What’s the Difference Between European and American Roulette?

03rd November3 min read

Ahh, roulette. A timeless game of chance which, if played smartly, can pay out huge amounts to the player. Play it wrong, however, and the casino can rake in what money you have. We have already said a lot about playing roulette. But a common question asked by newer and less experienced players is: "What's the difference between European and American Roulette?" and to a lesser extent: "Which is better?" The short answer to this is... well, that's down to how risky you like to be. The most crucial and obvious difference is  that American Roulette has an additional 00 on its reel. But even the smallest change in a game can have major repercussions.

So buckle up and get ready to look at the Top 5 Differences between European and American Roulette.

1) Increased Risk

The idea behind roulette is beautifully easy to grasp. You have a wheel with 37 slots, each of them numbered and each coloured either black or red.

When the wheel spins, a ball is thrown and depending on how much you've bet and what number said ball lands on, you either win money or you lose it. You can bet on colours, high or low numbers, odd or even, or (if you feel very lucky) bet on a single number. Read our guide on betting in roulette.

It would make more sense to bet on outside bets (the "wider" bets) as they contain the lowest risk. All of this is based of the European version of the game (also known as French Roulette) as it is the original. However, with the addition of the 00 slot in the American version of the game, meaning it has 38 slots to choose from. Not only this, but if you bet on 0 and get 00, you lose all. Quite risky...

2) Different Stakes

This obviously means that the stakes are higher. It doesn't take a mathematician to figure out that the risks involved in American Roulette are far greater than that of the European variety.  Chances of winning if you chose a single number creates subtle differences which affect the entire game.

This is all, of course, designed to work in the casino's favour. After all, the more chances of players losing the more money they're likely to pinch from your pocket. Okay, that's unfair. Casinos need to make their money somehow! It's cheeky but that's the way it is.

3) Decision Making

This obviously lends to better decision making on the part of the player. Because of that extra risk involved with the 00 in American Roulette, an easy choice to bet on a single green slot has now become harder. Most people would believe this to be the opposite (as there are now two green slots and therefore increase the likelihood of the ball landing on one). But, as stated, the rules says: bet on 0 and get double, you lose, Bucko!

It's therefore natural to be cautious when lends to better decisions and less haste. An important life lesson, when one thinks about it, and develops one's ability to develop a strategy. Not that there's much strategy in roulette. A lot of it is based on luck. It's just a good idea to know when to bet high or low.

4) Popularity

It's little surprise then that, globally, European Roulette is far more popular than American Roulette. In fact, if this context was based on popularity alone, we would have a very clear winner in our midst. However, that might be slightly skewered as American Roulette is most often played in... well, America.

But the fact that the American rendition allows less room for error and its European cousin allows players more chances to win, it's easy to see why  they would chose it over the alternative.

So, when all is said and done, which version of roulette emerges the victor?

Well, we have to say...


But this is just our opinion. If you prefer the American Roulette then more power to you, dear reader. If anything, you should be admired for your preference high-risk gambling. If you haven't given European Roulette a shot, though, we suggest you should. You may like it. If anything, we hope you learnt something today. Happy gambling!

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