American vs. European Roulette: What Are The Differences?

American vs. European Roulette

Roulette is a casino classic that never goes out of style. It has a rich history and has evolved to include different variants over time. However, most NZ online casinos have stuck with the classic American and European versions of roulette. We’ve compared them here to highlight the similarities and differences between both game variants for when you’re set to play roulette online or physically.

Key Differences Between American vs European Roulette

The beauty of roulette is how easy the rules are to understand and follow, regardless of the variant. However, before you decide whether to play the American or European version of the game based on face value, it’s best to know the match behind how they work.

European vs American Roulette: Wheel Layout

At first glance, the obvious difference between the two versions of roulette is the layout. The difference in layout also affects the house edges of both games. Let’s examine the American roulette and European roulette wheels independently.

European vs American Roulette Wheel Layout

American Roulette Wheel Layout

The American wheel has 38 pockets where the ball can land on any spin. Those are from 1 to 36 in black and red, with two additional pockets for a single and a double zero. The green zero pockets make them very easy to spot on the American roulette wheel. You can explore American Roulette variants at our no.1 live dealer site, Playzee Casino.

European Roulette Wheel Layout

Unlike American Roulette, the European wheel has 36 numbered pockets, including one green pocket for the single zero. That makes a total of 37 pockets. The wheel numbers are not in the right order, but there is a very subtle difference between both boards that you’ll hardly notice. You can try European Roulette at any of our tested live dealer NZ casinos.

House Edge and Odds for American vs European Roulette

The house edge is a casino’s advantage over players in any game. All casino games have this, and roulette is no exception. In some games, lower odds mean higher or bigger payouts. As logical as that sounds, that is not the case with the American online roulette variants. The house edge for American roulette is 5.26%, which is a lot compared to 2.7% for European roulette.

Even when the odds are low, betting on winning numbers pays out 35-1 like it does with European Roulette. Also, with American roulette, you have 1 in 38 odds of winning, compared to 1 in 37 for playing European roulette.

American vs European Roulette: Basic Roulette Bets

The rules for all roulette variants are similar. Each player opts for chips of a different colour so that bets are not mixed up. These chips are valued based on the amount a player bets. 

Using the chips, all players place bets at the roulette table as desired. They do this on the betting mat to indicate where they expect the ball to end after the roll. Once the spin occurs, you win if your prediction is correct. The generally known bet types are inside and outside bets, where inside bets are placed on six numbers or less, and outsides are placed on 12 or more.

American vs European Roulette Basic Roulette Bets

Here are the different possible roulette bets, starting with the outside bets:

  • Red or Black – for a red or black number bet
  • Odd or Even – for an odd or even number bet
  • High or Low – for bet on numbers between 19-36 (high) or 1-18 (low)
  • Middle Dozen – bets on numbers between 13 – 24
  • Last Dozen – bets on numbers between 25 – 36
  • First Dozen –  bets on numbers between 1- 12
  • Column Bet –  bets on a column of 12 numbers

Inside bets can be recognized by their larger payout, but lower odds:

  • 8 to 1 – 4 numbers (stakes on the mind-point of a square of four numbers)
  • 5 to 1 – bets on 6 numbers (stakes on the mid-point of two rows with three numbers)
  • 11 to 1 – bets on a row of three numbers ( mid-way over the line of three rows of three numbers)
  • 17 to 1 – A split bet
  • 35 to 1 – A straight bet

There are some additional bets you can make in American roulette due to possible double zero combinations, such as:

American Roulette Bet Description
Top Line Bet You place the chip on either corner of the line between 0-00 and 1-2-3
Trio You place the chip on the corner between 0-00-2 and 00-2-3 for the trio bet
American Row Bet You place the chip the same way you would do for a row/street bet but for 0 and 00.

Differences in Rules: American vs European Roulette

The basic rules above cover both online casino roulette variants, but these are the key differences between American and European roulette bets.

European Roulette Rules

Playing at a European table means you can ‘call bets’ instead of putting down chips. Usually, you can only “call bets” during specific actions. Another unique aspect of betting on European Roulette is the La Partage” and “En Prison” options.

The “la partage” rule means you get back half of your bet if the ball lands on zero. “En Prison,” on the other hand, lets you get back your full bet on the following spin. These are great options to minimise losses that are unavailable in the American Roulette variant.

American Roulette Rules

If you’re playing an American roulette game, you lose all outside bets if the ball stops on either of the zero pockets. You can also place a top-line or five-number bet. That’s betting on numbers between 0,00 to 3. However, top-line betting options are very risky considering the single and double zeros included, creating a double losing chance with a 7.89% house edge.

European vs. American Roulette: Which Should You Go For?

To put it plainly, the odds favour the European roulette variant. However, what makes one variant better will always depend on the player’s preference. It is always advisable to consider your bankroll and look at the rules of each variant before making a choice and starting to play on a trusted roulette casino site.

These games may require an element of skill when you do choose to opt for strategies, but they are ultimately based on luck. Once the winnings stop coming, make sure you take a break and clear your head.