Reinventing the Roulette Wheel: The Case for Online Variants

One of the most popular games in a casino is the roulette table, invented in the 1700s and largely unchanged for hundreds of years. Recently, roulette has been reproduced and reinvented across a number of different platforms and genres. Today’s roulette connoisseur has a deep well of roulette games to choose from, from standard European to multi-wheel online roulette.

Roulette, Casino, Roulette Wheel, Roulette Table
Source: Pixabay

Standard Roulette

Modern roulette is perhaps the most popular casino game in the world, a simple game of luck devised by canny French gamblers in the 18th century. The two most popular roulette wheels found in casinos are the American and European. The American has both a green zero and a double zero while the European has just the one green zero. Both tables have slightly different number layouts. French Roulette is used principally in Monte Carlo and is different to European Roulette in the layout of the table rather than the wheel – the French variant places the wheel in the middle and the odds laid out on either side.

Online Roulette Variants

One would expect that roulette was a standard game with little that can be done to change its essential gameplay. You’d be wrong. Online roulette games have become increasingly customized. As more online casinos pop up vying for your attention, so too do the number of roulette variants played. Each one has a different theme or an extra feature to make it stand out from the crowd.

Live Roulette

Live roulette looks and plays exactly the same as a bricks and mortar casino. That’s because it is. A live roulette table has a real croupier, table and play which is all live streamed to your screen, be it desktop, mobile or tablet. Players therefore get the feeling they are sitting at their very own casino table; a more authentic feeling than the usual digital tables on online casinos.

Auto Roulette

This variant is the same as standard live roulette except the table starts spinning automatically, without the need for a croupier. It allows players to place up to eight different bets at the same time. This rapid game is fully automated, making it one of the quickest versions of roulette – ideal for those playing on the go.

Lightning Roulette

This is classic roulette in every other respect. However, on each spin, the “lightning bolt” strikes on anywhere between one to five random numbers and multiplies the winnings on them by 50 or 500 times. It makes for entertaining graphics and gameplay which can brighten up the standard green, red, black and gold hues of a normal table.

Lightning, Storm, Arizona, Monsoon, Lightning Storm
Source: Pixabay

Double Ball Roulette

Played in much the same way as standard roulette, Double Ball Roulette throws out two balls instead of one simultaneously. The balls can land on the same pocket or two different ones. Generally, betting odds are half what a normal payout would be, but special bets can be made like predicting that both balls land in red (3 to 1).

Mini Roulette

A slight twist to the standard 36 number table, this version has just 12 numbers and a green zero. While this essentially increases the house edge, it is easier to understand and play and draws on the very earliest dice predicting games of ancient times, which had limited outcomes.

No Zero Roulette

Nobody likes the house edge that the zero offers, so one great new and innovative move by game developers has been the no-zero table. Odds remain at 35/1 so, with 36 numbers, the house still keeps a slight edge on bets on standard numbers, but not on red or black, odd or even.

Progressive Roulette

Traditionally, the biggest win from a standard roulette table is 35 to 1 (unless you’re playing lightning roulette). Enter progressive jackpot roulette! This variant allows players a chance to win a life changing amount similar to the progressive slot machines. Tables can have an added jackpot button, taking advantage of numbers that repeat two, three or four times in a row or open up to a slot-themed bonus mini-game with big prizes.

Multi Wheel Roulette

One table not enough? Multi wheel roulette lets a player play up to eight wheels simultaneously, all with one bet. All payouts are the same as a standard table (European or American), but the stake is multiplied by eight, one for each of the tables played.

Alternative Roulette Themed Games

But don’t let the rest of your life escape without roulette! There are a number of apps and games that utilize the mechanics and randomness of roulette. Let’s take a look.

Beverages, Alcohol, Shot, Glasses, Drink
Source: Pixabay

Drink Roulette is basically a drinking based challenge, sure to empty the contents of your cabinet (or the 7-11 if playing with friends), which organises challenges, dares and questions with drinking forfeits. Taking this drinking theme further is the old party game of shot roulette. Each number on the wheel or dice (or Game of Life spinner – whatever you have to hand!) represents a different type of drink, like the 5 for a whisky or the zero for a vodka. Of course, the iconic roulette has also been used for food in addition to drinks, with one well-known example to be Doritos Roulette, where an assortment of flavors coexist in the same pack of tortilla chips, and you never know if you’re going to land a super-spicy one. 

The fundamentals of roulette hadn’t really changed for a few hundred years until the internet allowed digital gameplay to enter our homes. With roulette being such a popular and recognized game, it isn’t surprising that variants have sprung up to appeal to an even wider audience and tap into the next generation of game players eager to test their skills and luck on the green baize of the roulette table.