Which Should You Play: American or European Roulette?

American Roulette Or European Roulette

Nowadays there are several different versions of roulette wheels that you are going to find in casinos. And while these wheels might look the same, or at least very similar, not all roulette games are created equal!

From a high level, all roulette games fall into 1 of 2 categories, American Roulette or European Roulette. You are going to find tweaks on each of these games, with the number of zeros on the wheel, your various main betting options, and the side bets offered, but all roulette games are either the American or European version of the game.

So, now that you know that there are options available when it comes to playing roulette, the real question is, which game should you play: American Roulette or European Roulette? In this article, we are going to tell you a little bit about both versions of the game and tell you which game you should play!

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American Roulette

If you have only played roulette in a US-based casino, and you weren’t playing in the high limit room, you have almost certainly been playing American Roulette. The American version of the game is by far the most popular version here in the US, as at least 95% of all games are going to be American Roulette.

An American Roulette wheel has 36 numbered slots, 1-36.
It also features a 0 slot and a 00 slot. Some newer versions of this game also feature an additional 000 slot. In terms of the house advantage of the game, those additional zero slots make the game much more casino friendly, as their house advantage significantly increases.

There are several different betting options available on an American Roulette wheel, including betting on individual numbers, red or black, odd or even, columns, rows, and dozens. You can make split bets, straight-up bets, and many other wagers, both on the inside and the outside, as the options are nearly limitless.

European Roulette

European Roulette, sometimes referred to as French Roulette, is the roulette game that is most common everywhere but in the US.

Roulette was first played in Europe and the game gained massive popularity across the pond, before eventually spreading to the US. The layout of a European Roulette table will look a bit different, as there are different betting options available than the simplified American version of the game. These betting options all have fancy French names, but in reality, all these additional bets are just more ways to bet groups of numbers at the same time.

You can still bet the standard groups of numbers like the rows, columns, and dozens like you can in American Roulette. But there are the below additional betting options as well.

European Roulette Betting Options

  • Voisins Du Zero – This is a bet on the numbers between 22 and 25 on the wheel. This is a bet on 17 numbers, which represents close to half of the wheel, 22-18-29-7-28-12-35-3-26-0-32-15-19-4-21-2-25
  • Jeu Zero – This is a bet on the numbers closest to the 0 slot on the wheel. With this bet, you are betting on 7 numbers, 12-35-3-26-0-32-15.
  • Le Tiers Du Cylindre – A bet on the Le tiers du cylindre is a bet where you are taking one-third of the wheel. This bet is on 12 numbers, 27-13-36-11-30-8-23-10-5-24-16-33
  • Orphelins – The Orphelins bet is a bet on the orphans on the wheel, that don’t fall into these other betting categories. This is a bet on 8 numbers, 17-34-6- 1-20-14-31-9

While these different betting options might seem confusing at first, they really aren’t at all, and once you start playing them you will get the hang of it very quickly.

Please Note:
All these bets represent betting a section of the wheel that you think the ball will land. The biggest difference you are going to find on a European Roulette wheel when compared to the American version is that European wheels only have a single 0 slot.

While casual players might not even notice how many 0 slots a wheel has, the missing 00 slot on the European wheel reduces the house average by a massive amount.

Which Should You Play: American Or European Roulette?

So, which roulette game should you play, American or European? For any of you out there that know anything about how a casino makes their money, you likely chuckled a little bit at this question, as the answer is clearly and definitively European Roulette.

I am not sure that you can even make a case at all that the American version of roulette should be played over the European version of the game.E

Roulette was huge in Europe, but the game only featured a house advantage of about 2.7%. While that is a decent house advantage when compared to some other casino games, when American casino operators decided they want to bring the game over to the US, they wanted to make the game more profitable for the casino.

Please Note:
Now that we are seeing an explosion of American Roulette games that have also added a third 000 slot, the casinos are really ramping up their take, as a triple zero American Roulette game has a house advantage of about 7.7%. That is where the additional 00 slot comes into play. It might be hard to fully understand, but when you look at the math of a roulette wheel, adding that additional 00 slot nearly doubles the casino’s house advantage. The house advantage for a game with both a 0 and a 00 slot is about 5.3%.

If you are standing in front of a triple zero wheel and thinking about playing it, just know that the casino is going to make almost 3 times as much on that game compared to a single zero European Roulette wheel.

All of the other differences between the games, including how the wheel is laid out, the order the numbers are in, the different bets available, and the terminology, are mostly going to come down to personal preference. But the European version of the game has everything you can get on the American version, with even more additional betting options, and fewer zero slots! That makes European Roulette the far superior game if you ask me!

Now, if you aren’t planning a trip to the Casino De Monte Carlo to play the European game, you might think that you are out of luck in finding a better wheel. But that just isn’t the case, as you can actually find European Roulette wheels here in the United States as well.

Most of the time you are going to find European Roulette in the US, it is in the high limit area.

As the game holds so much less than the American game, the casino needs to raise the limits to compensate for the lower house advantage, and they do this by making these nearly exclusively high-limit games.

Conclusion

Now that you know that European Roulette is the game you want to play, the next step is to find a table, and get in on the action!

If you aren’t able to find a European Roulette wheel in your local casino, or if the game you can find has higher limits than you can afford to play, you should check out the online version of the game!

If you are looking to give online European Roulette a try, make sure that you swing by TheSportsGeek’s play online roulette page, where we bring our readers exclusive deals at all of the top online casinos. Thanks for reading and good luck playing European Roulette!

PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!

Jason Gray / Author

Jason is a true Las Vegas insider as he has called the sports betting capital of the world his home for sixteen years. Jason started out his career in gaming by running the biggest poker tournaments in the world and managing some of the biggest sportsbooks on the strip. Jason has transitioned out of casino operations and has been covering sports betting for the sports geek for just over two years. His main focus is on baseball, college basketball, and the NFL

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