Since its invention in the 18th century, roulette has undergone some evolutional changes as it spread across the world. The most notable change in the game that was first played in France is the additional one slot in the American version. The rise of online gambling has also had an effect on how roulette is played worldwide.
'Russian roulette' may be a popular phrase but no, that is not a type of roulette!
Here's an overview of the different types of roulette:
With roulette having originated in France, the European version remains probably the most pristine existing form. The wheel has pockets numbered 0-36, giving players a 1-37 chance of winning every time they play.
Numbers on the slots are arranged randomly on alternating red and black colors. The game has a house edge of 2.7% which translates to smaller losses if a bet does not go a players' way.
European roulette retains most formalities of the original game. The 'la partage' rule, for instance, is still commonly applied. The rule allows a player to have a subsequent bet start 'in prison' in a bid to recoup a lost bet. This is essentially starting at the same spot where the bet had been placed before a zero was spun. Players can also pay an extra charge to the croupier ( the person doing the spins) to have the ball spun from a specific spot.
This version is often referred to as the single-zero roulette to differentiate it from the American version.
The game's distinctive difference from the European version is the presence of an extra pocket (00) on the roulette wheel. The additional pocket is the origin of the name 'double-zero' roulette used commonly to describe American roulette.
The numbers on the wheel are arranged sequentially, in contrast to the European wheel. 0 is placed across and directly opposite 00, 1 across from 2, 9 across from 10 and so on.
The presence of an extra pocket means players have a slightly lower chance of winning (1 in 38) than when they play the single-zero version.
American roulette has more relaxed playing rules than its European counterpart and is more common in casinos in the United States.
This is a type of roulette that can be played using either of the above types of wheels. The difference is that this one involves a touch screen in place of a physical wheel. There's still a croupier to do the spinning. The virtual aspect of rapid roulette allows players to place more bets per hour than they would on a conventional wheel (65 vs 30). The winning chances remain the same though.
Online gambling pretty much takes the form of rapid roulette but with an absence of the live interaction between players and the croupier.