European vs American Roulette

Roulette is an exciting game of chance, making it a popular game at both online and land-based casinos. Since its debut in 17th century France, the little wheel has spread the world over in a multitude of exciting versions – the most prevalent of which are European and American roulette.

European roulette – the original game with 37-pockets – is the most famous and is still being played to this day in its native format. Later on, 38-pocket American roulette evolved, giving an exciting alternative to players in the United States. Today, both European and American roulette are available in many exciting versions, at top online casinos in UK.

European Roulette and European Roulette Gold

European roulette is the most popular variation because of its higher chance of winning against the house. Like French roulette, it has 37 pockets comprising one zero and 36 numbers. The house advantage is 2.7%.

The La Partage feature of European roulette makes the game more interesting. Half of the player’s wager is returned to the player if there are no winning pockets. Players can also choose to leave their bets “as is” on the same pocket for another chance, which is called En Prison. If a bet wins under this feature on the next spin, the player gets the bet back.

While there are a multitude of options at most online casinos for European roulette play, one modern version of the game that’ proven particularly popular with players is European Roulette Gold, powered by the Microgaming network. The game became popular due to its realistic graphics and additional betting features. For example, it offers a four-bet option where a bet can cover four numbers, giving you odds of 8 to 1. This will only take effect if you place your bets on 0, 1, 2 and 3 and if you bet at the boundary line.

American Roulette

American roulette has the same fundamentals as European roulette. The two differ in that American roulette contains an additional pocket – the double zero.  While the double zero may seem insignificant at first, it’s an important factor for players to be aware of because the extra double zero gives the house a higher advantage of 5.26%. This is because when betting on red or black, odd or even, and over or under 18 (also known as the “outside” bets), if the ball lands on the zero or double zero, the house wins all these bets.

Other than the additional zero, the rules of American roulette are the same as the original European version.

All online casinos will offer at least one American roulette game, generally found under the ‘Table Games’ or ‘Cards & Table Games’ tab.

European roulette wheel and American roulette wheel:

American vs European Roulette


Other online roulette variations

As well as European and American roulette, there are many other interesting variations on this classic game that can be played online:

  • Royal Roulette is a casino card game that combines cards and roulette into one exciting game.
  • Mini roulette has only 13 numbers and is played the same way as regular roulette.
  • Zero roulette offers roulette players a 50/50 chance of winning since there are no zeroes in the game.
  • Live roulette gives you the feeling of actually playing at a roulette table by offering HD quality images of a live dealer and roulette wheel, streamed in real time to your desktop.
  • Multi wheel roulette cranks up the excitement level with the ability to play eight wheels simultaneously.

Bottom line

As you can see, there are quite a few variations on this classic game, many of which are offered by our recommended casinos. When looking at the two main variations – European and American roulette – it makes sense to choose European as your game of choice because of the lower house advantage thanks to the single zero. That being said, the choice is up to you. Whether you prefer to play American roulette online or European roulette, is a matter of taste. Both have their advantages, which as you know, are always a gamble.