There are two variations of roulette that may be found at most online casinos. European roulette and American roulette are two such games. There’s just one subtle distinction between the two games, but it may make or break your bankroll.
The sole difference between European and American roulette is that the former has 37 number slots and the latter has 38. In American roulette, the extra slot is for double zero. Though seemingly insignificant, the extra slot in American roulette doubles the house edge.
Regarding the Blanks
The presence of the zeros in roulette is the source of the house edge. All winning bets are compensated as if there were just 36 positions. A single number bet, for instance, returns 35 to 1 (your initial wager plus 35 times that amount).
If the ball lands on the green zero, even money bets such as red/black and even/odd also lose. As a result, the odds of winning such a wager are somewhat less than 50%. Once again, the payout is below the expected value offered by the house.
Due to the presence of two zeroes (00 and 0), the house edge in American roulette is approximately double that of European roulette. As a result, the following is the house advantage on all bets in each variation of roulette:
2.7% in European roulette
5-27x on American roulette
Expect to lose $2.70 for every $100 you put into a European roulette wheel over the long run. For every $100 you risk at the American wheel, your loss will be $5.27.
If you want to increase your chances of winning in roulette, you should always play on a European wheel. The house edge will be smaller and your money will last longer. This is a simple choice. European roulette should only be played.
Yet Another Dissimilarity
The two categories of games also differ in one more subtle way. You can make an additional wager in American roulette. You can place a wager on any combination of the numbers 0 through 3 (together referred to as a “basket bet”). This bet has a payoff of 6 to 1.
This bet has a 5.23% lower house edge than the rest in American roulette. The house edge is much higher at 7.89%. It’s the worst bet in roulette because of this. Avoid this bet at all costs if you ever find yourself at an American roulette table.
Since there is no 00 slot in European roulette, the basket bet is not available.