American Roulette vs European Roulette – What’s the Difference?

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Difference between European Roulette and American Roulette

  • American Roulette (38 slots) and European Roulette (37 slots) are similar.
  • The layout and number of pockets are different for each version of the game.
  • The single Zero pocket (European) offers better payouts than the double Zero pocket (American)

Read this article to find out why European Roulette pays more than American Roulette. 36-number wheels are popular games, part of this is because there are several versions to choose from. American and European wheels are the most popular and the most sought out by online gamblers, in fact, most of the time they’re the only two available.

Main difference between European and American Roulette

One look at both wheels is enough to spot the main difference. The American Roulette wheel has 36 red and black pockets that range from 1 to 36, plus two extra green pockets which are the single zero [0] and double zero [0]. On the other hand, European Roulette features 36 red and black pockets and only one green Zero [0].

Another noticeable difference is that the numbers on booth wheels aren’t in the same order but this is irrelevant and has no bearing on the outcome of the game or the odds of winning.

The biggest difference between American and European Roulette wheels is the number of green squares. Simply put, the European wheel has only one zero pocket whereas the American wheel has two.

The difference is in the edge

Choosing one wheel or another may not seem important and if you’re playing for fun and with a reasonable budget it’s not a big deal. But if you’re in it to win it then your chances are definitely higher with the European Roulette wheel.

Luck is part of the game

The rules of Roulette always favour the casino, this is called the house edge, but for the most part winners must rely on the luck of the spin.

Betting on a single number at American Roulette will offer lower odds than European Roulette. The odds in American Roulette are 38 to 1, compared to 1/37 for European Roulette. Other casino games, such as slot machines, offer better payouts if the odds are lower, however this isn’t the case for Roulette: the payout is the same for both wheels.

European Roulette pays better than American Roulette

Players are better off placing bets at a European Roulette wheel. This applies to all table bets, in fact, European Roulette always pays better than American Roulette for straights, dozens, splits or corners. If American Roulette offered a higher payout then it would balance out the odds, but unfortunately this isn’t the case.

The Zero pocket sets the house edge

The Roulette wheel generates profit from the Zero slots which is why American Roulette is often featured on the casino’s main page. This is where they make their money, so don’t be fooled! If you want to play Roulette and the casino features a European wheel, it’s a no-brainer!

If it wasn’t for the Zero pocket the casino’s edge would be 0%. But, to no one’s surprise, casinos aren’t designed just for entertainment, their entire business relies on making a profit to cover operating costs.

The single zero pocket for casino Roulette

The theoretical Return to Player (RTP)

The 5.26% house edge for American Roulette is, theoretically, the percentage the casino receives on all bets placed by players at the table. The Return to Player (RTP) is calculated with the odds of winning or losing on an infinite number of bets. The house edge for European Roulette drops to 2.7% with the single Zero slot but even if some players hit a lucky spin the casino will always turn a profit, especially those who attract a lot of players. On the other hand, casinos that have fewer players are at risk of bankruptcy.

Which Roulette wheel is better?

As previously mentioned, European Roulette offers better odds than American Roulette. Most of the main online casinos feature both Roulette wheels so we highly recommend choosing the European version. However, some casinos will only feature American Roulette, for example land-based casinos in Las Vegas don’t offer the choice. In fact, some of the biggest resorts on the Vegas strip even feature 3 Zero pocket wheels. As you can imagine, these Roulettes have a low RTP that puts Roulette players at a big disadvantage.

European Roulette pays better than American Roulette

What makes French Roulette unique

If you enjoy playing online Roulette then you might come across a casino that features a French Roulette wheel. Try your luck with single odd bets, for example, if you land the Zero pocket on a flush bet, the casino pays back half of the bet. This rule reduces the casino’s edge on all 1:1 Roulette bets.

European Roulette and Jackpots

Some of the best software providers in the world have created European roulette games with massive jackpots to win. One of the most successful and popular amongst players worldwide is the Roulette Mega Moolah game which often makes the headlines. What makes it unique? A 20-pocket wheel that features 4 progressive jackpots, including a seed pot that starts at £2 million.