What Is The Difference Between European And American Roulette?

Roulette is one of the most popular games in a casino and is the game of choice for many casual and pro gamblers.

Roulette as a game was invented by Gallic physicist Blaise Pascal in 1655 and has featured in almost every casino from the late 19th century.

As roulette was introduced around the world, there evolved some slight differences in how it was played. Today, the main differences are between European Roulette and American Roulette. It’s important to be aware of these differences and how they affect the game and payouts so that you can place bets which have the greatest chance of winning and producing the biggest possible returns over time.

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European Roulette v American Roulette

When looking at a European Roulette wheel and an American Roulette wheel, you’ll notice a that the main difference is that the American Roulette wheel features an additional number.

european roulette v american roulette
  • American Roulette Wheel: 38 Numbers
  • European Roulette Wheel: 37 Numbers

With European Roulette, the numbers range from 0 – 36 but with American Roulette, there is the addition of a double zero (00).

Another difference is the way the numbers are ordered around the wheel. This difference confuses a lot of players who make the transition to American Roulette after being used to European Roulette and vice versa.

House Edge & RTP

As American Roulette features an additional pocket with it having a double zero, there is less chance of a your bet coming in. If you were to place a bet on a single number, the chances of the ball landing in that pocket on an American Roulette wheel would be 1 in 38 whereas on a European Roulette wheel it would be 1 in 37.

Usually, when the chances of a bet are lowered, the payout odds increase. However, this is not the case with American Roulette which has the same payout odds as European Roulette. This means that if you placed a £1 bet on a number and it came in, your returns would be £36 on both an American and European wheel despite the fact that the bet has less chance of coming in on American Roulette!

Because of this, the house edge of American Roulette is greater than the house edge of European Roulette.

American Roulette
Bet TypePayout OddsProbabilityHouse EdgeReturn To Player (RTP)
Square or Corner8/110.53%5.26%94.74%
Five Line6/113.16%7.89%92.11%
Six Line5/115.79%5.26%94.74%
Red / Black1/146.37%5.26%94.74%
Odd / Even1/146.37%5.26%94.74%
High / Low1/146.37%5.26%94.74%
European Roulette
Bet TypePayout OddsProbabilityHouse EdgeReturn To Player (RTP)
Square or Corner8/110.81%2.70%97.30%
Six Line5/116.20%2.70%97.30%
Red / Black1/148.64%2.70%97.30%
Odd / Even1/148.64%2.70%97.30%
High / Low1/148.64%2.70%97.30%

The house edge of American Roulette is almost double that of European Roulette due to the addition of the double zero.

Difference In Rules

Generally, the rules of American and European Roulette are the same. However, some casinos apply different rules to European Roulette which work in the players’ favour.

These rules are:

  • The ‘En Prison’ rule
  • The ‘La Partage’  rule

Both of these rules apply only to even money bets and at some, but not all, casinos when playing European Roulette.

When the ‘En Prison’ rule is applied, should the ball land on zero, the dealer places a marker alongside the even money bets on the table. Then, should the players original bet come in on the next spin, they receive their stake back.

When the  La Partage’ rule is applied, should the ball land on zero, all even-money bets are split 50/50 between the player and the casino. This is beneficial to the player as usually, they would lose their bet but instead are receiving 50% of it back. When the  La Partage’ rule is applied, the house edge for even-money bets is reduced from 2.70% to just 1.35%. It’s rare to find this rule in place in many casinos but several casinos in France still apply La Partage’.

Is European Roulette or American Roulette Better?

Due to the much lower house edge on European Roulette, it is by far the better of the two games. There is no reason to play American Roulette when the games work in such a similar way but with one paying out less to players.

You’ll find both European Roulette and American Roulette available to play at the vast majority of land based and online casinos and hopefully this guide will help steer you towards European Roulette and give you a better chance of walking away with a profit.

Best Place To Play Roulette Online

Any online casino or bookie which has a casino section will offer roulette. Many provide multiple variations of roulette which include American Roulette, European Roulette, Lightning Roulette, Speed Roulette, Spread Bet Roulette and many others.

Our recommended place to play roulette online is at Bet365. Bet365 provide a large range of both computer-generated and live roulette tables which gives players an excellent choice.

If you don’t have an account with Bet365 yet, click on the button below to register and claim up to £100 in bet credits with their welcome offer.

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