American Roulette vs European Roulette

As long as the casino has been a staple of the entertainment industry, there are a few games that have figured as mainstays of the scene. In particular, roulette has long held a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts and casual fans alike. What those who are not particularly familiar with the game might not know is that this isn’t a one-trick pony. Far from it. Instead, this is a game that has a lot of variation and at the very base level is the difference between American roulette vs European roulette. In this guide, we’ll cover the differences between the variants and what that means for players.

What is American Roulette?

The American variant of roulette is similar to what you would expect from any standard game, except that it includes 38 pockets. That is the numbers 1 to 36 with a single 0 and a double 0. The gameplay is the same, meaning a player picks the numbers they want to place chips on and a ball is spun in the wheel. If the ball lands on a selected number, the player wins. They can also place bets on odds and evens, and red or black.

What is European Roulette?

The European variant is the same as the American variant but there are just 37 numbers for the player to choose from. In this case, it is simply 0 to 36 that a player can choose to place chips on. The wheel is spun in the same way and players win if the ball lands on one of their selections. Again, players can also choose odds and evens, and red or black.

How is American Roulette Different from European Roulette?

As mentioned, when discussing European roulette vs American roulette, the most obvious difference is the inclusion of the double 0 in the latter variant. Because of this, the house edge is slightly higher in this game due to the increased numbers and extra zeros which make red or black and odds and evens less likely.

However, one of the other differences is that in both forms of roulette, there are what are known as call bets. In European, you have French bets. For example, a Voisins du Zéro (Neighbours of Zero) means that if the ball lands on one of the 17 numbers outside of the 0, between 22 and 25, you would win if you placed this bet. In American roulette, you can place a Basket bet, which covers five numbers (0, 00, 1, 2, and 3) in just one chip.

What is the Difference Between the European Roulette Wheel and American Roulette Wheel?

Because of the difference in the amount of numbers that you will find on European roulette vs American roulette, you will notice that the wheel also includes these extra numbers. This means that a European wheel will have just the 37 and American 38. Because of this difference in the wheel, the former roulette variant will have a house edge of around 2.7% and the latter will be around 5.2%. That makes European a more attractive proposition for many players.

What Makes the Roulette Games Similar

Ultimately, there aren’t too many differences in the gameplay when comparing European roulette vs American. At the end of the day, the fundamentals are much the same. The player will place their chips on their chosen numbers or options in both and the casino dealer or online game will spin the wheel so that the ball lands on a number to decide whether there is a winner or a loser. A player can also place their chip over multiple numbers, meaning that they split their stake over those options, reducing the payout if the ball does fall on one of those numbers.

What Bets Can Be Placed in European Roulette?

We already mentioned that French bets include Voisins du Zero but there are a number of other options that a player can take advantage of. There is Tiers du Cylindre (Third of the Wheel) in which a player will place a bet that covers the third of the wheel opposite 0 - 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, and 33. Finally, Orphelins (Orphans) are the numbers that are not covered by the other two bets - that is 1, 6, 7, 9, 14, 20, 31, and 34. Always make sure to take note of the specific rules for the game that you’ve chosen to play as these can be different based on where you’re playing. For example, some casinos may offer En Prison or La Partage. The former gives you back half your stake if the ball falls on zero and the latter gives it all back if it happens.

What are the Different Bets Which can be Placed in American Roulette?

Much like French bets, American roulette has its own side bets known as announced bets. On top of the Basket or 5-number bet, there is also the Double Street or 6-number bet. In this case, a player will place their bet at the bottom of two vertical columns of numbers, incorporating two separate lines of three numbers. As well as this, you will also have zero and double zero, as well as other inside bets on the table.

American Roulette vs European Roulette FAQs

As with any game in which there are a number of variants, there will always be some uncertainties and common questions that players will have. Here we’ve rounded up the most common questions that are asked by roulette players and answered them for you.

Should I Play American or European Roulette?

This decision depends largely on what you prefer in a game. European and American roulette are much the same game but the house edge is different for both. The latter does have the higher house edge so many will avoid it for that reason. However, no game provides a certain chance of winning, so this shouldn’t really inform your choice so much.

Where Can I Play American or European Roulette?

You will be able to find both variations of the game of roulette in almost all good casinos. Obviously, you’re more likely to find European on the continent and American in the US, but there will likely be both. You can also find all different kinds of the game online at good internet casinos.

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