On the surface, roulette is a straightforward game. There’s a colored wheel labeled different numbers. Then there’s a pay table that displays available bet types and their payout rates. You can bet on multiple outcomes, but the most common bet is a single-number bet.
You choose a number between one and 36. When the roulette wheel spins and a croupier throws a small ball in there, you hope it lands on the number you selected. If all goes well, you get paid at a rate of 35 to 1. Of course, winning isn’t guaranteed. You could select number 22, and the ball or market stops at a different number.
It could even stop on number zero or double zero if you select American roulette. To increase your winnings odds, though, experts recommend that you choose single zero roulette—AKA European roulette. Here’s why.
The most logical reason to choose European over American roulette is that it gives you better odds of winning. It doesn’t matter which type of bet you intend to place. Choosing European roulette tilts the odds in your favor. Selecting American roulette only gives the house a bigger margin.
If you choose single-number bets, the odds of winning in European roulette are 37 to 1. The odds of the same bet type in American roulette are 38 to 1. The explanation is simple. The European variant has 37 numbers while the American version has 38 numbers.
The extra number in American roulette is a pocket labeled two zeros (00). The pocket was added after European roulette was introduced in Las Vegas. Casinos wanted to make more money through roulette, hence the decision to increase its house advantage.
Bonuses and Promotions
Bonuses are always a great reason to play casino games. They’re like free money from the house and you can use them to win actual cash. European roulette qualifies for most bonuses you’ll find at casinos. Some casinos even have exclusive rewards for roulette players.
Roulettesites.org has a guide that can help you identifies the best bonuses for European roulette. The offers come from regular casinos with slots, poker and blackjack games. But these websites have exclusive rewards for roulette, whether you plan to bet 50p or $100.
Equal Payout Rates
Another reason people select European over American roulette regards payout rates. Both roulette types have similar payout rates. If you place an even money bet like black/red in American roulette, your odds of winning are 47.4%. The same bet comes with odds of 48.60% in European roulette.
It’s a small difference. Nonetheless, you have a better chance of winning when you bet on single-zero roulette. That said, you get paid 1:1 whether you select European or American roulette. So, what’s the logical choice? The variant that gives you beet odds.
The difference in odds can really add up when playing roulette for over an hour. Your $100 on American roulette would theoretically return $47.4 when playing even money bets. For high rollers, $1000 would return $47.4 while European roulette would bring back $480.60, a difference of $10.
In Las Vegas, casinos promote American roulette by lowering the game’s betting limit. That way, people, intending to place small bets can choose American over European roulette. Luckily, online casinos don’t operate in the same way.
The have equal limits for both American and European roulette. To expound more, you can wager as little as 10p in single-zero roulette, the same minimum limit on most American roulette tables. You can increase your stakes as you wish.
And if you’re a high roller, some casinos can allow you to bet as much as $10,000 per game. At the most prestigious online casinos, it’s not unusual to find European roulette games with maximum bets as high as $100,000.
When you think about it, European roulette is the original variation of the game. All other types, including American roulette came from it. Some of these newer versions have better odds, bigger payouts and more player-favorable rules.
Take French roulette as an example. It features the coveted single zero wheel in European roulette. But it has two rules that differentiate from the original game:
- La Partage
- En Prison
Both of these rules apply to even money wager types like odd/even, black/red, and high/low. If you place once of these bets and the ball lands on the zero pocket, the rules dictate the following:
In La Partage, you receive half of your bet back. In En Prison, the money is held by the casino but you’re given a second free spin. In some casino, the rule applies multiple times as long as the ball keeps landing on zero. That said, these two rules bring the house advantage in European roulette from 2.7% to 1.35%.
French roulette aside, more games derived from European roulette include Mini roulette, lightning roulette and progressive roulette. Mini roulette is a small version of the game with 12 numbers and a payout of 11/1.
Lightning roulette is a more exciting version of the game and has a payout of up to 500/1. However, it’s also incredibly risky. On the other hand, progressive roulette features a jackpot that increases over time until someone wins it.
The Alternative is Terrible
The alternative to European roulette, American roulette, has almost no desirable features. For the house edge, American roulette has a house advantage double that of European roulette—5.26% versus 2.7%. The problem with this big house edge is that it diminishes your chances of winning.
So, why choose American when European roulette is available? In brick-and-mortar casinos, some people choose the game to receive bonuses and low limits. But these aren’t benefits at online casinos. Many operators have similar bonuses and limits for both games.
In other words, only beginners with no knowledge of how terrible American roulette is play the game. Everyone else looks for European roulette. It’s more popular, has great limits and gives you a better chance of winning.