A ball lying on the number 0 on a Roulette wheel
If you have played Roulette at a casino before, you may have noticed that there is more than one version of the game. Currently, there are 3 primary variations played in casinos. These include American Roulette, French Roulette and European Roulette. All three differ from each other in big and small ways

. Read on as we discuss the differences between American Roulette vs. European Roulette and which one you should go for when you play Roulette online.

American Roulette vs. European Roulette: What Are the Differences?

1. The Number of Pockets Available

European Roulette dates all the way back to 1965. It has been around for much longer than the American version. As a result, there is a significant difference in the number of pockets in American Roulette and European Roulette. In the European version, the wheel carries 37 numbers, starting from 0 to 36. In comparison, the wheel used in American Roulette has 38 numbers. The extra pocket here carries a double zero. Thus, the wheels look similar to each other, but the American Roulette also has a double zero.

Besides this, American Roulette has 36 red and black numbers and 2 green numbers. European Roulette also has 36 red and black numbers, but only 1 green number.

The way these are arranged is also different. While the zero is always at one end of the wheel, the same doesn’t hold true for the double zero. This number is located about halfway along the number strip, which can make a difference to your betting strategy.  

2. The House Edge

The extra pocket in American Roulette may not appear to be significant at first glance. However, if you take a closer look, you will realize it makes a big difference to the house edge. In European Roulette, this can be between 2.3% to 2.7%. In comparison, the American version of the game has a much higher house edge of 5.26%.

This is because of the extra pocket. If you play European Roulette, you will bet where the small ball will fall when the spinning wheel comes to a stop. The odds of the ball landing on a particular number are 35:1 and if the ball lands on the number you bet, you will win the bet and get your stake back. This puts your Return to Player rate at 97.3%.

The same odds apply to each number on an American Roulette wheel. However, as a result of the extra pocket, your Return to Player rate declines to 94.74%.

3. The En Prison Rule

While most of the rules in American Roulette and European Roulette are very similar to each other, there are also some differences. The biggest difference is the En Prison rule, which is available in European Roulette. As per this, if you make an outside bet and the ball lands on the number zero, causing you to lose the bet, then you are given 2 options. You can take 50% of your stake back. If you don’t want to do this, you can take up the next option, which is making the same bet a second time. If you opt for the latter, the croupier will put a marker on your bet and show that it is locked in (or in prison).

If you win your bet, you can get your stake back, but if you lose, then you forfeit. There is also the possibility of the ball landing on zero again. Most casinos have different rules on what to do if this happens.

4. The Five Number Bet

The Five-Number Bet is a type of bet that includes the numbers 00, 0, 1, 2, 3. It is only available if you are playing American Roulette. Naturally, this is because the 00 pocket is not available in the European version. The five number bet has a strong payout but it also has an incredibly high house edge of 7.89%. This is the only bet available in Roulette that has a different house edge compared to other bets in the game.

Which One Should You Play?

For the most part, both American Roulette and European Roulette are very similar to each other. They have similar rules and are played in the same way. However, American Roulette offers worse odds. To understand this better, let’s take a look at your odds for each specific bet for both versions of the game.

Type of BetEuropean RouletteAmerican Roulette
Even bet48.6%47.4%
Column bet32.4%31.6%
Dozen bet32.4%31.6%
Six line bet16.2%15.8%
Corner bet10.8%10.5%
Street bet8.1%7.9%
Split bet5.4%5.3%
Straight bet2.7%2.6%

Given the odds, European Roulette is always better because you are more likely to win when you play this version. However, if you are on a hot streak or enjoy the additional challenge that comes with American Roulette, then you can also play this version of the game. We also suggest trying out both versions to gain an understanding of how they work. As long as you are responsible with your bankroll, you can enjoy both American and European Roulette. However, if you are looking for a better return to player rate, we suggest you opt for European Roulette.

Wrapping It Up

A Roulette wheel in a casino
The close-up of a Roulette wheel

When it comes to American Roulette vs. European Roulette, the two versions differ based on the number of pockets in the Roulette wheel. American Roulette has an extra pocket that can increase the house edge for this game and lower the Return to Player rate. If you are looking to boost your returns, we suggest you opt for the European version when you play Roulette online. European Roulette also offers the En Prison rule, which lets you recover half of your stake if the ball lands on zero. You can also choose to transfer your stake to a new bet and try again.

Are you interested in learning more about how to play Roulette? Then follow Full Roulette for more helpful tips and advice on this casino game!

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