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American vs European Roulette: Which One to Play?

Here we are going to take a look at the two most popular variants, American and European roulette. The main question players have is, "what is the difference between an American roulette wheel and a European roulette wheel?" Well, after reading this guide, you should have a pretty clear understanding of the difference between American roulette and European Roulette. Hopefully, you will be getting more accustomed to which suits your preferences the best. A small heads up – this article is written with the assumption that you already have a basic understanding of the fundamentals of roulette. These remain pretty much consistent through all roulette types. Scroll down to learn everything you need to know about American vs European roulette.

Quick Overview

One of the big reasons roulette is so popular with players is because of its simplicity. You place your bets, watch the wheel spin, and hope that the ball lands on the right number. One area that people tend to get confused about, though, is the different variants of roulette on offer. These variants offer up small changes to the rules. Seeing a whole host of different roulette tables with different names and setups can be especially daunting. And even off-putting for newer players not wanting to commit money on a table they don't fully understand the rules of.

However, it’s important to understand the differences, especially between American and European roulette. Though seemingly insignificant, they can affect your winning odds significantly. That’s why this is an important topic and we advise you to read carefully before placing your first real money bet on RNG or live roulette games.

What Is European Roulette?

European Roulette has a long and storied past that goes all the way back to the 17th century. So, how many numbered pockets are on a typical European roulette wheel? Well, the European roulette wheel features 37 segments. The segments range from 1 to 36, with an additional green 0 to make the total count 37. Segments alternate between black and red, except for the single green segment. You have your standard selection of Inside and Outside bets. These correspond either to a specific number or a collection of numbers, respectively.

Many punters also wonder why European roulette is so much more generous than the American version. Well, this variant has a very low house edge of 2.7%. Players have much better odds with this variant since it comes with only one zero pocket.

You may also come across many rulesets that are very similar to European roulette, such as French roulette. While this plays more or less the same, there are additional or changed betting rules, which you will need to be mindful of. So, if you're wondering how to play European roulette and its subvariants, checking our roulette guide might be useful for your future games.

American vs European Roulette

American Roulette

Many players are adamant that either American or European roulette is vastly superior to the other. Yet, there is surprisingly little difference between these two roulette types. The most impactful and immediately obvious change is the addition of an extra green tile featuring a double zero on the American roulette wheel layout. So, if you're wondering how many numbers are on an American roulette wheel, the answer is 38. The extra segment has an immediate knock-on effect on the house edge. Betting on a single number in American roulette carries odds of 1 in 38, as opposed to the slightly lower 1 in 37 chance in European roulette. This also impacts Outside bets in various ways, slightly lowering the chances for each.

American roulette comes with a higher house edge. Still, it doesn't reward players with higher payout rates. They remain the same as those found in European roulette, which pays 35 to 1 on a straight Inside bet. The house edge for American roulette, therefore, stands at a higher percentage of 5.26%, as opposed to the 2.70% found in its cousin.

Now, many players ask how to win at online American roulette. Since this is ultimately a game of chance, there's no clear answer that guarantees you'll beat American roulette. Still, you can check out our roulette strategies to increase your chance of winning.

Live Casino Roulette

Is American or European Roulette Better?

As mentioned, the only main difference between American roulette and European roulette is the addition of an extra segment in the American version. There is, therefore, little reason, outside of personal preference, to opt for a variant that raises the house edge without raising the payouts or implementing some additional features. With a lower house edge, you are expected to win more on average. After all, there is little to beat that argument. We also briefly touched on the different offshoots that have come from European roulette. These provide a greater degree of accessibility to players with different preferences around the world.

Despite this, American roulette still remains popular. The change in the house edge isn't quite as dramatic for more casual players. We would probably still take a seat at an American roulette table full of our friends and a great dealer over an empty European table. The main aim of playing is, of course, to have fun after all. Another factor is, of course, availability. Playing in the US will naturally lead to coming across more tables with the variant that carries its country's name.

Play Roulette at Online Casinos

When you visit a land-based casino, it's possible that they aren't able to provide a specific game or table ruleset, as they are restricted by their size. This isn't a problem for online casinos, however, as they aren't constricted by physical space. Roulette of all shapes and sizes fitting into one roof provides an unparalleled amount of choice that can appeal to any player. Virtual or live casino formats have numerous different tables of various different roulette types, including American and European, of course.

Are you wondering, "where can I play American or European roulette?" Take a look at our casino reviews here at GoodLuckmate to find the best online casino for roulette action. And while you are there, we have lots of different game guides covering all manner of gambling games.

In case you were wondering, our favorite online casinos for roulette fans are Wheelz, Mirax, and National Casino. All of these have an excellent selection of RNG and live dealer roulette. Other solid options are BitStarz if you appreciate crypto payments as well as Goodman Casino if you like nice perks.

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Nerijus Grenda
Nerijus Grenda
Last Update: 13 Mar 2023
Nerijus Grenda is a prolific contributor to the GoodLuckMate site. With a deep understanding of the online casino industry, gained from his own experience as an avid player, he offers valuable insights on what sets the best casinos apart from the rest. As a writer, Nerijus shares his expertise through expert analysis and thoughtful commentary on various topics related to online gambling, including casino reviews, game guides and industry trends.

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