There is only one rule of thumb to follow when choosing which roulette variation to play – the fewer the zero pockets on the wheel, the better your winning chances. In a (successful) attempt to raise more revenue, gambling operators came up with yet another atrocity known as triple-zero roulette.
This monstrosity first popped up at the Venetian in 2016 and spread throughout Las Vegas like wildfire. Other casinos soon followed suit and started adding triple zeros to their wheels, with Flamingo, MGM Grand, Harrah’s, and Planet Hollywood being few of the numerous examples.
Triple-zero roulette has taken Sin City by storm and operators advertise it as a roulette variation “with an exciting additional bet” that offers “more winning opportunities to players”. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth and we explain why in today’s article.
The Zero Gives the House Its Edge in Roulette
Most roulette wheels in European casinos use the single-zero (0) configuration, while those on the other side of the pond have adopted the double-zero format (00). Now, is this really such a big deal? It is because roulette will be a break-even game had it not been for the green zero pocket.
Gambling operators derive their edge over players from the zero. The more zeros there are on the wheel, the higher said edge gets. So forget about the folly of having “more ways to win” in triple-zero roulette. You don’t. If anything the third zero diminishes your winning odds even further.
Let’s elaborate on this statement. The main issue with the zeros results from the fact that when you win, the house pays you as if they are not there. The odds against winning are higher than the casino odds, i.e. the payouts. When you do win, you always receive less money than you should. Examine the table below and you will see what we mean.
|Casino Payouts vs. Odds against WInning in 0 and 00 Roulette|
|Bet Type||Casino Payout||Odds against Winning in 0 Roulette||Odds against Winning in 00 Roulette|
|Straight Up||35 to 1||36 to 1||37 to 1|
|Split||17 to 1||171/2 to 1||18 to 1|
|Street||11 to 1||111/3 to 1||112/3 to 1|
|Corner||8 to 1||81/4 to 1||81/2 to 1|
|Double-Street||5 to 1||51/6 to 1||51/3 to 1|
|Basket Bet||8 to 1||81/4 to 1||N/A|
|Five-Number Bet||6 to 1||N/A||63/5 to 1|
|Column||2 to 1||21/12 to 1||21/6 to 1|
|Dozen||2 to 1||21/12 to 1||21/6 to 1|
|Red/Black, Odd/Even, High/Low||1 to 1||11/18 to 1||11/9 to 1|
The casino payouts would have reflected the true odds without any house edge if the wheels contained only 36 pockets rather than 37 or 38, as is the case with the single-zero and double-zero variations. The actual odds against winning straight up with a single number are 36 to 1 with a single zero and 37 to 1 with a double zero.
Triple-zero wheels contain 39 pockets, further improving the odds against winning to 38 to 1. Nonetheless, winning players still receive lower payouts of 35 to 1 and this has a dramatic effect on the house edge as you shall see shortly.
House Edge in Triple-Zero Roulette
The extra 000 pocket further increases the casino’s statistical advantage over roulette players. Let’s assume you are looking to back a single number with a $1 bet for 39 spins in succession, with each of the 39 numbers showing up only once.
You are risking a total of $39 in this case. Your chosen number comes up once throughout those 39 spins, so the dealer pays you $35 in net winnings on top of your original dollar bet.
You end up with $36 in winnings and the casino retains $3 of your $39 in bets. The simplest way to calculate the house advantage is to divide your losses by the overall amount wagered and multiply the result by a hundred to convert it into a percentage.
As you can see, the house holds a 7.69% advantage on straight up bets. Let’s repeat this exercise with even-money wagers like odd or even. Suppose you wager $1 on even numbers for 39 successive spins at a triple-zero table.
You are again risking $39 in total. Your bet wins if any of the 18 even numbers comes up and loses when any of the 18 odd numbers or one of three green zeros (0, 00, and 000) shows.
At the end of the session, you will win $18 on average plus your original $18 in bets, for a total of $36 in profits. The casino again retains $3 of the $39 you have wagered, which tells us it still has a 7.69% advantage on even-money bets over the long run.
House Edges in Single and Double-Zero Roulette
In fact, all wagers in triple-zero roulette carry the same house edge and the percentage is significantly higher than that in single-zero (37 pockets) and double-zero (38 pockets) variations. If you pick a number on a 0 wheel and wager a dollar for 37 consecutive spins with each number landing once, your overall risk will be $37.
Respectively, you will again collect $36 in total on the one spin that produces your winning number and lose $1 to the house. It follows that the house edge in single-zero roulette is equal to 2.70% as you can see below.
The percentage coincides across all bet types in games with a single zero. It is irrelevant whether you are placing corner, split, dozen, column bets, etc. You are always battling against a 2.70% casino advantage.
At 00 tables, the house will collect $2 every 38 spins on average if you bet a dollar on any individual number. Accordingly, the house edge at such tables is almost twice as high.
The house edge again remains 5.26% for all wagers in American roulette bar the five-number bet. As the name indicates, it covers five specific numbers (0, 00, 1, 2, 3) and produces a 7.89% advantage for the house, which is 0.20% higher than that of triple-zero roulette.
The single-zero layout offers an equivalent wager known as the basket bet on numbers 0, 1, 2, and 3. It has the same payouts and winning odds as the corner bet, for a 2.70% house edge.
The triple-zero layout allows for a similar bet on six numbers where you wager on the two adjacent streets covering 0, 00, 000, 1, 2, and 3. It pays as a regular double-street wager and has the same winning chances, for a 7.69% casino advantage.
So Is Triple-Zero Roulette Worth Playing?
The short answer to this question is no, triple-zero roulette offers no value to players whatsoever. This variation will deplete your gambling bankroll much faster compared to standard single and double-zero games. You will lose ¢0.08 on average per every dollar you bet as opposed to ¢0.05 and ¢0.03 in American and European roulette, respectively.
You are better off playing online slots as many of them offer better winning chances than the monstrosity that is triple-zero roulette. Apart from the five-number bet, the blackjack insurance, baccarat ties, and certain craps wagers are the only bets that can compete with it in terms of poorer odds.
As you can see below, this is one of the worst games a gambler can possibly choose where house edges (HE) are concerned.
7.39% HE in six-deck games
3Five-number bet in 00 roulette
4Hard 6, Hard 8, Big 6, and Big 8 bets in craps
5Hard 4 and Hard 10 bets in craps
6Tie bet in baccarat
14.36% HE in eight-deck games
Roulette Games with the Best Winning Odds
We hope by now it is clear why you should never even approach a triple-zero wheel. This is a horrible game that will drain your bankroll almost three times faster than conventional variations that use one green pocket. While better than what the 000 zero wheel has to offer, 00 roulette still carries a high house edge and generally should be avoided.
The European wheels with a single zero offer the best winning odds but these can be improved further under certain circumstances. Some variants enforce a special rule known as “la partage” (the word “partage” means “to share” in French).
This French rule is quite favorable for roulette players as it enables them to recover half of their losing bets after a spin of zero. It only applies to even-money wagers like red/black, odd/even, and high/low that otherwise lose automatically when the ball lands in the green pocket. Instead of losing everything, the player recoups half of their original stake.
The la partage rule cuts the house edge on even-money bets in half, reducing it from 2.70% to 1.35%. Even-odds players will therefore lose approximately ¢0.01 per dollar wagered over the long run instead of ¢0.03 as they otherwise would. You can find roulette games with la partage in many online casinos that offer live dealer tables powered by Evolution Gaming.