Roulette is the go-to game for many casino players, given its high-risk/high-reward nature. It also helps that it is one of the easiest and fastest table games to play. In the modern age, there are a number of variations and off-shoots to the iconic game, but, for the most part, they all come back to either the classic European or American style.

What are the Differences?

The most notable differences in European and American roulette comes down to the addition of an extra “0” pocket. Represented as “00” on the table, the presence of an extra number on the roulette wheel means that the standard 37 pockets (36 numbers and the 0) become 38 on the wheel. When comparing anything – be it the best betting apps, the highest variance slots, or roulette wheels – we all want to know we’re getting a fair shake.

With the extra pocket, punters will have a lower chance of winning. This is due to the house gaining an additional edge on players. For this reason, there are many casino players who will actively avoid playing American Roulette. Even the most patriotic of players understand that gaining any type of advantage over the house is crucial. Having a significant percentage of their chances of winning decrease does not bode well for some.

Odds and Extras

When it comes to comparing the odds on European and American roulette wheel, they naturally differ given the additional “0” on the latter. When it comes to how this will affect each bet, we have illustrated an example, below:

Bet Payout Odds (European) Odds American
Single Number 35-1 2.70% 2.60%
2 Number Combination 17-1 5.4% 5.3%
3 Number Combination 11-1 8.1% 7.9%
Column 2-1 32.40% 31.60%
Dozen 2-1 32.40% 31.60%
Even/Odd Evens 48.60% 47.4%
Red/Black Evens 48.60% 47.4%

As you can see, the additional return you receive simply from using a European roulette wheel can really add up. This is why the smartest players always tend to opt for the European version of the game. If these little differences add up when it comes to personal finance, why should we ignore any way to work smarter in the casino?

Aside from the notable difference when it comes to odds, there are a couple of additional bets in European roulette which are absent from the American version. These are:

‘La Partage’ – Translating to ‘the divide’ in English, ‘La Partage’ is a type of even money bet which may or may not be allowed by a casino. If it is in effect, this means that when a zero lands, 50% of even money bets are returned to the player. This cuts the house edge to 1.35% when the rule is in play.

‘En Prison’ – This is slightly more complicated, but not exactly difficult to grasp. ‘En Prison’ is a rule which also applies to even money bets. If a zero comes in, the dealer will place a marker by the bet. If the player wins on the next spin, he will also win the initial bet. Trip to The Seychelles, anyone?

The House Edge Matters

The house edge is generally represented as a percentage which a land-based casino or online casino holds over the player. While, in an ideal world, a bet between a casino and a player would give each side a fair 50-50 split, unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way.

When it comes to European Roulette, the edge which the house holds over players is 2.7%. On an American wheel, the house edge is doubled with the presence of an additional pocket (“00”).  This takes your chances of winning on a single spin down to 94.6% on account of the 5.4% house edge. This does not represent a good deal when you can simply walk a few yards in a land-based casino – or click a new window in an online casino – to have a better chance at winning.