Difference Between European and American Roulette

European Roulette vs. American Roulette

The whole story began when the roulette was invented in France in the 18th century. Then the roulette game had slots with numbers from 1 to 26 and 0 pocket as well as 00 pocket. In total, there were 38 total pockets.

It is standard format of the game. It spread in the Western Europe and became rather popular. However, in 1843 the 00 pocket was excluded from the wheel. Thanks to the Blanc brothers, the roulette game became much more profitable for players. The whole thing is with the players odds that are much better for a wheel without 00 pocket.

Clearly, smart players demanded to play single-zero roulette only. European roulette casinos had nothing to do except stop providing roulette games with 00 pocket. However, when the roulette started appear on the other continents, managers decided to return their high house edge. Thus, they returned to the original double-zero wheel.

Now you can still find double-zero in the Caribbean, North America and South America. However, such great gambling cities as Las Vegas offer you to play single-zero roulette as well. The competition implies to provide you both types of roulette.

Online casinos almost always also offer you both types – European and American Roulette.

Which is Better?

The only and the main difference between both types is the 00 pocket. There are 1-36 numbered pockets that means 35:1 payout. When one or two zero pockets appear on the wheel the house edge chances to win increases. The same can’t be said about the players chances. In other words, the zero’s indicate the house edge in roulette.

Obviously, European roulette is better than American roulette. Exactly!

However, let’s check the whole situation to feel the difference and know WHY.

Roulette Version Number of Pockets Payout House Edge
American Roulette (double zero) 38 35:1 5.26%
European Roulette (single zero) 37 35:1 2.63%

The main difference between house edge is 2.56%. Such figure can seem not so impressive, but let’s count the HUGE difference on the long run. Thus, for every $100 bet, European roulette brings you about $2.52 advantage. Playing the whole day you can keep some cash to spend on drinks, cookies or taxi.

En Prison

Roulette Myths

The other thing to consider is en prison rule. It can be used for both roulette types. What is it about? Such en prison bet protects your outside bets (even/odd, red/black, high/low) and even money when 0 appears on the wheel.

For example, you place a bet of $100 on Even, but 0 appears. Usually, you will lose your bet. But with en prison option you can get your $50 back and be put in prison. What does it mean?

Here are several options you have:

  • If the next spin ends with 0 or 00 again you LOSE your wager OR your bet REMAINS
  • If you get an odd number, you Lose
  • If you get an even number, your money returned to you

Actually, en prison is quite profitable option with European Roulette. Look for the table with these both options to play with the house edge of 1.35% only.

So, our advice is to play European roulette and enjoy better house edge.