American roulette vs European roulette: What makes them different?

Whether you’re playing on-site or online, you’re certain to come across a roulette wheel. After all, it’s one of the most popular casino games of all time and is favoured by many for its easy rules and exciting gameplay. 

Plenty of roulette variations are available out there, but among these, two types are most often compared: American and European roulette. They share a lot of similarities like their objectives and betting options but many factors differentiate them such as their number of wheel pockets and available side bets. 

To know more about each one in detail, continue reading here at Livecasino.io.

American roulette

This is one of the main and most popular variants of roulette. Its wheel has a total of 38 digits that covers 1 to 36 including 0 and 00, coloured separately in red, black, white and green to make spotting them easier. The double zero was added to increase the game’s house edge and make the game more thrilling for players and favourable to most casinos.

Your main objective in this game is to predict where the ball lands on the wheel. And if it lands on the number you wagered on, you win! Like in most roulette variations, you can place bets on various numbers as well. 

There are two main kinds of bets you can choose from, which are outside and inside bets. Both of these hold various betting options with varying odds and payouts.

Inside bets

Inside bets are wagers you make on the inner portion of the table that holds numbers 1 to 36, 0 and 00. These bets pay out the most but also have low chances of hitting. The following are the inside bets you can place in American roulette:

  • Straight-up bets – This is when you wager on a single number from 1 to 36, 0 and 00. This pays out 35:1 and has a house edge of 5.25%.
  • Split bet – This is when you wager on two adjacent numbers. To place this bet, put your chip between the line that sets these two numbers apart. This pays out 17:1 and has a house edge of 5.25%
  • Street bet – This is when you wager on three numbers in a row by placing your chips at the end of the row. This pays out 11:1 and has a house edge of 5.25%.
  • Corner bet – This is when you wager four numbers. To place this bet, put your chip  at the corner where these numbers touch. This pays out 8:1 and has a house edge of 5.25%
  • Five bet – This is when you wager on numbers 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3 by placing your chip at the corner of 0 and 1. This pays out 6:1 and has a house edge of 7.89%.
  • Line bet – This is when you wager on 6 numbers. To place this bet, put your chip at the end of the 2 rows between them. This pays out 5:1 and has a house edge of 5.26%.

Outside bets

These are bets placed on the outer area of the table that lets you wager on a larger set of numbers. Compared to inside bets, they have higher chances of hitting but smaller payouts.

  • Column bet – This is when you wager on the entire column by placing your chip on the 2:1 box. This pays out 2:1 and has a house edge of 5.26%.
  • Dozen bet – Just like its name, this lets you wager on 12 digits. To place this bet, put your chip on any of the 1st 12, 2nd 12 or 3rd 12 boxes. This pays out 2:1 and has a house edge of 5.26%.
  • Bet on colour – This is when you wager on the pocket’s colour and choose between black or red. If you choose red, you’ll wager on all the numbers in red slots, and if you choose black, you’re betting on all the numbers in black slots. This pays out 1:1 and has a house edge of 5.26%.
  • Odd/even bet – This is when you wager on odd or even numbers. If you choose to bet on ‘odd’, you’re betting on all odd numbers on the table, and the same idea is applied for even numbers. This pays out 1:1 and has a house edge of 5.26%.
  • High/low bet – This is when you wager on all high or low numbers. Low numbers are 1 to 18 and high numbers are 19 to 36. This pays out 1:1 and has a house edge of 5.26%.

European roulette

Another main type of Roulette is the European variant. It started attracting attention around the 17th century and up to this day is the more preferred variant among others because of its low house edge of 2.7%. This is mainly because of its single zero which means its wheel only has 37 digits covering 0 and 1 to 36. 

It shares the same objective and bets with the American variant but what makes this a little bit more different is its additional rules which are La Partage and en Prison. To help you understand how both work, here is a summary:

La Partage

Meaning ‘to divide’ in English, this bet splits your wager and only takes one half when you lose, making it an ideal betting option that cuts your losses. The other half can be used however you please so you can cash this out or wager it again for another round. Its house edge is 1.35%

En Prison

This bet translates to ‘the prison’ and as it suggests, it functions as a ‘prison’ for your money. If the ball lands on zero, your wager will be retained, preventing you from changing your bet or withdrawing it. The next round will determine what happens to your money. If you win, your money is returned to you. However, if you lose, your money is forfeited.

For its betting options, it shares the same ones found in American roulette but with different house edges.

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