Choosing a Roulette Version: American vs European

The European versus American Roulette is one of the biggest enigmatic and ironic rivalries in the online casino industry. Both of these versions of the famous spinning wheel game enjoy extreme popularity, but one of them doesn’t really deserve it, when all said and done. Let’s explore this mysterious phenomenon among casino table games.

European Roulette

There are many grey areas in the history of European Roulette, but two things are certain – it came about in the 18th century somewhere in France. There are several theories claiming that it was invented by Blaise Pascal or random French Dominican monks, so the case is still open for speculation. On the other hand, roulette means ‘small wheel’ in French, so no doubt the very beginning of this delightful game took place on the French soil.

As for the hardware of the game, European Roulette consists of a roulette wheel, which is a revolving structure, and a static table divided into betting sections. The croupier tosses a little white ball into the wheel bowl and the round finishes with the ball and the wheel come to rest, revealing whether the player’s wager, which he/she had placed beforehand, is a win or a loss. The wheel is divided into sections, or pockets, and there are 37 of them in total. The numbers are all marked with either black or reds, while the pocket with a zero is colored in green. What captivates players in the simple yet intriguing game of roulette is the wide variety of betting options. Some of the basic bets in French/European roulette are Evens – Rouge/Noir (red/black number), Pair (even number), Impair (odd number), Manque (1 – 18), Passe (19 – 36).

American Roulette

Much like what is today known as the European (or French) version of roulette, the American version of the game was invented approximately at the same time in the same place. American roulette is also from France, huh? Then why is it called American then? Well, because it was acquired by the Americans and became stuck in their casino culture to this day.

American variant of the classic game of roulette differs from its counterpart in one single element. The wheel of American Roulette consists 38 instead of 37 pockets. There’s another green pocked with two zeros, and that is why American Roulette is also known as ‘double-zero’ roulette. Even if it seems like a minor difference, the 00 slot completely alters the outcome of the game in the long run. Bets pretty remain the same for the most part, they just adapt to more English-sounding expressions. You can place Red or Black, Even or Odd, High or Low, Dozens and Columns, among other bets in American Roulette.

House Edge Comparison

This is where these two games part ways, more or less. The European wheel carries a house edge of 2.7%, and some tables labeled as French Roulette return a house edge of 1.35%. That’s great, a casual casino goer might think. It is indeed, but when one comes across an American Roulette table and faces a house edge of a very unhelpful 5.3%, things can get rather bad. The extra slot added in the American wheel builds up to a huge house edge that makes players lose large amounts of money over a short period of time, and that’s a fact. No strategy, betting method or balance limit can change that – it’s just how he game is made. According to house advantage info, European Roulette beats American every single time.

Where Does the Popularity of American Roulette Come From?

Since the survival and widespread acceptance of American Roulette can’t be explained in a logical way, as all the information gathered about both game variants firmly and clearly lead to a conclusion that European Roulette is much better than American, we can only continue scratching our heads about this one. Apparently, a lot of online casinos don’t even specify which variant of roulette they offer, and inexperienced players fall into the trap ever so often.

Also, the automatic versions of roulette offered by some casinos have American Roulette wheels. Apart from being self-driven and computerized versions of live roulette – a paradox in itself – the American style gameplay additionally degrades players’ odds of winning. None of it is any good, but players still don’t seem as keen as to abandon the American Roulette model. It could be a wild guess, but it appears that a lot of players go into online gambling uniformed and unwilling to do anything about it. Maybe they think they’ll figure it out as they go. It’s a plan, but not a very good one. When it comes to online gambling with real money, you need to be prepared to make informed decisions about your actions.

Bottom Line

Experienced or not, always check the house edge. If the house edge is high, move away from the table (figuratively) and find a game variant that isn’t as demanding. It’s that simple. Playing high house edge games is self-destructive; you will cut short your gambling time by losing money faster, and you will go on to disliking the game entirely – and that would be a shame since there are other versions of the same great casino game with suitable modifications and acceptable house edge percentages. In the case of roulette, European/French versions are always the correct answer. You’ll always face better odds against a single zero than against a double zero, which does make a lot of sense when you put it that way.