When it comes to roulette (and blackjack and certain other casino games such as video poker), there is one simple and unbeatable way to give yourself the best chance of success and the highest probability of winning. All these games come in a range of variants with slightly different rules, features and payout quirks, and if you pick the most player-favourable option, you can drastically improve your odds of success.
The other side of that coin is that if you don’t choose your game variant wisely you are essentially automatically giving the casino even more of an edge than they already have. When it comes to roulette, playing the right type of roulette has traditionally meant avoiding double zero games. Essentially a double zero gives you twice the chance of losing and increases the house edge by a broadly corresponding amount.
But before you ask why would anyone be crazy enough to play double zero roulette, get this: there are now even roulette games with a triple zero.
Triple Zero Roulette Launches At The Venetian
A fool and their money are easily parted and equally, in a capitalist world most businesses – and perhaps especially casinos – are always looking to increase their profits. And so if a double zero wheel makes more cash for a casino than a single wheel, why not chuck an extra zero into the mix and have a triple zero wheel and really jack those profits up?
Triple zero roulette is simply a version of the game that features the numbers one to 36 and a single, green zero, just like European roulette (or “normal” roulette, or single zero roulette). It then also takes the double zero of American roulette and, for good measure, adds a third green pocket marked 000. So in short, triple zero roulette is played with a 39-number wheel, featuring numbers one to 36, plus 0, 00 and 000. Simple.
The Venetian Las Vegas hotel and casino was built on the site of the former Sands Hotel, opened in 1999 and is owned and operated by Las Vegas Sands. In 2016 the casino launched Sands Roulette and threw the first-ever triple zero down. Over time other casinos cottoned on to the simplistic magic of ripping customers off and triple zero roulette was added to the floor at Planet Hollywood, New York New York, the MGM Grand, the Flamingo … and just about everywhere. You will now find it at casinos around the world and both offline and online.
Any Zero Bet
The triple zero wheel includes the option of a new bet, never offered at the game before: any zero. This is pretty self-explanatory (we would hope) and covers all three zero pockets, meaning you win if 0, 00 or 000 hits. This pays at 11/1 and has a three in 39, or one in 13, chance of landing.
Are The Payouts The Same For Triple Zero Roulette?
Payouts are indeed the same, so a bet on red or black (or odds/evens or high/low) pays out at even money. A wager on a single number returns 35/1, 17/1 for two numbers, 11/1 on a triple-number split (be that a standard three-number bet or the “any zero” option detailed above) and so on. As we have alluded to, the payouts are the same, but in effect, the extra triple zero pocket creates an extra chance for you to lose. Unsurprisingly, this is bad news for the player and great news for the casino.
House Edge At Triple Zero Roulette
In the simplest terms, the house edge is the profit margin the casino builds into its games and the advantage they hold over the customer. A roulette wheel with no zeroes that maintained the traditional 35/1 payout for a single number and the even money odds for a colour would have zero house edge. Back £10 on red and £10 on black and no matter what happens, you end up with the same £20 you started with. A £1 bet on all 36 numbers yields the same result and, over an infinite period, even if you don’t cover all the numbers, you would still expect to break even.
However, throw on that first irksome green zero and you need to make 37 £1 bets to cover the board and yet will only get a return of £36. That £1 profit for the casino creates a house edge of 2.70%. Nice work, but why not put two zeroes and make a little more cream for the fat cats? The double zero means that 38 separate £1 bets are needed to cover the wheel, whilst each one, should it win, will still only return £36. That gives a healthier £2 profit for the casino which creates a house edge almost twice the size, with the figure being 5.26% (for all bets aside from the “first five” wager, which carries a whopping 7.89% edge for the house). The table below shows these figures, plus the edge for some other popular casino games, alongside the house edge for triple zero roulette:
|Single zero roulette (European)||2.70%||Same on all bets|
|Double zero roulette (American)||5.26%||7.89% if you back the “first five” (0,00,1,2,3)|
|Triple zero roulette||7.69%||Same on all bets (including “any green”)|
|Blackjack||0.6%||Edge varies with rules but 0.6% is around the lowest you will find|
|Baccarat||1.06%||Edge is best for banker bets: backing the player is a little worse at 1.24% whilst the tie is a shocker at 14.36%|
Why Do People Play Triple Zero Roulette?
When triple zero roulette was first introduced there were many who thought it was an outrageous example of profiteering that would soon flop. Why would punters choose to play with the extra zero when they could instead increase their chances of winning by playing at a wheel with just two zeroes. Or if they were prepared to really go looking (this was Vegas, after all, where European roulette is not widespread), they might find a wheel with just a single zero and improve their odds yet further.
Such critics were quite quickly proved wrong and rather than Sands Roulette disappearing without a trace, triple zero roulette soon became a common sight in Vegas and then beyond. But why? Why would anyone knowingly and willingly give the house more money than was necessary?
This is a tricky one to assess and perhaps a question we cannot really answer without offending anyone who has ever played it, and other people who are less misanthropic than we are. But then being slightly misanthropic, we’ll take a chance: people are stupid. Not you and your friends and not us but, like, other people. Stupid. Very, very stupid.
Et tu, Linq? pic.twitter.com/BJkOQJjooq
— Vital Vegas (@VitalVegas) August 19, 2020
To try and give a more nuanced answer there are only a few reasons why we could understand anyone playing triple zero roulette. First, as George Mallory said of climbing Mount Everest, because it’s there. There is perhaps a novelty factor of saying you have even seen a triple zero wheel, or at least there was in the game’s earliest days. It’s there, why not have a few bets and maybe even try and land a winner on the triple zero itself?
Next, people might play triple zero because they just do not understand how the game works. If you are not a casino regular you may not be aware of what the house edge is, let alone how it works or how it is created by the zeroes in roulette. In truth, this does not make you stupid. Most people play casino games for a bit of fun once in a while and there is no expectation that everyone should know it all. But now you know, so if you still play it you have no excuse. Do not play triple zero roulette.
The only really acceptable reason for sitting down at a wheel with a triple zero, and we’re really stretching the definition of acceptable, is if there are no free spots at any other roulette table. If you really, really, really want to play some roulette and simply cannot wait for a spot at another wheel, then okay, sit and play triple zero, if you must. The reality is that whilst that house edge is huge compared to European roulette, it is not really a make-or-break difference compared to playing roulette with two zeroes. Over a relatively short period, assuming you aren’t betting mega sums, the difference to your bottom line shouldn’t be too bad. But once you’ve had your fill or a spot at a better wheel pops open, leave, pronto!
Triple Zero Roulette Conclusion
This is a simple one: do not play it. Period. It offers nothing worthwhile to the player and simply makes you more likely to lose.
If you are in a bricks and mortar casino, especially in the US, you may not be spoiled for choice and you may decide you just want to play and don’t mind leaking a few extra dollars to the casino. Okay.
However, if you are playing online, where roulette with a single zero and a low house edge of just 2.70% is readily available, quite simply you should never play triple zero roulette.
Unless you have an aversion to money (in which case send us some), European roulette is the place to be.