The Differences Between American and European Roulette

Roulette, a thrilling casino game, comes in various versions, but two of the most popular ones are American and European Roulette. Despite their similarities, these variations have significant distinctions that can impact players’ odds and overall gaming experience. In this article, we will explore the main differences between American and European Roulette, including wheel layouts, house edge, and unique features, helping you make an informed choice next time you hit the casino.

Both versions offer an exciting and thrilling gambling experience, but they differ in several key aspects that can significantly impact a player’s chances of winning. So, let’s explore the disparities between the two and see which one gives you better chances to win. 

What is Roulette?

Roulette is a classic casino game that originated in France during the 17th century. The game features a spinning wheel with numbered pockets and a small ball. Players place bets on different numbers or combinations of numbers, and the croupier spins the wheel. The pocket in which the ball comes to rest determines the winning bet.

The exact origins of roulette remain uncertain, but it is often attributed to the French mathematician and inventor Blaise Pascal. Over time, the game evolved and found its way to America, where it underwent further modifications to create the American version of roulette.

In both American and European Roulette, players place bets on the outcome of a ball spinning on a revolving wheel. The wheel is divided into numbered pockets, and the objective is to predict where the ball will land.

American Roulette Overview

American roulette features a wheel with 38 pockets, numbered from 1 to 36, and two additional green pockets marked as 0 and 00. The inclusion of the double zero (00) increases the house edge to 5.26%. The presence of the double zero impacts the odds and potentially reduces players’ chances of winning.

European Roulette Overview

European roulette, on the other hand, has 37 pockets numbered from 1 to 36 and a single green pocket marked as 0. Unlike its American counterpart, European roulette offers better odds for players due to the absence of the double zero,  resulting in a lower house edge of 2.7%. The absence of the double zero makes European Roulette more favorable for players seeking better odds.

Advantages and Disadvantages

While American Roulette may offer more betting options due to the double zero, it comes with a higher house edge, making it less advantageous for players. On the other hand, European Roulette’s lower house edge provides better odds, increasing the chances of winning.

Differences in Wheel Layouts

American & European Roulette Wheels Compared

The arrangement of numbers on the wheel differs between American and European roulette. The sequence of numbers is designed to achieve an equal distribution of odds, but the presence of the double zero in American roulette disrupts this balance. Zero is placed between 2 and 28 while double zero is placed between 1 and 27. In European roulette, zero is placed between 26 and 32.

House Edge Comparison

The house edge is a critical factor for players when choosing between American and European roulette. Like we already mentioned, the house edge in American roulette stands at 5.26%, almost double that of European roulette’s 2.70% due to the additional 00.

The Impact on Odds and Payouts

The odds in roulette represent the likelihood of winning a bet. In American roulette, the odds of hitting a single number with a straight-up bet are 37 to 1, as there are a total of 38 numbers on the wheel. However, it’s essential to note that the house only pays out 35 to 1 on winning straight-up bets, despite the odds being 37 to 1. 

This slight difference creates the casino’s advantage and is known as the house edge. The same odds apply to combination bets as well, where the payout is 35 to 1. Understanding the odds is crucial for players to make informed decisions and manage their expectations while playing roulette.

Unique Features of European Roulette

European roulette introduces optional en prison and call bets, adding extra excitement and opportunities for players. The en prison rule grants players another chance to win if the ball lands on 0 and they placed an even-money bet.

Player Preferences and Recommendations

European roulette is highly favored by players for its more player-friendly odds and greater chances of winning. The percentage probabilities of winning various bet types generally favor European roulette.

Therefore, most gamblers prefer European roulette due to its better odds and lower house edge. However, some players might still choose American roulette for specific reasons, such as limited options or patriotic preferences.

Online Roulette Variants

In the digital age, online casinos offer a wide range of roulette variants, including both American and European Roulette. Players can explore various online roulettes and alternate between them for better chances and new experiences.

ConclusionIn conclusion, American and European Roulette are two distinct versions of the classic casino game, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. While American roulette features an extra double zero, resulting in a higher house edge, European roulette offers better odds and a lower house advantage, making it the preferred choice for many players. Understanding the differences between the two versions can help players make informed decisions when placing their bets and enhance their overall gaming experience.