What is the Difference Between American Roulette and European Roulette?

Roulette is one of the most played casino games by many bettors worldwide. Its popularity also comes from the invention of different variants of the prominent casino game that bettors can try and explore. The most popular versions of table roulette casino include American and European roulette.

When roulette made its way to the United States of America, it went through some alterations. Knowing the difference between European and American roulette is well-known in online casino games.

While all roulette games begin with the same basic concept, the devil is in the details in terms of differences. Awareness of the differences and nuances between these two variations of roulette can help avoid unpleasant surprises for bettors. A quick look at the roulette table layouts and wheel should be enough for bettors to notice notable differences between American and European Roulette.

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Differences Between American and European Roulette

     The Difference in Roulette Wheels

The American roulette wheel includes 38 pockets, with black and red numbers from 1 to 36. Two extra green pockets exist for a single zero (0) and a double zero (00).

European roulette is similar to its American counterpart with 26 red and black numbers. However, the difference is that it only has one green pocket for zero.

Bettors must remember that the chances of betting on one number in the double zero variation are always 38 to 1. In the single zero variation, it is always 37 to 1. In other words, the single zero roulette variation can be advantageous in terms of odds.

     The difference in House Edge

The house edge is the casino’s advantage over the roulette players. The house edge refers to the difference between the chances of winning and the casino’s profit when a bettor wins their bets in certain games. Table games, such as roulette, can give players a higher chance of winning than most other online casino games.

Other casino games offer a house edge of between 1% and 17%. However, in roulette, the house edge falls somewhere in the middle, which is neither too high nor too low. The number of pockets in the wheel affects its house edge when talking about American and European roulette.

The additional pocket in American roulette gives a higher house edge of 5.26%, while European roulette has a 2.70% house edge. Casinos are more likely to benefit from American roulette, and bettors are more likely to win with European roulette in terms of the odds.

The house edge in American roulette is almost double compared to the one in European roulette due to the double zero in American roulette. The bets and payouts in a game are the same, and the extra green number decreases a bettor’s odds of winning.

     Order of Numbers on the Roulette Wheel

When looking at the roulette wheel, bettors can note that the additional double zero number is not crammed into an already existing European roulette wheel configuration. In both variations of roulette, the sequence of numbers on the wheel is entirely different.

Despite common belief, there is a calculated reason why the numbers on the roulette wheel are arranged in a certain way. While seemingly random, the numbers in the roulette wheel are set in a certain way so that the odds of landing on a high, low, odd, or even number are evenly distributed. The green zero space exists to balance the playing field on the casino’s behalf.

     European Roulette’s La Partage and En Prison Rules

Even though these rules are not present in all online casinos, some offer these additional rules that allow bettors to reduce the house edge. These rules are only applicable in European roulette variation.

The La Partage roulette rule means the division in French, which is only applicable to even-money wagers. The dealer divides even money bets in half, keeping half for the house and giving the other half to the player. The La Partage rule decreases the house advantage from 2.70% to 1.35%.

Meanwhile, the En Prison roulette rule also covers the even-money bets wherein the bettor gets the whole amount of the initial wager when the bettor wins the following spin after the dealer places the En Prison marker next to the bet.

     Five Number Bet in American Roulette

Only American roulette offers the five-number bet, wherein the numbers 0,00,1,2 and 3 are included in this type of bet. The five-number bet cannot be put on European roulette. In terms of odds, the house advantage is higher than other bets, with a house edge of 7.89%. It is also the only bet in roulette that permanently carries a different house edge from the rest of the possible bets at the roulette table.

Which Roulette Variation is Better?

As with any casino game, it ultimately comes down to the bettor’s personal preferences in betting and their strategies for winning bets in roulette. Roulette is primarily a game of chance, and there is no difference in the payout rate for playing either roulette version. However, it is still crucial to understand that the house edge is much higher in the American roulette variant, which can encourage players toward European roulette with a lower house edge.


It is crucial to remember that roulette is a negative expectation game wherein the strategy revolves around minimizing one’s odds of losses. Whatever variant of roulette game you play, it is significant to do your research, learn about the difference in the rules, and how you can place bets in line with the house advantage.

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