European and American Roulette

European and American Roulette: We tell you what you need to know.

Roulette is arguably the most popular and well known casino game in the world, and because of this, multiple different types of roulette have developed over the years. By far the most popular versions, however, are American and European roulette. Although both variations follow the same regular format, there are odds, rules, layouts and bets that are specific to each game.

Historically speaking, roulette dates back hundreds of years. The origins go back to 17th century France. Blaise Pascal – a French physicist and mathematician – went about the struggle of inventing a perpetual motion machine, and thus the roulette wheel was born. However, it was not until the mid-1800s when, at the request of King Charles III of Monaco, Francois and Lois Blanc redesigned the table in order to add a zero. This secured the house edge for the casino and paved the way for roulette to become the staple game of casinos all around the world.

Read on to find out everything you need to know; including which of the two variations is better to play if your goal is simply to win as much money as possible. Whether you are a regular at the online roulette tables or just a rookie, this vital knowledge may determine whether your next spin on the roulette wheel ends in success or failure.

The Stats

The first thing that you need to know about these two roulette variations is that American roulette has a much larger house edge than its European counterpart does – 5.26% in American roulette compared to 2.7% in European roulette. That means, the average payout in European roulette is 97.3% compared with just 94.7% in American roulette. If your desire is simply to win money, then you should certainly play European Roulette rather than American.

The Layout

One immediately noticeable difference between the two variations is the layout of the game. European roulette has 37 pockets (spaces on the wheel where the ball can land) whereas American roulette has 38 pockets. The American roulette wheel has two zero pockets, a ‘0’ and a ‘00’ whereas the European version only has the ‘00’ pocket. Apart from this, both tables still have 18 red pockets and 18 black pockets.

The roulette wheels also have a different sequence to one another whereby the European variant’s layout is the counter clockwise order of numbers of an American roulette wheel. The colours and numbers are, of course, still properly distributed on both wheels, however.

The House Edge

As aforementioned, the house edge in American roulette compared with European roulette is significantly higher – 5.26% in American roulette compared to 2.7% in European roulette. This means that you stand a much greater chance of winning playing European roulette as the house advantage is much lower. The house edge is significantly higher in American roulette because it has the ‘0’ and ‘00’ pocket.

The Rules

The basic rules of Roulette do, of course, remain intact across different variations of the game. However, there are specific actions that players can take whilst playing European roulette that they cannot do when playing American roulette and vice versa.

When playing the European version, there are two different and beneficial actions that you can take that you cannot do in American roulette. The first is the “En Prison” rule which allows you to take a second spin if you place an even money bet but the ball lands in ‘0’. Secondly, you can also make call bets. These bets are announced to the dealer which is unlike what you would do when making a normal bet where you would place your bets on the betting table. This is usually reserved for more complicated betting, however.

In American Roulette, you can place what is called a five number bet – this bet is based on 1,2,3,0 and 00. This is a high risk bet with a high house edge: avoid it.

Summing Up

Unless you extremely enjoy playing American roulette or if you’re playing a roulette strategy that is optimal for this game, then you should generally only stick to its European counterpart. European roulette is a much easier game to win money at than the American version is due to its lower house edge and lower number of pockets on the roulette wheel.

At the same time, that does not mean you should stop playing American roulette. If you enjoy playing this variation, then you should continue to play. When playing roulette, the most important thing for you to do is to enjoy yourself to the maximum. Like with most games, you should always ensure that, first and foremost, you are having fun.

If you are on the lookout for a place to play roulette, CasinoGuide UK lists a variety of reputable online casinos for roulette – just click onto to see them.

On the other hand, you can always visit your local casino or even buy a home roulette set. Remember, you don’t have to play with money, chocolate coins and matches are great to play with if you want to introduce this game to your children.


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