American Vs European Roulette

American vs European Roulette: Which Is Better?

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Updated on: 21 May 2024
Dean McHugh

There are many different versions of roulette, with the most popular variants being European Roulette and American Roulette. Both versions are played pretty much the same. You place your bets predicting where the ball will land on the wheel with the potential for big payouts. So, if you know how to play one type of roulette, you know how to play the other. Check out our full guide on how to play roulette right here. Where American and European roulette differs, however, is in the wheel.

Once you’ve become familiar with the basic rules of roulette, it is time to dive into all the different tables and rulesets the game offers. You can find numerous variations of roulette games being played, but for now, we will focus on the two most widely available and popular variations played at land-based and online casinos: American Roulette and European Roulette.

The American Roulette Wheel

American roulette wheel

The American Roulette wheel includes 38 segments that the ball can land on. There are 36 numbers equally split between red and black colours, with the last two segments being green.

These two green sections are numbered 0 and 00. What makes them unique is that only straight-up bets are allowed on them. This gives the house an edge as even-money bets, such as betting on red or black, will not have a 50% odds of winning. Placing a bet that covers 18 segments in American Roulette will cover 18 out of 38 segments, which provides a 47.37% chance of winning.

The European Roulette Wheel

European roulette wheel

The European Roulette wheel differs from the American version by having one less green segment. Instead, it has just a single 0 segment, with the rest being 36 red or black segments. This means there are 37 sections and, therefore, fewer possibilities for the ball to land on.

The order in which the number appears is also different in European Roulette, which we will cover in more detail later on. While there is a 47.37% chance of winning an even-money bet in American Roulette, this probability goes up slightly to 48.65% for European Roulette. This approximately 1% may not seem like a lot, but it adds up over an extended period of gameplay.

Number Arrangement and Sequence

The arrangement of numbers on the wheel varies between American and European Roulette tables. This difference can lead to a change in people’s strategies. Gamblers can be a suspicious bunch, and many roulette players may shy away from the numbers placed next to the green 0 and 00 segments. The truth is, however, that the numbers are still distributed in a way that makes it less likely for a single quad bet to provide optimal wheel coverage, for example.

The wheel layouts don’t really provide an advantage to the player in both cases, as they are distributed in a way to make grouped bet types more split up. For example, placing a bet on a dozen bets could cover numbers 1 to 12. However, the numbers 1 to 12 will be split up so that it won’t be the case that your bet covers a complete and unbroken section of the wheela complete and unbroken section of the wheel is covered by your bet.

Below, you can see the sequence of numbers laid out on the wheel for American Roulette and European Roulette.

European Roulette Wheel

0 32 15 19 4 21 2 25 17 34 6 27 13 36 11 30 8 23 10 5 24 16 33 1 20 14 31 9 22 18 29 7 28 12 35 3 26

American Roulette Wheel

0 28 9 26 30 11 7 20 32 17 5 22 34 15 3 24 36 13 1 00 27 10 25 29 12 8 19 31 18 6 21 33 16 4 23 35 14 2

House Edge: American vs European

As mentioned above, there is one more segment in an American Roulette wheel. This affects the overall house edge, which is the average statistical advantage the casino has over the player.

For European Roulette, the house edge is 2.7%, while American Roulette has a higher house edge of 5.26%. This big difference in house edge comes from the additional green 00 segment found in the American Roulette wheels. Only a straight-up bet on this segment will result in the player winning if it lands. The extra variable means that all bet types have a decreased chance of being successful and, therefore, cause lower probability of winning.

Betting Options and Payouts

Betting options offered at the table can differ slightly between American and European Roulette. The 5-number bet is available to American Roulette players, which covers the numbers 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. This bet type does come with a steep house edge of 7.89% and is, therefore, not a recommended bet type to place, especially for those with a tighter bankroll.

European Roulette tables come with a selection of bet types that include different groups of numbers. These are known as Call Bets and can include Voisins Du Zéro, Orphelins, and Tiers Du Cylindre. Voisins Du Zéro, for example, is a bet type that covers a total of 17 numbers, including the green 0 segment and the 16 closest numbers around it.

Below, you can see the various bet types, payouts, and odds of winning for both European Roulette and American Roulette. You will be able to notice that the payouts remain the same. However, the odds of winning are lower for all American Roulette bet types. Again, the difference in percentage may seem very small, but if you were to play 100 games of roulette, that minor difference could quickly stack up.

Bet type Payout Odds of winning in European Roulette Odds of winning in American Roulette
Straight up 35 to 1 2.70% 2.63%
Split 17 to 1 5.40% 5.26%
Basket 11 to 1 8.10% 7.89%
Street 11 to 1 8.10% 7.89%
Corner 8 to 1 10.80% 10.52%
Six Line 5 to 1 16.21% 16.21%
Column 2 to 1 32.43% 31.58%
Dozen 2 to 1 32.43% 31.58%
Odd/Even 1 to 1 48.65% 47.37%
Black/Black 1 to 1 48.65% 47.37%
High/Low 1 to 1 48.65% 47.37%

Choosing the Right Version for You

When comparing the payouts and odds of winning, you might be asking yourself, what is the advantage of playing American Roulette? The truth is that there isn’t really an advantage. Adding a unique bet type can add another layer of excitement, but the odds still remain against you compared to European Roulette. There are also more variations of European Roulette offered by casinos. This makes it quite easy to recommend European Roulette over American Roulette tables.

This isn’t to say that people who prefer American Roulette are wrong. It is still a game of chance, and a good strategy can help you go a long way in either variant. The core concepts of managing your bankroll, picking a betting strategy, and knowing when to call it quits still apply to both types of roulette. A person playing American Roulette with these things in mind can still come out ahead of someone playing European Roulette.

As both variants play the same, your familiarity with the game shouldn’t influence your decision too much. Both variations are accessible to new and experienced players alike. The right roulette version for you simply comes down to personal preference. Some players enjoy the added excitement that can come with more betting options and outcomes. Others may just focus on the odds of winning. Whatever your preferences are, it is up to you to decide whether the risk is worth the reward for any casino game, along with the game that suits your tastes the most.


The fact of the matter is that European Roulette simply has the better odds. Its lower house edge provides a compelling reason to pick it over American Roulette. How much this difference in the house edge actually affects your gameplay can be debatable, however.

We recommend that you try out both versions on a virtual table in free-play mode. This allows you to test out the game and any strategies you have without risking any real money. You can then assess for yourself whether there is a noticeable difference in the outcomes and payouts of each version of roulette. Playing roulette is all about having a good time, and only you know best what makes a game more fun for you.

We also encourage you to share your experience with us and other roulette players, which you can do on our forum. Whether it’s American Roulette, European Roulette, or both, we want to hear about your experiences and opinions. Maybe you have your own reasons for why you think American Roulette is better? Or maybe you want to share some betting strategies? We and other players like you want to hear them!