Rating Roulette Games Based on House Advantage
October 31, 2014
The main difference between the three major types of roulette available online is house advantage. A lot of people will blindly follow the advice of playing one type over another, but we want to show you exactly how you can determine the house advantage so that we're backing up what we're saying instead of just giving you numbers that you aren't sure of. We're going to look at European, American and mini roulette for this analysis, and what we'll find might really shock you if you're used to just listening to what people have to say about roulette who don't back up their claims.
Let's start with mini roulette. If you make an evens bet on this game, then you're going to have six ways to win and seven ways to lose since it uses the numbers 0-12. With a bet of $1, you'll win 6/13 of the time and lose 7/13 of the time. That means that your average win or loss will be (6/13)($1) + (7/13)(-$1) which is -$0.077. That's 7.7 percent of your starting bet which means that the house advantage on this wager is 7.7 percent. That's pretty large for a roulette game, and since it's a single-zero game, that will be the house advantage on all bets in this game regardless.
Another popular roulette game is American roulette, and we can analyze this game in a similar way. If you bet $1 on an evens bet, then you'll have a 18/38 chance of winning with a 20/38 chance of losing because of the two zeroes. Your average win/loss amount will be (18/38)($1) + (20/38)(-$1) which comes to -$0.053. Along similar lines as the above, this means that normal bets on American roulette have a house advantage of 5.3 percent. This is better than mini roulette, but it's still fairly bad in the grand scheme of things.
Finally, we have the game that most people think about as being the best version out there: European roulette. This game uses the numbers 0-36, and it's the most favorable version of roulette out there as you'll quickly see. An evens bet has a 18/37 chance of winning with a 19/37 chance of losing in this game. That means on a $1 evens bet, your average win/loss would be (18/37)($1) + (19/37)(-$1) = -$0.027 which gives a house advantage of just 2.7 percent.