Roulette’s been around for a while now – since the late 18th Century – but how familiar are you with European Roulette? This game wasn’t available stateside until the internet came along some 200 years later, giving you the opportunity to play European Roulette online anytime you like at Ignition Casino. It’s a lot like American Roulette, although there are a few differences you should know about before playing.

The Single Zero

By far the most important difference between the two Roulette variants is the single zero (“0”) on the European Roulette wheel, compared to the double zero (“00”) of the American wheel. Why the difference? The original wheels, originating from France, featured the double zero. In 1843, the single zero came into play when a German casino came up with the alternate wheel as a way to attract customers. The single zero spread like wildfire across the continent, and into Asia and Africa, too. Regardless, both games’ zero pockets are colored green to distinguish them from the 18 Red numbers and 18 Black numbers.

From a game play perspective, the single zero makes the European Roulette wheel (sometimes called the “French” wheel) particularly attractive because it lowers the house edge. If you place a bet on Red while playing American Roulette, you have an 18-in-38 chance of getting paid even money, for a house edge of 5.3%. In European Roulette, your chances of winning are 18-in-37, cutting the house edge almost in half to 2.7%. That means you’re getting nearly twice as much roulette for your money.

The Call Bets

At Ignition Casino, you’ll find two different options when playing European Roulette. You won’t find the below bets on our sleek new European Roulette layout, but if you’re a fan of our Classic European Roulette, you’ll see the full layout in all its glory, including the numbered oval featuring the following three wagers:

Voisins du zéro (“Neighbors of Zero”): A bet that covers the 17 numbers on the wheel that are closest to the single zero. Two chips go on the 0-2-3 trio, two more on the 25-26-28-29 corner, and one each on the 4-7, 12-15, 18-21, 19-22, and 32-35 splits.

Tiers du Cylindre (“Third of the Wheel”): A bet that covers 12 numbers on the opposite side of the wheel from the single zero. One chip is placed on each of 5-8, 10-11, 13-16, 23-24, 27-30, and 33-36.

Orphans: Also known as Orphelins in French, this bet covers the remaining eight numbers on the wheel. One chip is placed on 1, like a straight bet, then one chip is placed on each of 6-9, 14-17, 17-20, and 31-34.

The Tiers du Cylindre bet, commonly referred to as “Tiers,” is the most popular bet of the three at British casinos by a wide margin. 

How to Play Roulette

Our online Roulette game is one of the most straightforward table games at Ignition Casino. At the start of the round, you place your bets on the betting layout by dropping chips on the numbers you want. There are inside bets, which are held within the betting rectangle, and outside bets, which are found on the exterior. The inside bets have bigger payouts because the odds of winning them are lower. Meanwhile, the outside bets, which come with better odds, have lower payouts.

Inside Bets

Straight: Bet on a single number for a 35:1 payout. Place your chip directly on the number you want to bet. 

Split: Cover two numbers with a single bet for a 17:1 payout. Place your chip in between both numbers. 

Street: Cover a three-number row with one wager for an 11:1 payout. Place your chip on the line just above the row. 

Corner: Bet on four numbers that form a square for an 8:1 payout. Place your chip on the inner point between all four numbers.  

Six Line: The biggest inside bet, the Six Line covers two rows for a total of six numbers. The payout is 5:1. Place your chip above the two rows, between both numbers.

Outside Bets

Dozen Bet: Bet on the first, second or third dozen numbers for a 2:1 payout. Place your chip on the rectangles labelled 1st 12, 2nd 12, and 3rd 12.

Column Bet: Bet on a full column of numbers for a 2:1 payout. Place your chip at the edge of the column on the area labelled “2:1.”

High/Low: Cover either the upper or lower half of all the numbers on the board for a 1:1 payout. Place your chip on the rectangle labelled “1-18” or “19-36.”

Odd/Even: Bet on all of the odd or even numbers on the board for a 1:1 payout. Place your chip on the Even or Odd rectangles near the bottom of the betting layout.

Red/Black: All the numbers on the betting layout are colored red or black; bet on all of one color for a 1:1 payout. To do so, place your chip on the red or black diamond.

Once you’ve placed your chips on the layout, use the “Spin” button to launch the ball counter clockwise around the moving wheel. If the ball lands on one of the numbers you bet, you win.  

Roulette Strategy

Roulette is one of the few casino games with bets that have close to a 50/50 outcome. For that reason, some players like to use progressive betting systems to try to beat the house. If you’re new to this concept, a progressive betting system is a program that systematically has you increase and decrease your bets according to the outcome of the previous round. The oldest system that is still in circulation is the Martingale.

Dating back to 18th century France, the Martingale system is popular because of its simplicity. According to the Martingale, after every losing bet, you double your wager. That way, when you hit a win again, you’ll win back everything you lost and be ahead one unit. Let’s take a look at how this looks on paper:

Bet Amount Outcome

Total Amount Lost/Won

Bet $5 Lose

-$5

Bet $10

Lose -$15
Bet $20 Lose

-$35

Bet $40 Win

$5

At first glance, the Martingale may look flawless, but before you dive into it, there are some things to consider. For one, when you double your bet with every loss, the amount you need to put down post-loss can increase faster than you may expect. For example, if you had an eight-round losing streak, an initial $5 bet would be bumped up to $640. That’s more than you’d be allowed to wager in a single round at Ignition Casino. For this reason, the Martingale works better theoretically than practically, as you’d need an infinite bankroll and a Roulette table with no betting maximums for it to truly work.

The best way to think about Roulette strategy is to get the best value possible for your money, and you can do this by making a couple of smart decisions before playing. For example, when you have the option of playing American or European Roulette, go for the latter for the reduced house edge. Once you’re placing bets, you can moderate the volatility by sticking to the inside bets that cover more numbers, like the Six Line bet, and the outside bets that offer slightly bigger payouts, like the Dozen bets. The rest is up to luck. 

What if we told you the classic game of American Roulette actually comes from France? The Roulette casino wheel itself is based on a design by 17th-Century mathematician Blaise Pascal; Roulette (literally “little wheel” in French) would become very popular at the Palais Royal in Paris, and would eventually find its way across the Atlantic when French colonists arrived in North America. Today, you can play American Roulette not just in the US and Canada, but throughout South America and the Caribbean as well for real money.

You can also find American Roulette right here at Ignition's online casino. In our latest online table games guide, we’ll show you how to play American Roulette online for real money, either from your desktop or your mobile device online. This is one of the easiest casino games you can play at our online casino, but with a little extra know-how, you can get the most out of your Roulette sessions at Ignition. It all starts with understanding what makes the wheel go ‘round when you play Roulette for real money.

How American Roulette Works

When Pascal came up with the early Roulette game version of the Roulette wheel, he was trying to build a perpetual motion machine – this was before modern science proved such a machine impossible. However, Pascal’s wheel did spin with hardly any friction stopping it at all. He used the wheel to perform experiments in the relatively new field of probability, experiments that would have looked a lot like a modern game of Roulette.

Today, the casino Roulette wheel is set on a Roulette casino game table, and it features 38 numbered pockets on the top face, placed around the outer edge like the numbers on a clock. The casino game table also has a playing layout that shows all the different Roulette bets you can make. After you place your bet on the appropriate spot, the casino game wheel turns in one direction, then a small white Roulette ball is placed on the edge and spun in the opposite direction. Eventually, the online casino game ball lands in one of the numbered pockets, and the winning bets (if any) are paid out. That’s all there is to it.

How American Roulette Differs from European Roulette

When you check out the online Roulette play menu at Ignition's online casino, you’ll see that American Roulette game is available in two flavors: Classic, with the standard casino-inspired graphics, and the “New” version with the more streamlined play layout. You’ll also see that European Roulette is on the menu. This online game is almost identical to the American version, except for two important online casino game differences:

1. There are only 37 numbered pockets instead of 38; and

2. There are several “call” bets you can make that aren’t available in American Roulette.

Both the American and European Roulette wheels have the numbers 1 through 36, marked alternately in red and black, plus a single zero (“0”) marked in green. The American one also features the double-zero (“00”), which changes the play odds slightly. As for those call bets, you don’t need to know about them when you learn American Roulette, but if you want to give them a try, fire up the Classic version of European Roulette and see what the fuss is about playing these games online for real money.

Different Bets in American Roulette

While Roulette games are indeed one of the easiest ways to play casino table games online, it might not seem like it at first when you see all of the different play bets you can make. Instead of trying to learn all of them at once, try starting with the simplest bets in Roulette: the “outside” bets. These are the ones you’ll find on the outside portion of the American Roulette layout.

Chances are you’re already familiar with the three standard outside bets: Red/Black, Odd/Even, and Low/High. These real money play bets pay out at even money, and are the most popular bets to make in Roulette. They’re fairly self-explanatory; the numbers 1-18 are considered Low, while 19-36 are High. In addition, there are two more outside bets in Roulette that pay out at 2/1: the Dozen bet, and the Column bet. The Dozen bet is on the ball landing either between 1-12, 13-24 or 25-36, while the Column bet is on any of the three vertical columns you’ll find on the layout.

Next, we move on to the inside real money bets in American Roulette, which are placed on the inside portion of the Roulette casino game layout. The easiest of these to understand is the Straight bet, also known as the Single bet. This is where you bet on a single number, anywhere from 1-36, as well as 0 and 00. The chances of winning this bet are small, but if you do, you’ll also get the highest payout in American Roulette at 35/1.

Here are the other inside bets you can make, with their real money payouts listed:

Split (17/1): Any two adjacent numbers

Street (11/1): Any three numbers on a horizontal line

Corner/Square (8/1): Any four numbers that meet at a corner

Six Line/Double Street (5/1): Any six numbers on two horizontal lines

Trio (11/1): 0-1-2 or 00-2-3

Basket (6/1): 0-00-1-2-3

Simple American Roulette Strategies

No American Roulette online guide would be complete without a look at some of the betting play strategies people use when they’re at the table. That’s because these play strategies are futile and potentially harmful. Unless you’re at a live casino with a biased wheel that you can exploit, there is no way to beat Roulette games in the long run with real money. This casino game should be played for entertainment purposes only, and not as an attempt to make money.

Not that people haven’t tried. The Martingale system was used with those early Roulette wheels in France; the idea here is to place even real money bets like Red/Black, and double your real money play bet every time you lose, thus recouping your losses once your chosen bet finally comes up a winner. It’s a tempting system, but there’s a fatal flaw: Eventually, you could go on a losing streak so long, that you won’t have enough money to double your bet for the next spin, or you’ll reach the Roulette table maximum before hitting that win.

Other Roulette systems like the Labouchere and the D'Alembert try to correct this flaw by increasing the casino real money play bet sizes at a slower pace, and thus hoping to stave off that one large bet that can drain your real money bankroll. Again, this may only prolong an eventual bust. Don’t fall for the Gambler’s Fallacy when you play Roulette: No matter how many times in a row Red comes up, the chances of Black winning the next spin are still the same 10/9 as every other spin.

Having said that, you can still make some smart choices with your American Roulette money when you play online. First, realize that the casino house edge for almost every single play bet is the same: 5.26%. The only exception is the Basket bet, which has a casino house edge of 7.89%. That means you can keep the casino house edge at a minimum by placing any play bet you want, other than the Basket. If you want more variety with your Roulette session, sprinkle in the occasional Basket bet for fun.

You should also use the same play bet size for every spin of the casino Roulette wheel. Make it an appropriate real money bet size for your bankroll, and don’t chase losses by doubling your bet. Lastly, try the Practice Play mode for free at Ignition's online casino before you switch to Real Money play. See if you prefer the Classic or New version of American Roulette, or play them both. Either way, enjoy yourself, and we’ll see you at the Roulette tables.