A top online casino will have around a dozen – perhaps more – roulette games. It’s obviously not the same as a real casino, where space might be at a premium for the tables, so there is plenty of room for niche variants of the iconic casino game.
Yet, as with most casino games, many of us will simply steam in for a spin or two without actually thinking about an overall strategy, certainly in terms of what game we choose. Sure, the best way to strategize about casino games is by preparing to lose, which provides a buffer for any disappointment, and makes a winning session that much sweeter.
But the outcome should not be regarded as solely serendipitous, and choosing the right game can really impact the chances of winning. That’s not a throwaway comment – it’s basic math.
Choose European over American every time
Beginning with the basics; it’s still staggering to some serious players that people will opt for American roulette over the European versions. It makes no sense. Why would you choose a game that has worse odds over one with better odds? In short, it’s to do with the extra double zero pocket on the American roulette wheel, which pushes the odds in favor of the house by a couple of percentage points.
If you look at Mansioncasino.com, an online roulette site, you will see different versions of American, French and European roulette sitting beside each other in the table game section. These are virtual games, i.e. the outcome is decided by software rather than the real spin of a wheel.
However, the games follow the same payout structures as real roulette games. So, the virtual house-edge for American roulette will be higher than the European versions. There is no discernible advantage to playing American roulette when European is available.
Of course, you will see American and European roulette as standard at real casinos and online ones, but there are also plenty of gimmick versions of the game. As a general rule, experienced casino players stay away from games overly laden with gimmicks.
Be wary of some gimmick games, but not all
Why? Because it often comes at the detriment of the payout structure, i.e. to accommodate the gimmick the advantage of the house is increased. For example, 100/1 Roulette – basically a supersized version of the game – has a house advantage much worse (for the player) than standard roulette.
Yet, that’s not always the case. Or, at the very least, we can make a case for some games that fall into this bracket. Age of the Gods Roulette is a good example. It’s a game played in exactly the same manner as standard roulette, but it carries a bonus game and a progressive jackpot.
The latter is funded by taking 1% of all player bets. The jackpot game is triggered randomly, and the top prize can be worth millions. This, one would assume, is a fair trade off for players who want to add the chance of a big prize to their strategy.
You will notice that none of this mentions an actual strategy for playing roulette. That’s because there aren’t any, perhaps with the exception of the risky Martingale Strategy, that guarantee success, although there have been some instances of people beating the system. The Martingale strategy – the process of doubling every losing bet (1:1 outside bets only) until a winning spin is played – is mathematically sound, but players can fall afoul of table limits.
Yet, you can make simple decisions about your choice of game. It does not mean you will win, but it can tip the odds slightly in your favour. The best advice at an online casino is to have a look at the rules section of each game, which will provide information on the payouts. You can then compare them to make the smartest choice. It could be the difference between a losing session and a winning one.
Sonia Theo has been writing for more than 15 years, first starting with fantasy stories. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and German, and one in Arts and Design. In the past years, her interests in gaming and tech news grew, so she started writing articles, guides and reviews for players. In her spare time, you’ll see Sonia playing WoW, crafting decorations and jewelry, or walking her dog. For Digital Overload, Sonia Theo will cover all things tech and gaming, delivering fresh updates on your favorite games.