American vs European Roulette

Roulette is one of the most popular games around, both in real life casinos and online. The spinning wheel and range of betting options make the game immediately recognizable, which is why hundreds of thousands of players take their chances at the game every single day.

There are a number variations of this popular game which some newcomers to the gambling arena might be unaware of, the most prominent being the American and European versions of Roulette.

In a popularity contest, the American version of Roulette tends to win out, but only amongst those players that only have a limited understanding of the game. Amongst professionals, European Roulette is a clear favorite for a number of reasons.

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+American VS European Roulette

The American VS European Roulette debate is a little difficult for some people to engage in because both versions of the game share a lot of similarities. However, there are some distinct features that, none the less, separate them.

Both versions of Roulette emerged at the roughly the same time; people today are still arguing about which version came first. It is accepted that the European variation first emerged in 1843 in Bad Homburg Casino and it was developed to give the game less of an edge, attracting even more players in the process.

The game was eventually adopted in Monte Carlo Casino before finding fame in certain pockets across the world. Because Las Vegas is such a powerful force in the betting arena, they were able to more effectively spread the renown of American Roulette, though European Roulette is slowly gaining ground.

-Zero VS Double Zero

The biggest difference between these two games is the Zero. The European game has 37 spaces on its wheel into which the ball can drop. They range from one to 36, and they also include the number Zero.

American Roulette, on the other hand, has numbers one through to 36, a zero as well as a double zero (00) slot on its wheel. In other words, American roulette has 38 spaces instead of 37. That matters because 0 and 00 are losses in almost every betting scenario, so having both 0 and 00 on the roulette wheel is a bit of a disadvtange.

-The House Edge

You cannot really have an American VS European Roulette debate without delving into the issue of the house edge. This is where the two games most distinctly diverge, and it is based on this issue that professionals typically choose between the two variations of roulette.

Because American roulette has a double zero as well as a zero, the house has a 5.26 percent advantage; that is high, especially when you compare it to European roulette which only has one zero and only gives the house an advantage of 2.7 percent.

Not only is the house edge higher in American roulette than in most other versions, but European Roulette’s ‘En Prison’ makes the variation considerably more attractive. En Prison is a betting option where a player can get their wager back (on even/odd bets) when the ball lands on zero.

In other words, with En Prison, European Roulette reduces the house edge even further on certain gambles. Looking the odds and the potential for success, European Roulette should comfortably edge American Roulette out in any debate.


The differences between American and European Roulette might seem slight, but they can have a considerable impact on one’s chances of winning. For the most part, though, the American VS European Roulette debate seems obvious.

European roulette is the superior variation of the two and, thus, you might expect it to be the most popular option. However, American Roulette is still vastly more popular than its European counterpart. And this primarily comes down to gambling traditionalists preferring the double zero system because they consider it to be the original form of betting,

Casinos in most parts of the United States and Europe have adopted American Roulette. While European Roulette has continued to gain ground, it is still restricted to a handful of casinos in Europe.

-What should you play?

Common sense suggests that you should always favor European Roulette over its American counterpart. The only time you should ever consider playing American Roulette is in situations where the casino injects new rules that either even the odds between the two versions or somehow provide the American version of roulette an advantage; that has been known to happen with American Online casinos. » Blog » American vs European Roulette
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