Roulette features multiple variations that differ slightly based on their wheel and or/special rules. Each of these variants also offers different return to player (RTP).
If you’re seeking the best-paying game, then French roulette is the answer. With 98.65% RTP, it normally delivers the highest payback. But can any other roulette variation top this payout percentage?
The following guide covers more on the intricacies of French roulette and other variations. It also discusses if there’s a game that can top 98.65% RTP.
What’s So Special About French Roulette?
French roulette is somewhat rare compared to other roulette variants. It’s mainly available in European casinos and through the online software providers Microgaming and Real Time Gaming.
When you can find this game, though, it’s definitely worth playing. You can see why below while reading about the main characteristics that make up the French variation.
Played on a European Wheel
Roulette features three different types of wheels, including the American, European, and mini versions. The European wheel contains 37 pockets.
These pockets include 1-36 along with a single zero. The zero favors the house on even-money bets, including odd/even, red/black, and 1-18/19-36.
By dividing the 36 neutral pockets by 37 total pockets, you’ll find that this wheel’s RTP is 97.30%. As I’ll discuss next, the French game offers better payback than this.
En Prison or La Partage Rule
One aspect that really separates the French version from other roulette games is its special rules. This variation will either offer en prison or la partage.
You must place even-money wagers to take advantage of either rule.
En prison sees your bet stay “in prison” for a spin when the ball lands on zero. The fate of your wager will then be decided on the following spin.
La partage returns half of your wager when the ball lands on zero. If you bet $10 and the ball falls into the zero pocket, then you’ll receive $5 back.
Normally, French roulette would offer 97.30% RTP. Thanks to either en prison or la partage, though, it features 98.65% payback. The only stipulation is that you need to place even-money wagers to benefit.
A Look at the Rest of the Roulette Games
Land-based casinos offer American, European, and/or French roulette. Assuming they provide multiple variations, then they usually offer the higher-paying game at larger stakes.
Online casinos, meanwhile, feature mini roulette along with some totally unique variations. Their software allows for more-exotic versions of roulette. That said, here’s a look at some different variants in land-based and mobile casinos.
This game is played on an American wheel, which features 38 pockets. The pockets include 1-36, zero, and double zero. As with European roulette, the zero pockets favor the house on even-money wagers.
Dividing the 36 neutral pockets by the 38 total pockets, you’ll find that this game offers 94.76% RTP. It’s the lowest-paying common version of roulette.
This variation is played on a European wheel. As covered earlier, this wheel has 37 pockets, including a single zero.
European roulette features 97.30% RTP. The reason why its payback stays at 97.30% is because it doesn’t benefit from the en prison or la partage rules.
Although not as common as the other games covered so far, mini roulette is available in some casinos. Its wheel features 13 pockets, including one zero pocket.
Dividing the 12 neutral numbers by the 13 total numbers, you’d normally arrive at just 92.3% RTP. However, many mini roulette tables put the la partage rule in play. La partage improves the payback to 96.15%.
Real money online casinos feature of some pretty interesting roulette games. These variations include everything from multiple wheels that spin simultaneously to a pinball-style setup.
While these games are certainly different from the average variant, they don’t typically affect the RTP. Exotic online variations are usually based on European roulette and its 97.30% payback.
One Game Can Pay Better Than French Roulette
Again, French roulette is usually the highest-paying variation. But progressive roulette can offer better RTP on occasion. You can read about how this game works below and why it sometimes delivers higher payback than the French variation.
How Does Progressive Roulette Work?
Progressive roulette features a progressive jackpot. It calls on players to make an optional side bet to qualify for the jackpot. The progressive prize continues growing with each side wager until it’s finally hit.
The manner in which the jackpot hits varies from one progressive game to the next. However, it generally revolves around one number/pocket winning so many consecutive rounds. For example, the same number may have to win five rounds in a row for the jackpot to be delivered.
Progressive roulette isn’t an overly common game. After all, most people play slot machines if they want to pursue jackpots. But this variation is available in some land-based and online casinos.
When Does Progressive Roulette Pay More Than French Roulette?
This game doesn’t offer very high RTP when the jackpot is first seeded. In fact, it may only feature 80% payback, or less, on the side wager in the beginning.
However, the RTP continues increasing as the jackpot grows. Assuming the progressive payout exceeds a breakeven point, then the RTP goes above 100%.
At this point, progressive version is not only the best-paying roulette game, but also one of the highest-paying casino games ever.
Of course, progressive roulette doesn’t necessarily have to exceed the breakeven point. It can still offer higher RTP than the French variation just by getting close to breaking even.
How Likely Are You to Benefit From This Higher RTP?
The biggest problem with progressive roulette payback is that it’s all theoretical. While this game truly can offer over 100% RTP, it doesn’t provide a very realistic shot at winning profits.
After all, you need to hit the jackpot if you’re going to realize the 100% payback. Alternatively, you can simply get lucky and win lots of regular payouts.
In the latter scenario, though, you’d simply be getting lucky like with any regular roulette game. The progressive variation wouldn’t offer any advantage over French roulette in such case.
The primary reason to play progressive roulette is to chase the jackpot—not to take advantage of theoretical payback. The odds of you winning a jackpot anytime soon are unrealistic, meaning you might as well discount the side wager’s RTP.
Why the French Variation Still Reigns Supreme
Jackpot roulette can pay more than the French game. In all practicality, though, French roulette is the best version with regard to payback.
It doesn’t require you to win a jackpot or pull off any other dramatic feats. Instead, it offers 98.65% RTP at any point. The only thing that you must do to take advantage of this high payback is place even-money bets.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with playing progressive roulette. You might appreciate the combination of real money roulette and a large jackpot. The side wager can also qualify you for additional side payouts worth as much as thousands of dollars.
If you’re mainly concerned about short-term winnings, though, then progressive roulette isn’t great for this purpose. It’s more about the potential for a jackpot and side payouts.
French roulette, meanwhile, is the top choice for winning now, rather than dreaming of winning in the future. You just have to find it in order to take advantage.
Roulette RTP can be confusing when considering the different available versions. However, you need only look to one variation when seeking the best payback: French roulette.
As explained earlier, progressive roulette has the potential to be the top-paying variant. But too much of the RTP is wrapped up in the jackpot.
Furthermore, the payback largely assumes that you’ll win a share of the progressive prize. As you know, only one person ultimately wins the jackpot.
In summary, French roulette is the best version to play when you want to win more. It offers 98.65% RTP on even-money wagers, making it one of the highest-paying casino games.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …