Roulette is one of the most popular casino games, and it is always the image that you first think of when you think of a casino. And when it comes to roulette, there are two main variants that are seen everywhere. These are American Roulette and European Roulette. Americancasinos.com is here to help you understand the differences between the two versions.
The most significant and most obvious difference that you will see is the wheel. The numbers are in a totally different layout on the two wheels, and although they both feature the numbers one to thirty-six. The European roulette wheel has a single green zero that sits at the head of the wheel. The American roulette wheel has the same single green zero at the head, but it also has a green double zero, that sits directly opposite it at the foot of the wheel. This means that an American wheel has thirty-eight pockets on it, to a European wheel’s thirty-seven.
This makes a difference when it comes to the odds of winning and the house edge. The house edge is the amount that the house will win over any extended playing time. On a European wheel, the house edge is just 2.7%. This is not a bad advantage for the house, and it means that they do make money. The way this generally comes about is because if the ball lands on the green zero, then all of the bets the players have made loose. When this is a 1/37 chance of it happening, it means that the house will win on average once every thirty-seven spins. All your Black/Red, Odd/Even and High/Low bets are all suddenly losers. If you take into account that picking a winning number on a roulette wheel, pays you back 35/1 (i.e. you get your stake, plus 35 times your stake, for a total of 36 times your money) but your chances of winning are 1/37 then it is clear to see that the house can make some money.
Contrast this with an American wheel. Here the house edge is even more. It now runs out at 5.26%. And this is all down to that extra double zero. The payout for a correct number bet is exactly the same as on a European wheel, i.e. 35/1, but this time the chance of guessing correctly is only 1 in 38 because of the extra double zero. Both the zero and the double zero are losing bets to the players, so in fact the house will win one in every nineteen spins, because of the two zeros, giving them a much better house edge. Therefore as a player, you want to know which wheel you are playing and how the odds work so that you can maximise your winnings.
The extra double zero also has an effect on any of the other bets you can make, not just the straight number guesses. Say you went with Red or Black, then on a European wheel the chance of you winning is just 48.65%, not the 50/50 that you would expect, and this is because of the green zero being a losing bet either way. Compare this with on an American wheel and the chance of you getting it correct drops even further to 47.37%, due to the addition of the double zero. This is much less than you would have thought.
However there are some good things to be said for American Tables, there are a few bets that can only be made on an American table and not on a European one, and this is due to the way the table is laid out. On an American Table, you can place a bet on the top line of five numbers, which you can’t on a European table. This sort of bet will pay you odds of 6/1 as well if any of your five numbers come up, so it is a pretty good return. Though you should know that this type of bet does affect the house edge, and increases it to 7.89%, so although you can win more, you will win less often. So again, bear this in mind when placing your bets.
It is good to understand what the house edge actually means in practice to the amount of money that you can make. If you look at a European wheel the house edge of 2.7% means that if you place a total of £100 in bets across a total of 37 spins of the wheel, then you would expect to lose about £2.70. Which isn’t a huge amount, but for the house, those amounts add up over time and players to mean big profits for them. You should also bear in mind, that if say, you and another player placed £50 of bets each across 37 spins, then it could well be him that loses the £2.70, or more, while you win more. So there are still ways of you making money.
A different way to understand the difference between the house edges on the two wheels is as follows if you were to bet on a European wheel, £1, then after thirty-seven spins, you would have lost on average one unit of bets. If you were to do the same on an American wheel, £1, after thirty-seven spins, you would have lost two units, so twice the amount of a European wheel.