Online Roulette for Canadian Players

Online gambling is almost as old as the internet itself, and Canada was one of the first countries to truly embrace the pastime back in the early 2000s.

The market exploded rapidly over the next few years, but stories of early casinos stealing deposits, refusing winnings, or even disappearing from the web altogether without warning forced the federal government to act.

Whilst the rest of the western world began to introduce regulation and legislation in order to protect their citizens who were already participating in online gambling, North America took an entirely different approach.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was introduced in 2006 and blocked all real money payments to gambling sites located within Canada. Overnight, the biggest and most trustworthy online casinos stopped accepting deposits from their Canadian players.

At that time, those wanting to play online roulette had no choice but to take a gamble on one of the few smaller operators who now remained in the US market, despite the risk posed by the UIGEA.

Fortunately, as of 2021, the situation has improved dramatically and Canadian roulette players now have access to a huge number of trustworthy online casinos. Whilst a nationwide bill to regulate online gaming still seems a long way off – congress has voted down every attempt so far – there are several states who have taken the matter into their own hands, and created new legislation at the state-wide level.

Those living in states such as New Jersey can now play 100% legal regulated online roulette, with straightforward deposit methods and dependable, fast-paced withdrawals. For those living in other states, a new generation of regulated offshore sites has sprung up to feed the insatiable appetite for online roulette within Canada.

It is the process of making deposits and withdrawals to and from online casinos which was forbidden by the UIGEA, which creates a tricky-though-not-insurmountable problem. Whilst Visa and Mastercard continue to block gaming transactions wherever they can, Canadian Express seem happy to do business with many online casinos.

Alternative payment methods such as Bitcoin and CashApp were not available at the time the UIGEA came into being, but are now widely established and reliable methods for moving funds in and out of an online casino.

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❓ The Main Types Of Roulette Offered Online

The majority of land-based casinos in North America offer American Roulette only. You can find a handful of tables with better odds dotted around Las Vegas, but other than they are surprisingly rare.

Whilst almost every large casino based in Atlantic City offers only American Roulette in their land-based properties, their online counterparts almost always have the more player-friendly variants available.

In fact, you can find even better-paying games quite commonly when playing at online casinos, such as French Roulette. This is great news for Canadian players, as the European and French versions of Roulette are extremely similar to the American game, but have much better odds for players.

You can find out more about the most common types of roulette offered online below.

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French Roulette

Roulette translates literally as “little wheel” in the French language, perhaps giving away its origins as a French game. The first recorded instance of roulette being played was printed in a French novel published during the 18th century.

It must have been popular too, as it was only a very short time before this modern-day icon of the casino world had spread all over Europe. Just a few years later, it crossed the Atlantic and began appearing on the floors of Canadian casinos – all this, in spite of the excruciatingly slow pace of life back then!

The original game featured two house pockets, just like the modern-day Canadian version. The casinos of Monte Carlo began lowering the house edge at their roulette tables sometime around the 1860s, hoping to attract players from faraway lands to come and gamble with them.

This strategy was also clearly popular, as Monte Carlo remains a global gambling hotspot to this day and the changes they introduced – such as the single zero wheel and “en prison” rule – went on to become standard features of French Roulette.

When playing at a French table, the en prison rule creates a special scenario for players who have placed even-money outside bets any time the winning number is zero. If you have placed chips on red/black, even/odd, or high/low, you will be given the option of receiving half of your chips back immediately.

Alternatively, your bet can be imprisoned for the next spin. Should your imprisoned bet go on to be a winner on the next spin, you will then receive the entire bet back – although without any additional winnings.

The introduction of the “en prison” rule results in a lower house edge of just 1.35%, 50% lower than European Roulette and 75% lower than an Canadian table. As a result, if you can find this version of the game available then you should opt to play it over any tables on offer.

European Roulette

European Roulette evolved separately from the French version over the course of the past two centuries. Whilst the two variants are largely similar, the casinos located elsewhere in Europe did not feel the same pressure to compete for players as their French counterparts, so were happy for the house edge at their roulette tables to remain at a rate of 2.7%.

This is a direct result of the removal of one of the two house pockets from the wheel. The order of the numbers on the wheel differs from the other two versions, whilst the betting layout is usually arranged in the same way as Canadian Roulette.

This is the most common variant of roulette you are likely to find online and offers 50% lower odds than its Canadian counterpart.

There is no reason to play Canadian Roulette at a casino who also offers this game, so make sure you keep your eyes open when searching for a game to play! Of course, if the casino you are playing at also offers French Roulette, that is an even better bet!

American Roulette

The American variant of roulette still played today seems to be essentially identical to the original game that was imported from France in the early 19th century.

Like the earliest French tables, the wheel used in American Roulette features two green house pockets, immediately doubling the house edge when compared to European Roulette.

The resulting house advantage of 5.4% makes this game a poor choice by online casino standards. You should seek out a game offering you better odds, such as French or European roulette, instead of playing this one.

Exotic Roulette Types Found Online

The computerized nature of online roulette opens up a world of possibilities for interesting adjustments to the standard game. All of these can be played for free or real money.

Many of these more unusual games would either be extremely difficult or perhaps even completely impossible to recreate using a normal roulette table.

These games no doubt add a little flair and excitement to the game of roulette, at the cost of a slightly higher house edge in nearly all cases.

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Double Ball Roulette

As the name suggests, this is a version of roulette which uses two balls for every spin. The game is usually played on a single zero wheel utilizing the European layout.

The house edge is slightly higher than regular European Roulette at 2.99%, but for many players, this is easily offset by the addition of a “jackpot” prize should both balls happen to land in one pocket.

For most online versions of Double Ball Roulette, the jackpot bet returns 1200-1. This makes the game much more exciting than regular roulette, which has a maximum return of just 35-1.

It’s worth noting, however, that the actual probability of both balls landing in the same pocket is 1369-1 – a long way from the return being offered.

Multi Wheel Roulette

Surely one of the craziest forms of roulette out there, the most common variant of Multi Wheel Roulette is published by Microgaming and features eight European wheels.

Each spin begins with you placing your chips on a single layout, then choosing how many wheels you would like to be used in the next round. When you hit spin, the selected number of wheels will all spin together with your bet being divided equally between all of them.

Say you opt to have all eight wheels in play then place a $10 bet on Black, this will result in $1.25 being wagered on each of the eight wheels.

Should the ball then land in a black pocket on six of the wheels, you would then receive a total of $15 in winnings. This is probably not the best way to play this game though, as the real advantage of Multi Wheel Roulette is that you are much more likely to hit single numbers.

This variant has an identical house edge to that of the normal European game as you are essentially just speeding up the order of play by a factor of 8.

Mini Roulette

This unusual miniaturized version of roulette is most commonly found as a side game on bingo and poker sites but is also offered by many online casinos.

It uses a non-standard wheel featuring only the numbers 0-12 making it easy to fit into a sidebar or other small space, hence its popularity as a side game.

The more eagle-eyed mathematicians amongst you will already have realised that the effect of the zero on this smaller wheel is much greater than on a standard table, and of course, you would be right.

In fact, the house edge of this game would be huge if it were not for one very important change – you will receive 50% back for any bet that does not cover the number zero.

This does help to rebalance the game but results in a house edge of 3.85% for bets which do NOT cover zero, and 7.69% for bets which do cover zero. As a result, the strategy for this game is very simple – never bet on anything which covers the number zero!

Deal Or No Deal Roulette

Another game played on a European wheel, Deal or No Deal Roulette adds an extra spot to the layout where you can place chips for the chance to win one of two slot style bonus games.

The Box Picker Bonus and Roulette Bonus appear on a secondary wheel which spins around the outside of the regular one. As a result, the bonus round is won on a different number each spin.

The two bonus games are pretty much as you would expect for a roulette variant named after the ever-popular game show – no surprises here! The maximum pay-out from these bonus games is 150/1.

Whilst this is much higher than regular roulette, there is no reason it couldn’t have been increased still further to really make this variant stand out! As it stands this is a fun but unexceptional alternative to European Roulette.

Lightning Roulette

Fire up Lightning Roulette for the first time, and you could easily play many spins without noticing any difference whatsoever between this game and a regular European Roulette.

The first time you hit a win on an inside bet though, you’ll be surprised to learn that your wager returns just 29/1 rather than the usual 35/1. So why is this?

Well, keep playing and eventually, you will hit a “lightning spin”. When this happens, between one and five numbers will be assigned a random multiplier of either 50x, 100x, 200x, 250x, 300x, 400x, or 500x.

Only bets placed on a straight up number are eligible for these special pay-outs, and it can often take many, many tries before you witness a lightning spin.

The overall effect on the house edge is very low when considered over millions of spins – just 2.9% rather than 2.7% for regular European Roulette.

Of course, no single player is ever going to be placing this many bets, and the house edge of each session you play will fluctuate wildly according to how many lightning spins you witness, how many numbers then receive a multiplier, and finally which of the multipliers is selected for each of those numbers.

Without a doubt, this is one of the best and most exciting roulette variants around, but you may be surprised how quickly your bankroll is depleted if you are unlucky with lightning spins and multipliers. Give this one a try though, it’s great!

Spread-Bet Roulette

Sometimes the simplest ideas end up working out the best, and Spread-Bet Roulette seems like a great example of this.

You can choose to play each spin just like regular roulette should you wish, or alternatively you can place a bet on one of the several new spread-bet prediction spaces that have been added to the layout.

If any bets are placed on these spaces a secondary “golden” wheel, will be spun at the same time as the regular wheel. Should the sum of the winning numbers on both wheels match one of the predictions you bet on when placing your spread-bet, it will pay out according to the following pay-table:

  • 0-1 = 400x
  • 2-11 = 15x
  • 12-18 = 10x
  • 19-33 = 2x
  • 34-54 = 1x
  • 55-67 = 7x
  • 68-72 = 80x

Live Dealer Roulette

live roulette logoAll of the games described above are computerized versions of roulette. This type of game utilizes a random number generator to determine the result of each spin, rather than an actual ball and wheel being spun by a dealer.

Whilst this makes for a very fast game of roulette – some games even allow you to skip the entire “spin” process altogether and go straight to the result – it definitely does not accurately reflect the experience of sitting around a roulette table in a real casino.

You can get a little closer to the true casino experience by opting to play a live dealer version of roulette instead. Unfortunately, you may find that some online casinos offer only American Roulette as a live dealer game because of the increased costs incurred by having a human dealer.

This seems particularly unfair because an unlimited number of players are able to participate at a single live dealer roulette table, which is a major advantage compared to other live dealer games such as blackjack. It is advisable to seek out a Live Dealer game featuring a European table if you can.

Most casinos offer a live chat facility, allowing all of the players watching the game to communicate with each other. This is a huge plus for many players, who enjoy the social aspect of Live Dealer Roulette. There are some players who have their doubts about the trustworthiness of computerized roulette too, so much prefer to gamble on a game with a real dealer and table.

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Bonuses for Online Roulette

casino bonuses and promosIt has become much more difficult to find good bonus offers for playing online roulette in recent years. This is because the majority of casinos assign a very high wagering requirement to most forms of roulette.

You are most likely to find generous bonus offers for playing American Roulette because of its higher house edge, whereas you probably won’t ever find a decent bonus for playing French Roulette.

Some casinos offer special bonuses for use only on Live Dealer Roulette too, and these can often sometimes work out as a great deal for the player.

If you do find a casino bonus which permits roulette play, the additional funds provided by the casino mean that you will essentially have a lower house edge for the duration of that session.

This means you have a much better chance of finishing your night in profit, but be sure you have read and understood all of the terms and conditions for the casino, bonus and games you wish to play before starting to bet.

Remember – you cannot withdraw your winnings until you have completed the bonus wagering requirements, no matter how large your balance.

No deposit bonuses for roulette happen, but are very rare and often not worth it due to high wagering requirements.

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Playing Roulette on Mobile

The vast majority of online casinos have now deployed a specific version of their user interface for players using tablets and mobile phones.

On top of this, all of the large software companies have now created mobile-friendly versions of their most popular roulette games as well. As a result, you should have no problems playing any of the games listed on this page using a mobile device.

Unless you have an exceptionally small device, it should be easy to precisely select the spaces on the layout where you would like to place your chips. If you do find a game where it seems unusually difficult to play correctly, it may be that this particular game has not yet been updated for use on mobile devices.

If this happens, try a different version of roulette at the same casino. It might be worth letting the casino’s support staff know about your poor experience too!

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❓Try Casino Roulette Free

Fancy trying out some of the games we have listed on this page for free? You can find several versions of roulette available for free play right here.

If you wish, you may also jump straight from one of these games to our favourite casino partners to enable you to play for real money.

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American Roulette
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French Roulette
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European Roulette
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Deal Or No Deal Roulette