ROI and Return to Player

Thanks to the rapid technological progress in the past two decades casino players are no longer required to visit brick-and-mortar gambling venues in order to enjoy their favourite games. The same applies to roulette enthusiasts. Fans of this game of chance are able to place their bets from the comfort of their surroundings as all reputable online casino operators have added authentic roulette variations to their gaming catalogues.

However, if you are new to the game, it would be best if you become well acquainted with the return on investment (ROI) in roulette as well as with the average return to player percentage (RTP) its variations can offer.

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Return on Investment in Roulette

The Return on Investment or ROI is an essential component which roulette players need to consider prior to joining the game since it also has to do with their bankroll management. Generally speaking, ROI reflects the percentage by which players have decreased or increased their overall bankroll at the end of a given period of time.

For example, if you have joined the game with an initial bankroll of £200 and have succeeded in generating a net profit of £40 at the end of the betting session, this would mean your ROI is equal to 20% or the percentage by which you have increased your initial bankroll. In this case, your ROI is positive.

On bad days, players’ Return on Investment may be in the negative. For example, if you start out with an initial bankroll of £100 and you end up with £30, your ROI will be -70. This is how the calculation goes – (£30 – £100) / £100 = – 0.7 x 100 = – 70%. A negative ROI should serve as an indicator to adjust the value of your betting units for the next betting session. Keeping track of your ROI is essential as it will help you determine whether you should invest more or less money during your next betting session.

Roulette experts recommend less experienced players to limit their final Return on Investment to 15% or 20% of their initial bankroll.

Return to Player Percentage in Roulette

The term Return to Player or RTP is used to describe the game’s theoretical payout percentage or how much of the money you have wagered will be paid back over time. For instance, if a given game has an RTP of 95%, this would mean the player can expect to receive £95 back in winnings out of every £100 they put at stake. The higher RTP the game has, the longer your bankroll will last, at least theoretically.

However, players need to take two things into consideration. First of all, no matter how accurate the RTP of a given roulette variation is, it represents the average return of many spins over prolonged periods of time. If your betting session is quite short, your actual RTP can differ significantly from the statistics published by your online casino operator. For example, the house edge in European roulette stands at 2.70% but this does not necessarily mean you will win back £97.30 on every £100 you bet. You can reach the theoretical player return only over the course of hundreds of spins.

Another thing to consider is that the RTP does not function as an indicator of how often you will win at roulette (or any other game). The RTP published by a given online casino is the same for all types of bets you can place in roulette. But if a player places only even-money bets like Red/Black or Odd/Even, they will surely collect payouts more often in comparison to a player, who bets on single numbers. In the latter case, it may take a hundred or more spins before the single number comes up and the player sees a return.

Return to Player in American Roulette

Having taken the above factors into consideration, we can proceed to explain what is the average Return to Player in European roulette and how it is calculated. The average return to player is closely related to the house edge for the game.

According to the rules of American roulette, the player loses whenever the ball lands in a zero pocket. But since there is an additional, double-zero pocket on American wheels, the house edge for this variation is higher at 5.26%. From this, it follows that on average the house gets to keep £5.26 for every £100 wager you make on American roulette. The RTP can be expressed in the following way: 100 – 5.26 = 94.74. So, the average player return in American roulette is equal to 94.74%.

American Roulette House Edge and Return to Player
Bet Type Bet Payout Bet Probability House Edge Return to Player
Straight 35/1 2.63% 5.26% 94.74%
Split 17/1 5.26% 5.26% 94.74%
Street 11/1 7.89% 5.26% 94.74%
Square or Corner 8/1 10.53% 5.26% 94.74%
Five Line 6/1 13.16% 7.89% 92.11%
Six Line 5/1 15.79% 5.26% 94.74%
Column 2/1 31.58% 5.26% 94.74%
Dozen 2/1 31.58% 5.26% 94.74%
Red / Black 1/1 46.37% 5.26% 94.74%
Odd / Even 1/1 46.37% 5.26% 94.74%
High / Low 1/1 46.37% 5.26% 94.74%

Return to Player in European Roulette

As we know, the wheel in European roulette contains only one zero pocket, which cuts the house edge almost in half, to 2.70%. To calculate the RTP for this variation of the game, we simply need to subtract the house edge from 100. Thus, we will get a theoretical return to player of 97.30%. This means that for every £100 you wager on European roulette, you can potentially get £97.30 back.

European Roulette House Edge and Return to Player
Bet Type Bet Payout Bet Probability House Edge Return to Player
Straight 35/1 2.70% 2.70% 97.30%
Split 17/1 5.41% 2.70% 97.30%
Street 11/1 8.11% 2.70% 97.30%
Square or Corner 8/1 10.81% 2.70% 97.30%
Six Line 5/1 16.2% 2.70% 97.30%
Column 2/1 32.4% 2.70% 97.30%
Dozen 2/1 32.4% 2.70% 97.30%
Red / Black 1/1 48.64% 2.70% 97.30%
Odd / Even 1/1 48.64% 2.70% 97.30%
High / Low 1/1 48.64% 2.70% 97.30%
French Roulette House Edge and Return to Player *
Bet Type Bet Payout Bet Probability House Edge Return to Player
Straight 35/1 2.70% 2.70% 97.30%
Split 17/1 5.41% 2.70% 97.30%
Street 11/1 8.11% 2.70% 97.30%
Trio (0,1,2 / 0,2,3) 11/1 8.11% 2.70% 97.30%
Four-Number (0,1,2,3) 8/1 10.81% 2.70% 97.30%
Square or Corner 8/1 10.81% 2.70% 97.30%
Six Line 5/1 16.2% 2.70% 97.30%
Column 2/1 32.4% 2.70% 97.30%
Dozen (P12, M12, D12) 2/1 32.4% 2.70% 97.30%
Red / Black 1/1 48.64% 2.70% 97.30%
Impair (Odd) / Pair (Even) 1/1 48.64% 2.70% 97.30%
Manque (Low) / Passe (High) 1/1 48.64% 2.70% 97.30%

* French roulette is also played on a single-zero wheel but due to the La Partage rule players get to keep half of their wagers whenever the ball lands in the zero pocket. This further reduces the built-in house advantage to 1.35% which means the theoretical RTP in French roulette is equal to 98.65%. This is way above the return the American variation of the game can offer.