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Roulette was first introduced in France in the 1800s. The ‘European Wheel’ came later, this is the go-to variation for experienced players. This variant has a single green zero – instead of the two zeroes on the ‘American’ wheel. This makes the house edge smaller for European roulette. The difference is significant, with a 2.7% edge with a single zero, and 5.26% with two zeroes.
You can play roulette games in almost every casino in Canada. Even the smallest venues have either dealt games or European roulette in electronic format. Head online, and you have a choice of live dealer games, software-based games, and options to play via mobile casino apps.
This page has you covered for getting the best from European roulette in Canada. For new players, there is an explanation of the game, betting options, and odds below. Strategy for your bets, details of the online options, and bonuses/rewards are then explained.
How do you play European roulette?
European roulette is played on a wheel featuring the numbers 1 through to 36, alongside a single zero. The game is played by the croupier spinning the wheel in one direction and then firing the ball in the opposite direction. The ball will slow down, fall onto the wheel, bounce around and then land in one of the 37 numbered slots.
A plastic marker is then placed on the grid, showing the winning number.
Below is a list of the most popular roulette bets:
- Single Number: Choose any individual numbers, or cover several of them, wins are paid at 35:1
- Split: Chips can straddle any two numbers vertically or horizontally on the grid. These bets are paid at 17:1
- Street: Bet on any three horizontal numbers across the grid to win at odds of 11:1
- Corners: Here you place a chip on the intersection of 4 numbers, winning bets are paid at 8:1
- Columns: Choose column 1, 2 or 3 covering the length of the grid, each line contains 12 numbers and wins are paid at 2:1
- Dozens: Bet on low (1 to 12), middle (13 to 24) or high (25 to 36) numbers to win at 2:1
- Even Money Chances: Place your chips on the odd or even, red or black or 1-18 / 19-36 ‘outside’ bets, for a chance to double your bet
What is the house edge for European roulette?
When you play European roulette in a live casino, each player will be given a stack of brightly coloured chips. The different colours ensure that the dealers can easily tell who picked the winning numbers. If multiple players are placing regular casino chips on the grid, this can get confusing for everyone involved.
Whichever bet you place, there will always be the same house edge of 2.7% in European roulette. This is significantly lower than the 5.26% in play at American roulette tables. If a casino offers both versions of the game, you should always choose the European roulette wheel. Many bigger casinos in BC, Québec, and Ontario will set higher minimum bet levels for the European wheel games than for the less favourable American roulette.
If you find a European roulette table with ‘French’ rules – that is even better. This game returns half of bets on outside chances if the ball lands on the zero. For outside bets, the house edge is lowered to an excellent 1.35%.
European roulette betting strategy
Over the years there have been many different roulette strategies offered that can claim to beat the game.
While some strategies can seem to work, the house edge will always catch up over time. The best-known betting system is the Martingale system. This involves players betting on even-money chances such as red/black. If the first bet wins, the player stops, but if it loses, they will double their stake. This will continue until a winning spin, which will ‘guarantee’ a 1 chip win. However, there will be rare occurrences when a long losing run can see a player leave the casino completely broke.
The fact that casinos welcome players employing this strategy (and the more complex alternatives based on it) should be plenty enough evidence that it only works in the short run.
A better way of looking at a strategy to maximize your enjoyment is to make your bankroll last long enough that you have a chance of hitting your lucky numbers.
If you prefer to take a shot at a bigger win, consider a high odds wager such a straight bet. If you prefer to play a longer session, choose regular wins at lower odds. This can be achieved by using the 50/50 bets, or you can cover a large part of the betting layout with your chips.
Most players will use an in-between strategy – saving their high odds bets with some even money chances, corners and 12’s. Casinos display lists of ‘hot and cold’ numbers above the tables. Family birthdays, your lucky numbers and a random selection of bets are the way to go for many roulette fans.
Playing European roulette at online casinos
There are many roulette variations at online casinos. They include the regular European and American games, French roulette, live dealer tables and novelty games like 100/1 roulette.
Software versions of roulette have come on in leaps and bounds since the early days of online casinos. What started out with games offering basic graphics have become close to the look of a real wheel in some cases.
The many betting options for European roulette online split the screen – with the wheel on the top half of the screen and the betting area below this. One of the big advantages of playing software-based roulette is that there are no time controls. Unlike the live dealer games, you will not see the wheel spin without your bets in place.
Live dealer casinos have really taken hold in recent years. In these games you bet on a roulette game streamed live from a casino. You bet by dragging and dropping chips onto a virtual betting surface. These casino games have a social feel and are run by friendly hosts. There is a time limit between each spin – and minimum bets can be higher than for the software-based alternatives.
Roulette games at online casinos can be enjoyed on either desktops or on casino apps at Android or iPhone casinos.
European roulette bonuses and rewards in Canada
Online casinos offer new player bonuses and no deposit bonuses. They can be cleared playing European roulette, though there are some restrictions to be aware of. Most casino bonuses match the amount of your first deposit. You then need to wager the bonus chips a set number of times, before they are ‘cleared’ and can be withdrawn.
It can pay to check the rules of your bonus. Some casinos will exclude roulette completely. Others will give it a low weighting – meaning only a small part of each bet will count towards your play-through target. Note that covering too many outcomes in roulette in an attempt to clear your bonus quickly will not work. Casinos are aware of this strategy – and will cancel your bonus if you try it.
Live casino comps for roulette players
If you are heading to a live casino to play roulette, you can take advantage of the many player reward schemes. Sign up for a card, which often comes with free play for slots. Your roulette play will be tracked manually, with automatic tracking for electronic casino games and slots. Points you collect from gambling can be swapped for free play.
Many casino loyalty schemes also include discounts for dining, access to promotions and draws and VIP benefits for the high-rollers or regulars.
Wrapping Up: Choose European roulette for the best odds
European roulette is a classic game that has stood the test of time. The easy gaming (no complex strategy to remember) makes it a go-to for new players. Roulette can be enjoyed across Canada both online and at brick-and-mortar casinos. If you are given a choice, always choose the wheel with the lowest number of green ‘zero’ slots – as this will give you the best odds.
Big returns are possible for individual numbers. Players that want to make their bankroll last longer can select the 50/50 bets to balance these. Adding a loyalty reward scheme or bonus will give any player European roulette bankroll a boost.