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American Roulette: When Zero Makes the Difference
- April 11, 2017 By Riley Wilson -
As every roulette patron already knows, the key difference between the American and European variants of roulette is the range of numbers or the existence of both zero and double zero field, a seemingly small variance that improves the house edge and significantly affects the odds in this game of chance. When roulette first appeared in New Orleans, it fared relatively badly, up until the introduction of a few alterations that made the game more profitable for the casino owners, who then strived to present it in a way that would attract more players; it is precisely because of that the appearance of the roulette wheel was modified, a change that apparently suited the players’ affinities as the game became increasingly popular not long after. Still, the double zero was not invented by the Americans, it is actually re-introduced by the casino owners of the New World, who did not miss the potential of bringing this element back in the game and turning it to their own advantage.
Double Zero Origin
According to some history records, double zero was actually how the game was played when Blaise Pascal first designed the wheel in 17th century in order to create a perpetual motion device. Little did he know that he was to earn the gratitude of the entire gambling community by becoming the father of roulette. Until the 18th century there were no alternatives and all wheels had the double zero field. There was however a difference between the number range, varying from 25, 28 and even 32. It wasn’t until much later that the pockets became typically numbered with the range of 1 to 36, including the zero and double zero. By 19th century, the casinos throughout Europe already eliminated double zero, making the game more player-friendly, while the casinos in America kept the original form, making this version of the game forever known as the American roulette. It was difficult to find a single zero roulette in the New World at the time, however, the game remained popular for the next 300 years and thanks to the technological advancement and online gambling expansion, every variant is literally at our fingertips, be it French, European, American or even double wheel…
Double Zero Odds and Imprisonment Rule
The main issue with the double zero roulette is that it offers an extremely unfavourable Return to Player percentage when compared to a single zero variant. Due to a huge difference between the house edge percentage of the two alternatives (over 5% house edge in double zero roulette vs 2.7% in the single zero version) most of the casinos avoid having both of the variants included in the offer. If they do, they tend to compensate and make the single zero version available only to high rolling players, setting the minimum bet to at least $25. One other way to reconcile the vast probability difference was introducing the Imprisonment rule, a solution that a number of casinos’ embraced in order to make the game a bit more favourable.
The rule protects the player by cutting down on the loss, reducing it to only 50% of your bet when the stake is placed on a whole number and the ball ends up onto 0 or 00. This means that the house edge is automatically decreased by ½, making this version of double zero roulette better even than the European one.
Where to find Double Zero Roulette
The great news is that you won’t have to search long. Every online casino nowadays offers pretty much all of the roulette variations, available in video form or streamed live 24 with live dealers, different betting range, game history, statistics and detailed rules and odds explanation. The choice is entirely yours and defines you as a player; are you a risk-taker who enjoys the thrill of unfavourable odds or a more calculated player who likes having the odds on his side.