What is the difference between American and European roulette? That is one of the most commonly asked questions from our readers. The main difference between American roulette and European and even French Roulette is the wheel. The American variant has more pockets in the wheel because of the extra double zero pocket. French roulette has a wheel similar to European roulette however it has two unique rules that separate it from both other roulette games.
The differences between French, European and American roulette are not just about the wheel design. Because of the difference in wheels and some rules, the odds and house edge differ too. In turn, the potential payout is then affected depending on what game you play.
For that reason we have laid out the differences between the tables and wheels of each of the roulette variations for you. We have include the odds of the games so that you can make better choices on the games you want to play. Additionally we have listed the best online roulette sites, where you can play all the variations of the game.
Differences between American and European Roulette
There are two main differences between European and American roulette are the wheels and by extension the number of pockets on the wheels. Like we alluded to earlier the wheels account for the difference in odds and house edge. As such players need to take note of both these factors when considering which of the two online roulette variations to play. These are as follows:
American Roulette vs European Roulette Wheels
So, the biggest difference between American and European roulette wheels is the number of pockets and layout of said wheels. A European roulette wheel features 37 pockets and American roulette wheels feature 38 pockets. While European wheels only feature a single zero green pocket, American wheels feature both a zero and double zero green pockets.
It is also important to note that both wheels make use of different number sequences. The American roulette wheel appears to take a counter-clockwise approach in relation to the European wheel. It must be noted that both wheels arrange numbers in such a way that they are evenly distributed in terms of colors and numbers. (So, there will never be a situation in which if the ball lands on the one side of the wheel it is more likely to land on an odd or even number, etc.)
House Edge – What are the Odds for Roulette?
As a result of the additional number on the American roulette wheel, the house edge players face is the two variations is different. European roulette features a house edge of 2.70%, whereas American roulette features a house edge of 5.26%, which is pretty much double than that seen in its European counterpart.
As a general, based on this fact, many players tend towards playing European roulette, so they at the very least stand a better chance of winning bets – even if just even money bets.
American vs European Roulette Rules
As previously mentioned, if you’ve seen people playing American and European roulette games, you’ve probably thought that they were playing the same game. This is because the rules of both games are pretty much the same but do involve a few minor differences that players do need to keep in mind.
There are two rules in European roulette that aren’t present in American roulette and they are as follows:
En Prison Rule – this rule states that players get a chance of earning their money back if the ball lands on the zero pocket if they have placed an ‘even money’ bet. The house edge on such spins is as low as 1.35%.
Call Bets – these are bets that players announce to the dealer rather than by indicating on the roulette table with chips. It is generally reserved for more complicated bets that can’t really be described on a board.
American roulette features bets that aren’t available in European roulette. One such example is the five-number bet, which allows players to place a bet on the 00, 0, 1, 2 and 3 numbers. These bets offer big payouts but are quite risky.
European Roulette vs American Roulette – Which Should You Play?
Ultimately, the real thing people want to know from a European vs American roulette discussion is which of the two games they should focus on playing. Well, the answer to this question is reliant on a player’s own personal preference.
We’ll say that statistically European roulette is the better game to play because players naturally face a lower house edge but if you are interested in making the fun bets made available to you in American roulette go for it. The objective of playing a gambling game is to have fun. If you are not having fun, there is no reason to play the game no matter what odds you face.