Roulette is one of the few casino table games that has well known variants, as both the single zero, or European, style and the American double zero versions can be found in many places. That's especially true in online casinos, where they are also joined by several other versions that offer more exotic twists on normal roulette play.
More About Roulette Variations
The difference between the European and American roulette games comes down to just a single spot on the wheel. While the former has just a single zero, the latter includes both single zero and double zero pockets. That may seem insignificant, but since hitting a number straight up pays out at 36:1 in both games, the odds are better for the player in the European game since there is one less spot on the wheel and one less way for all of the outside bets to be wiped out. There is also a less commonly found variation called French roulette, though the distinguishing characteristic of that game has to do with the layout instead of the wheel.
Roulette is generally a social game at physical casinos but a single-player game at online casinos. Microgaming has changed that somewhat by introducing multiplayer games that feature live dealers at a studio in a hybrid between physical and virtual roulette play. The company also came up with multi-table or multi-wheel games that can really increase the thrill – and the risk – of normal play. In these games, players have a normal betting layout in front of them but as many as eight wheels at the top of the screen. Wagers placed are valid for all eight wheels, though that means that losses can multiply as quickly as wins.
Several online casino software providers have also devised ways to add a progressive element to their roulette games. This is accomplished by adding a separate bet not found on a normal layout that goes toward funding the progressive jackpot. If the same number is hit on five consecutive spins, the player wins the entire progressive jackpot. Needless to say, the chances of hitting a 1:37 bet (as it's a European game) are extremely low, making it something of a money-losing proposition in most cases. Smaller payouts are usually awarded when the same number comes up two, three or four times in a row.