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It might sound unbelievable that a game that has its roots all the way back in the 16th century woul still be wildly popular today, and not only that, but an online sensation at that, but this is exactly the unlikely claim that European roulette manages to stand by. While it might not be the most complex or convoluted game in the world – after all, much of its appeal lies in its simplicity – European roulette still finds an audience among the swathes of players who love technically advanced video slot. So what is the enduring draw of European roulette, and has its relatively recent online rebirth changed it at all?
The Appeal of European Roulette
European roulette is the classic game – which originated in the aristocratic casinos of 16th century France – played with a wheel showing the numbers 1 – 36 in alternating black and red colours with the additional 0 in green, and betting taking place on a table with corresponding numbers represented in a grid. There’s a round of betting, followed by a spin of a ball round the wheel; wherever the ball comes to rest is the winning number. It’s the single 0 which defines European roulette from its American counterpart, which features both a 0 and a 00 (double zero) part of the board which increases the house edge. As a result of this house edge fixing in the American game, European roulette has proved to be more popular than its cousin.
But it certainly isn’t just the improved chances of winning that have given European roulette such enduring popularity. No, there are a number of elements of genius in the design of the game that give it such a broad appeal. Firstly, consider the fact that it’s a complete game of chance, with each spin of the wheel being entirely independent from the result of the last. In practice this means that it can be played by anyone with the same chances of success! Moreover, the betting table layout in European roulette makes it possible to choose your own risk, from a highly unlikely single number bet to a relatively safe outside bet. This unique balancing of risk with reward, especially given that players get to decide their own appetite for it, is one of the hallmarks of European roulette.
Is Online European Roulette Different?
As mentioned in the introduction, European roulette in various guises has been around for almost 400 years, and one might wonder if the game had made many (if any) changes to its setup to make the move from land-based to online (after all, the one-armed bandit style slot machines have had a huge transformation since becoming video slots. The funny thing is, though, if you were to show your average 16th century aristocratic Frenchman European roulette on your smartphone at your favourite casino, chances are he’d recognise most of what was on the screen (I mean, discussion about his response to a smartphone aside). European roulette is simply one of those games that has manages to maintain its original look and feel through the ages.
The steadfast refusal of European roulette to change over time is no doubt thanks to the perfection in the game’s original design, the balance of luck against judgements, and the opportunity for players of any experience level to enjoy the game. That’s not to mention the inexplicable thrill to be had from picking your numbers and waiting with your heart in your mouth as you wait for the ball to come to a standstill. These are all the wonders to be explored in European roulette.