European or American roulette - Which is best?

04 Jul 2013       By Becky Mosley

European or American Roulette that is the question- There are more than just types of Roulette that you can play online, take mini Roulette for example; however the most common forms are American and European Roulette and these two forms make up the majority of the rules for the other variants.

European or American Roulette for new players?

But if you are new to Roulette, which one should you, aim to be playing? The two are quite similar after all...

Most players are aware of the biggest key difference between American roulette and European roulette (which is sometimes known as French Roulette). The principle difference is the odds of winning and the house edge. This stems from the zero and double zero features on the two wheels.

How does Roulette work?

Everybody is familiar with how Roulette works. There are a series of numbers on the wheel, one to thirty six if you wish to be precise. Each of these numbers is divided up either a red or a black number. The objective is to place wagers on whether the Roulette ball will land in a spot that is an odd number, an even number, a red number, a black number, a number within a given range of numbers, or that the ball will land on a predetermined number itself.

The difference though is with the zeros. As well as the thirty six numbers that you can wager on, European Roulette also has a zero that cannot be wagered on. Should the ball land in the zero slot, the player loses their bet in most common games. American Roulette however had two zero spots on the wheel; namely a zero and a double zero spot. This gives European Roulette a slight edge if you want to win.

House edge differences

Because of the single zero spot in the European game, the house edge is 2.7%. In American Roulette with the double zero added to the balance, the house edge rises to double that, at 5.26%. This is primarily because there are fewer slots on the European wheel where you can lose your bet without hope of placing a wager (the single zero spot) than on the American wheel, which has more spaces where you can lose your bet without being able to do anything about it (the zero and double zero spots).

Place your bets

Another key difference between the two games is the way that bets can be placed. In European Roulette, there is an altogether separate section of squares on the betting board. These additional bets include Voisins de Zero, Tiers du Cylindre and Orphans, and any player wishing to try their hands at these bets would do very well indeed to read up on how each of these additional bets work before betting in such a manner. On the Roulette betting board itself though, these types of bets are represented by a cylindrical series of numbers to the left of the more rectangular regular betting board, which is present in both American Roulette and European Roulette. One will quickly notice that this cylindrical series of numbers is absent from the American game, making the European betting board much larger, to incorporate the additional ways to bet that the game has.

So which Roulette type is better for you?

If you are a Roulette newbie, then American Roulette might be more preferential due to the simplicity of the bets. However, if you are knowledgeable about Roulette bets then European is more for you. Of course, in all probability the decision will likely come down to odds, and for this reason many gamers prefer to play European Roulette because there is a marginally greater chance that they will come away from the roulette wheel victorious, than if they were to play American roulette with that dreaded double zero!