European Roulette vs American Roulette

2 Mins read

Whether you’re an avid casino player or not, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of Roulette. Classed as one of the most popular casino games of all time, did you know that there are actually a few variations of the classic wheel? 

The two most well-known variations are the European and American wheels – both available when you play online Roulette at Betfair, or your other favourite casino site.

The wheel has truly stood the test of time since its accidental invention in the 17th century, spinning onto our devices and becoming available right at our fingertips. 

With this in mind, let’s take a look at both the European and American variations of the wheel, and discover which is best, once and for all…

European Roulette

European Roulette first came about in 1843, two hundred or so years after the primitive version was created. It was in Hamburg, Germany, where French brothers Francois and Louis Blanc struck a deal to help boost the city’s economy – To do this, they removed the green double zero pocket from the already-beloved Roulette wheel, leaving only a single zero. 

This reduced the house edge from 5.25% to 2.70%, giving players better winning odds and making the game more popular than ever throughout Europe. 

In the modern-day, the European wheel can be found hosting many themed Roulette games at online casinos, and at many land-based venues as well. All the standard bets are available to place, but with the occasional addition of some French bets, like the La Partage rule. 

The wheel itself displays one green zero pocket, with 36 other red and black segments alternating high-low and even-odd numbers. This is the same for the American Roulette wheel, but with the addition of the green double zero pocket and the numbers are displayed in a different order. Despite this, the order of the numbers on both wheels are positioned to appear as random as possible, keeping the game as fair and unpredictable as can be – no matter the version. 

American Roulette

The single zero Roulette wheel might’ve spun into the hearts of casinos in Europe, but when French colonists introduced the lower house edge on American shores, it wasn’t so popular. 

American casinos and players alike naturally preferred the game with higher stakes. Perhaps the more unpredictable the game, the more excitement they felt was involved? Despite this, Roulette itself wasn’t as popular in America as it was in Europe, as players generally preferred games that involved a little more thought – such as Blackjack or Poker. 

Due to this, the single zero version became differentiated as European Roulette, and the double zero version, as American. 

Which is best?

Ultimately, the best variation is completely down to you and your style of gameplay, however, many experienced players and beginners alike will agree that European Roulette – with the lowest house edge – is the best variation of Roulette. 

With your newfound knowledge – where will you be placing your next bet? Will it be American or European Roulette? 

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