American vs European Roulette: Which One is Better?

American vs European Roulette: Which One is Better?

The Difference Between American and European Roulette

The eternal comparison between American vs European roulette has been made since the American version of the game came to prominence.

We have come here to settle any doubts that you have regarding which of these two versions of roulette is better for you to play. We're going to tell you which one has a better RTP/odds, as well as the differences that you can expect to find in an American and European roulette wheel.

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European Roulette Wheel & American Roulette Wheel

Before explaining how each roulette game works, let's take a look at the basic layout of each table. The differences are hardly noticeable, except for one standout number. You will also notice that the layout of both roulette tables is almost identical, apart from the extra number introduced in American Roulette.

Euro Roulette Wheel

european roulette wheel

US Roulette Wheel

american roulette wheel

Main Differences Between American and European Roulette

There are only a couple of differences between both of the world’s most popular types of roulette games. If you pay attention to the change, though, you’ll notice just how important and fundamental it can be to the outcome of your bets and your winning chances in general.

Both changes are also correlated to one another, so we're going to take an in-depth look at them.

The Zero and Double-Zero

The main difference between the two boards is that the American roulette table has a total of 38 pockets, whilst the European roulette board has 37 in total. Both boards have the numbers from 1 to 36, but the European roulette wheel has a single additional slot (the 0, which is green), whilst the American roulette wheel has two extra slots (both green as well: the 0, and the 00).

live roulette
Live casino lobbies offer both roulette layouts and variants like Instant and Speed Roulette

 

House Edge

The American roulette wheel is detrimental to the winning chances of a player because it comes with an additional zero on its board, which means that players end up having less of a chance to win and the house keeps a better house edge as a consequence. More numbers mean fewer chances for the player to get bets right.

The roulette odds of each game are:

  • American Roulette Table Odds: 94.84% 
  • European Roulette Table Odds: 97.30% 

The house edge of each of these games is, in turn, as follows:

  • American Roulette House Edge – 5.26%
  • European Roulette House Edge – 2.70%

The Numbers of Each Roulette Game

It doesn’t matter which type of roulette game you’ve been playing so far – you’ll want to take a look at this paytable, so you can get a better idea of which one offers the best odds. A 1% winning chance might not look like a lot at first glance, but it adds up like you have no idea.

This full payout table guide will help you know the odds of winning with each type of bet, as well as the house edge, in American roulette and in a European roulette table!

Bet

Payout

European Roulette Payouts

American Roulette Payout

Red/Black

1:1

48.65%

47.37%

Even/Odds

1:1

48.65%

47.37%

Lows/Highs

1:1

48.65%

47.37%

Dozens

2:1

32.43%

31.58%

Columns

2:1

32.43%

31.58%

6 Numbers

5:1

16.22%

15.79%

5 Numbers

6:1

Invalid Bet in European Roulette

13.16%

4 Numbers

8:1

10.81%

10.53%

3 Numbers

11:1

8.11%

7.89%

2 Numbers

17:1

5.41%

5.26%

1 Number

35:1

2.70%

2.63%

European Roulette and French Roulette number odds are the same as they share the same layouts. Classic French Roulette has a higher RTP because of its En Prison or La Partage rules. This is why French roulette is one of the most played casino games and why you should play it.

French Roulette - The Best Roulette Game?

French Roulette is not to be confused with European Roulette, although online casino newcomers could easily make that mistake: both tables have the same layout, and the roulette wheels look the same. There is one key difference, though: French Roulette introduces either the "La Partage" or "En Prison" rules, which enhance the game odds.

icon Casino Wizard Tip
Always play French Roulette if you have the chance. It's the most profitable roulette game in the industry.

For reference, both La Partage and En Prison rules give the game a similar RTP and reduce the house edge. As long as either rule is active, French Roulette odds are 98.65%.

French Roulette boasts some of the best odds out of all games in the casino industry!

La Partage in French Roulette

La Partage is an exceptional rule that makes European roulette even better than it already is. Basically, it allows players to get half of their money back on an even-money bet, should it happen that the ball lands on the Zero pocket. Here are some key facts:

  • La Partage option is an even fairer game for the player than a classic game of roulette. That’s because it allows the player to keeps a higher percentage of money even when they happen to lose a round.
  • The only way to activate the La Partage option is if the player places a bet on even bets like red/black, even/odd.
  • In fact, if you’re planning to use a betting system like the Martingale, the Fibonacci, or even the D’Alembert, you’ll want to find yourself a table that comes with the La Partage feature. It will give you half of your bet back even when you lose your color bet.

En Prison Rule

En Prison is a very similar rule to La Partage, and both of them can't be present in a game of French Roulette (otherwise the odds would be in favor of the player!). It makes it so whenever a player loses a "50/50" bet, the money remains "in prison", meaning that you don't lose or win, and you get a second chance to win your bet in the next spin.

  • The RTP boost of the En Prison rule is the same as it is with the La Partage active: +1.35%;
  • Most online casinos offer French Roulette with La Partage. Live games and virtual games with the En Prison rule aren't as common.

American Roulette VS European Roulette: Must-Know Facts

We have compiled our favorite list of roulette facts to give you further information about each game type, how each one works, and some nice tidbits of information that'll keep you more "in the know" when talking about roulette with other gamblers.

  • There are three main types of roulette casino games: American, European, and French. All variants that you see in modern casinos, like Lightning Roulette, Age of the Gods Roulette, and Football Roulette, are based on either of the aforementioned games;
  • Although European Roulette boasts a better return rate than its American counterpart, the French roulette variant (which is a subvariant of European Roulette) is the best one when it comes to potential return rates;
  • Roulette numbers, if summed, add up to a total of 666. That's why many people call it the Devil's Wheel!
  • "California Roulette" is an alternative version of the game invented in the United States. It is played with cards in order to comply with local gambling regulations;
  • There's no wway to overcome house edge in any version of roulette. That's why many people opt to place maximum wagers to take advantage of the low house edge by gambling as much as possible on a single spin.

Always Play European or French Roulette if You Have the Chance

It doesn’t take a genius to see the previous paytable and see why we fully recommend our readers to play French or European roulette.

european-roulette.jpg

Granted, if you were visiting Las Vegas, then we would recommend you play American roulette for one simple reason: most European roulette tables are high-stakes tables in most popular casinos. We're advising about online casinos here, and these casinos give you the option to play European roulette with low stakes.

If you have the option to play both roulette games and both of them adapt to your budget, then it really makes no sense for you to play American roulette at all. Only play the American variant if you have no choice. The differences between American and European roulette make the latter much more lucrative.

Some French roulette tables also feature additional outside bets, depending on the table that you sit on

The Best Casinos to Play Roulette Online

American and European roulette table games are available in casinos aplenty, less so than games with a French roulette table.

Now that you know why you should play European roulette, it’s time for us to take things a step further beyond and tell you all about the best online casinos in which you can play this popular game. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to play virtual roulette or play with real dealers – these sites have it all.

You'll have the option to choose between an American, European and French roulette table as you wish.

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Ready, Set, Roulette!

European roulette is a step above American roulette in terms of quality. Playing European roulette is more profitable than doing so in an American roulette table!

Thankfully, online casinos give you the option to play both games, so you can try them both on your own.

The world of European roulette awaits! Which casino will be the one to see the beginning of your iGaming adventure? Choose wisely and get that wallet ready – you won’t get enough of these fantastic online casino roulette games!

Last updated  October 2, 2023
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About the author

Marco

Marco

Chief Content Writer

Marco

Chief Content Writer

Marco is an experienced casino writer with more than half a decade of gambling-related work on his back. He took a keen interest in gambling as a young adult and started writing expert content for the casino and sports betting niche in 2015. Now, he specializes in online slots, table games, and sports betting – producing well-researched content on all fronts of the iGaming world.

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