Online Roulette and House Edges
Roulette has one of the lowest house edges in a casino.
Online roulette can be played right away and it can be easily found across most online casinos. In fact, it is one of the most popular versions on the internet and it is also a common choice for live dealer games. The virtual versions of roulette are made to look as much as the real thing as possible and some of the titles have amazing graphics and animations to make this happen.
While online roulette games still have a spinning wheel and a small ball, the actual outcome of the spin is determined by a random number generator. This makes it perfectly random, unlike some land-based roulette tables which may not be perfectly balanced.
Understanding the house edge in roulette
Every casino game has a house edge. This is basically the expected value for the casino or the amount a player will lose with every bet. It is based on the payout for a certain bet and on the actual odds of that bet being successful.
In European roulette, there are 37 numbers on the wheel and each one has the same chance of being the winning number after a spin. However, a bet on a number will only pay 35:1 and not 36:1. That missing number is the green 0 pocket which is not taken into calculation when determining the payout despite the fact that it has the same odds as the other numbers. As a result, the house edge is -0.027, or 2.7%.
In American roulette, the house edge is even bigger since there are 38 numbers with the addition of the 00, which is green. The payout rates are the same as in the European version despite the extra number which makes for a probability of 1/38 of getting the right number. The player will still win 35 times the size of the bet plus the initial bet back and the house edge is -0.0526, or 5.26%.
To better understand how the house edge works in roulette, you can imagine placing a $1 bet on each of the numbers individually. Considering that it is a European version, you would spend a total of $37 on a spin but you will only get back $36.