Differences Between American and European Roulette

Roulette, Casino, Money, Gambling

It’s a question that I often encounter: American roulette vs. European roulette – which one is better? The obvious answer is that the European version because of the lower house edge, but it’s not that simple.

American and European Roulette are very similar, but I want to explain some of the key differences that exist. In this guide, I discuss the layouts of the roulette wheels, the house edge, and other aspects of both games.

The Extra Zero

After a quick glance at both roulette wheels, you may not notice any significant differences. However, the American version contains a regular zero and double zero, which is essentially an extra slot within the roulette wheel.

With the European roulette wheel, no double zero exists – there’s only a single green zero. This may appear to be a minor distinction, but when you think about the grand scheme of both games, it’s actually very important because it directly affects your returns. The next section explains why.

House Edge for European Roulette vs. American Roulette

The house edge for European and American Roulette is not the same because of the double zero. Although the difference may appear to be negligible to the untrained eye, it actually has a huge impact on the outcomes.

The odds of winning when you select a specific slot in the European roulette wheel is 1 out of 37. However, in American Roulette, those odds decrease to 1 out of 38 because of the extra zero.

Futher Info:

Even though the probabilities of winning are different, you’re still getting paid the same in both games – the payouts are 35 to 1. In other words, it makes more sense to play European roulette because you’ll win more money in the long term.

The house edge in American Roulette is 5.26%, which is pretty high for a casino table game. However, European roulette has a house edge of 2.7%, which is substantially better. A simple math equation will help illustrate the difference:

For every $1,000 that you spend betting on American roulette, you lose $52.60 on average ($1,000 x 5.26%). When you play European roulette, you only lose $27 for every $1,000 that you spend.

It’s as simple as that when it comes to the house edge of both games.

Differences in the Wheels

When comparing American and European Roulette, you’ll notice that the wheels have subtle differences. First, the American version has 38 slots for the ball to rest in, and the numbers alternate between black and red from 1 to 36. There are also two green slots (zero and double zero).

In the European Roulette wheel, you also have 36 numbered slots that alternate in color between black and red. However, there’s only a single green slot for the number zero.

Furthermore, the wheels also vary when you compare the order in which the numbers appear. That doesn’t impact your odds or the gameplay, but it’s still worth noting.

Is European Roulette Better?

The simple answer is yes, and I can explain why. Sure, the differences are subtle, and it seems as though either one could be a viable option for you to play. However, when we talk about US roulette vs. European roulette, it’s obvious that the latter offers you better odds of winning.

Futher Info:

The only scenario in which picking American roulette makes sense is online. Some internet casinos offer better bonuses and promotions to make up for the house edge. If you add that to the equation, it’s possible that US roulette is the right choice.

Play Roulette Online

Comparing American Roulette vs. European Roulette proves that the differences are subtle yet important. Ultimately, no matter the game you decide to play, it’s good to stick to the best roulette casinos online. They offer you both versions of the game and many perks.

You can enjoy huge bonuses and promotions, multiple banking options, and many variations of European and US roulette. Many of the casinos even have live dealer versions of the game that combine the best of land-based and online gambling.

Jim Beviglia
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About Jim Beviglia
Jim Beviglia has been a gambling writer at LegitGamblingSites.com since 2018. During that time, he’s written just about every type of article related to gambling, including reviews of betting sites, guides to popular casino games, betting tips on both casino and sports betting, sports and casino blog posts, and game picks. In addition to online gambling, one of Jim’s other major interests is music. He has been doing freelance work for various music sites and magazines for two decades. Among his outlets past and present are American Songwriter, VinylMePlease, Treble, and The Bluegrass Situation. Jim has also written five books on music that were published by Rowman & Littlefield.