet Victor.
The Beauty of French Roulette Online
At this point you’re probably wondering why we’ve told you not to forget about the forgotten child of the roulette world as the stakes aren’t any cheaper. Well, if you stick with us for a few more minutes you’ll soon see why French roulette is a great alternative to European and American versions of the game. Of course, the main reason it’s important to point out the beauty of the forgotten child is that it’s more easily accessible online than it is live.
In a typical live casino you might find one or two main variants, but online there could be five or more. Because of this it’s important to know which games you should be looking out for when you scour the top operators. Of course, we’re not saying that choosing French roulette when you’re online will make you a gambling tycoon like Montreal’s Mitch Garber (vice-chairman of Caesars Entertainment), but it should help give you a slightly better return on your investments.
When you look at a French roulette board online you’ll see that it’s exactly the same as a European board (i.e. a single zero and 37 total numbers). However, where the two games differ is the La Partage feature that’s offered in all French roulette games. Meaning “to share” in English, this feature essentially gives you 50% of your wager back if you make an even money inside bet (other than zero) and the ball lands on zero.
Wait, what did you say? Yes, that’s right, if you make an even money bet (red, black, odd, even, 1-18, 19-36) and the dreaded zero spins in, you’ll get some money back. Now, for seasoned spinners, the presence of zero is what basically gives the casino an edge because it makes all even money bets slightly in favour of the house (i.e. the odds are exactly 50/50 for red/black because zero is neither red nor black).
Why The Numbers Add Up for Online Players
Let’s put this in some context. Because online casinos have lower betting limits than a live venue, you could wager $1 on red (a 1:1 payout) 100 times in a game of European roulette at your favorite. In this situation the stats would predict you’ll win around $48 (probability of a win is 48.6%) or, to put it another way, lose around $2 over the course of 100 spins.
Now, let’s assume you did the same thing on a French roulette table. Although there’s no way to know exactly how many times the ball will land on zero during those 100 spins, the stats tell us that the probability in the long-term is 2.7%.
If this is the case then we could say that we’d expect the ball to land on zero between two and three times during the 100 spins. If this is the case and the above conditions play out, our overall win would be between $49 and $49.50 (i.e. we get $0.50 back three times).
Of course, anyone who knows gambling will understand that this is a very rudimentary way of looking at things and the 100 spins won’t necessarily play out like this. However, what it does show us is that French roulette can actually be a lot more lucrative if you’re an even money bettor.
Don’t Forget French Roulette
While many pros will avoid outside bets as they offer the lowest returns on the board, it’s worth remembering that they also offer the lowest risk. If you’re a novice with a budding bankroll then you should always choose to lower your risk. Online casinos are great because they allow you to stake less per spin than a live casino, but all this will count for nothing if you don’t choose the right game which, as we’ve shown, is French roulette.
So, the next time you ante-up online, whether it’s at 32Red or any other online casino, take a moment to look past the “big two” and give French roulette a try. Even if you don’t speak the language you should find that it’s an altogether more enticing option than either American or European roulette.