American & European Roulette Differences

You probably know that there are several types of roulette, but do you know the differences between them? In this article, we will mention the main differences between American and European roulette. We will emphasize the different rules and how to play them. 

Once you have soaked up the information, you will be able to try the roulette you like best at some of the online casinos we review on Casinoble South Africa.

Roulette is undoubtedly one of the most popular casino games. It would be sporadic to enter a gambling establishment and not find a roulette table.

What are the main differences between American and European roulette?

If you wish to play roulette online as a table game or in live mode, you must know specific differences. These are reflected in the history, numbers on the table, and even how they are played.

The History of Roulette

European roulette is the oldest roulette and was devised in the 18th century in France by Blaise Pascal. As early as 1796, it began to be played in the same way as it is known today. At that time, red was established for the zero and black for the double zero. Later, in the early 1800s, green was adopted for the zeros to avoid confusion.

Roulette with a single zero was introduced in 1843 by François and Louis Blanc. This modality spread to other parts of the world from France in the 19th century. It was during this time that roulette became one of the most popular games in the United States.

American roulette was born from the European version, but with some modifications. It was in the United States where the double zero roulette was invented. This modality became very popular in well-known Monte Carlo casinos. Over time, these versions were identified as single-zero roulette for European roulette and double-zero roulette for American roulette.

American and European Roulette Cloths

Apart from the differences in their history, the two types share other even more notable differences. It is essential to know them if you want to play roulette online against the computer or live mode.

American Roulette

American roulette is highly popular, and as expected, the United States is the most popular. It dominated Las Vegas casinos, causing it to be adopted in the United Kingdom, Canada, and some parts of Europe.

American roulette differs from European roulette in that it makes use of both zeros, i.e., 0 and 00. Of course, this translates into a higher house edge, much higher than in European roulette. 

A slight disadvantage is that the odds of winning are lower. However, this does not prevent traditionalists from preferring the double-zero system over the single-zero system. The chips used in American roulette are of different colors. The wheel is placed at the opposite end of the table.

When playing roulette, the odds of winning are 1 in 38 because there are 38 squares. Again, the payout on your wins is 35 to 1. This means that you will receive 35 times more than your initial bet.

European Roulette

As mentioned above, the main difference between American and European roulette is its zeros. Unlike American roulette, European roulette has only one 0 on the cloth, giving you 37 different outcomes.

Again, unlike American roulette, European roulette has a rule known as “In Prison.” With this rule, a player can get half his bet by playing odd or even numbers when the ball lands on 0. When this happens, the house edge will be reduced to a minimum of 1.35%. As minor as they may seem, these differences combine to give even more chances for a newcomer to the game of roulette to win big.

It is also important to note that, unlike American roulette, the chips used in European roulette come in the same color. The wheel is placed in the middle in European roulette, while in American roulette, it is placed at the end. In European roulette, the odds of winning are 1 in 37 due to its 37 spaces.

Layout and number of pockets

The difference by the layout of American and European roulette is on each game.

There 37 pockets on the wheel of a European roulette while the American roulette has 38 pockets.

The pockets are used to receive the balls when they land.

The reason for this type of layout is that the American roulette wheel contains two zeros while the European roulette has only one pocket.

‘0’ and ‘00’ for American and ‘0’ for European.

Sequence of wheels

Another layout variation of the two is brought about by a sequence of wheels.

The layout for each roulette ensures odds and evens are well distributed.

They are red and black.

House edge

The other main difference between the two is brought about by their house edge.

House edge is the amount of bet that a player expects to lose for every spin they make.

The lower the house advantage a game has, the higher chance it has for a player to win.

The different number of pockets has effects on the house edge in the game.

This is a very significant factor in the game because it determines the form of roulette a player will choose to play.

American roulette has a higher house edge percentage as compared to European roulette.

Their percentages are 5.26% and 2.70% respectively.


The European roulette house edge percent is because of the wheel that has zero that tips the odds of the player anytime they make their bet.

For instance, placing a bet on red having 18 red and 18 black pockets would mean that the probability of a win for that game is 50%.

However, the percent turns out to be a bit higher than 50% because of green ‘0’.

On the other side, American roulette house edge percent is due to the ‘0’ pocket and ‘00’ pocket on the wheel.

This means that there is added advantage for the bet and specifically for the bets that are on even money.

Different rules

European roulette players have to observe different rules from the American players.

Rules are an essential part of any live casino game.

Roulette rules are to be followed by the players.

Two main rules for European roulette is En prison rule and call bets.

En prison allows the player to spin if they place a bet with even money, but the ball ends up landing on ‘0’.

En prison rule can help reduce the house edge to 1.35%.

The call bets it is a bit different from the regular bet.

The bet is usually announced to the dealer as opposed to the regular bet where chips are placed on the betting table.

Call bet is normally for the betting actions that are complicated.

Red Splits and Neighbours is an example of a call bet.

American roulette table allows one to place a bet with five numbers. The bet is usually placed on the following; 1, 2,3,0 and 00.

This is not possible with the European table because it does not have 00.

These bets have a very high house edge which is about 7.9%.

The percentage is higher than all other bets available on the table.

Odds and payouts

Another difference is on odds and payout.

For European wheel, 1 in 37 are the odds of winning while for American win the odds are 1 in 38

The payout for both European and American wheel wins 35 in 1.

The difference is brought by payout being more often with the European wheel.

Which Roulette Wheel Should You Play: European or American?

The type of roulette you should play depends entirely on your preferences and your understanding of the game. Ideally, if you are looking to win playing online roulette, you should go for European roulette. It has a lower house edge, and the “In Prison” rule option will help you increase your chances of winning.

Lerato Dlamini

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