Roulette is one of the most enduring and popular casino games ever created. Variations of it can be found in physical casinos around the world and online microgaming casinos across the web. Despite being so widespread, every single variant of the game can be placed into one of just two categories; European roulette or American roulette. But what exactly is the difference between these two, and which one should you play?
How to Play Roulette
Both European and American roulette follow the same basic rules. These are actually incredibly simple; the roulette wheel is divided into numbered ‘pockets’, which alternate between the colours red and black. A ball enters the spinning wheel and eventually settles in one of the pockets. Players can place bets on such details as what number the roulette ball will land on, whether the number that comes up will be red or black and whether it will be odd or even.
European Roulette Rules
However, there is a pocket on each wheel marked ‘0’, which is considered to be neither red nor black, odd nor even. It is not even considered to be a conventional part of the wheel, meaning that any and all bets that were placed (other than those on the ‘0’ itself) will lose. It’s considered the ‘house number’, as it creates the house edge. There is only one difference between European and American roulette, but it’s a crucial one; American roulette wheels use two ‘zero’ pockets (marked ‘0’ and ‘00’), whereas European roulette wheels only use one.
American Roulette Rules
That makes a huge difference. The extra ‘zero’ in American roulette increases the extent of the house edge, making it less likely that an ordinary player will win any given bet and making it harder for them to come out ahead after playing for any length of time. In comparison, players stand a much better chance of beating the house in European roulette.
Does this mean that you should exclusively play European roulette? Not necessarily. It’s true that European roulette is much more popular than American roulette due to its lower risk. Proof of its popularity can be found in the fact that all microgaming casinos in the UK that feature roulette offer European roulette, whereas it’s harder to find American roulette games. However, not everyone plays roulette just to win money. If you find the thrill of risk enticing, you may prefer American roulette.
Which type of roulette you should play depends on what you want to get out the game. If you are a more methodical player who enjoys placing a carefully-calculated bet and being rewarded for it, you should favour European roulette. If, however, you love taking wild risks for the thrill of it, American roulette is the game for you.