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American Roulette versus European Roulette

A Comparison of Roulette Odds

The biggest difference between single and double zero games is the different number of slots on the wheels. One single slot on or off the wheel is responsible for difference in the casino’s edge. But don’t let the names confused you – both styles of roulette rules can be found in both Europe and America. The name refers to traditional rules used in those parts of the world – American games are common in Europe, and European versions are common in America.

The addition of a single slot on the wheel affects the game’s odds more than a person might thing. US versions of the game have one additional number compared to the Euro wheel – if the addition of one number doesn’t seem like it can make a big difference in odds, here’s the explanation.

European-style wheels have 37 slots (number spaces for 1 – 36 as well as a zero slot) while 38 potential single number bets are listed on American-style games. The difference in the casino’s edge is significant, even though the difference in bets is small. Euro (single zero) games give the player odds of 37 to 1 against betting on the right single slot, while the same odds on a US layout are 38 to 1.

All standard versions pay 35 to 1 for a single number wager, so the difference between actual odds of 38 to 1 or 37 to 1 and the payout for such a bet is significant. American rules give the house an edge of 5.26%. What does that mean for a gambler’s bankroll? Wagering $100 on a US version in the course of an hour, a player can expect to lose $5.26 of that stake. European rules mean the casino has an edge of just 2.7%, so the same $100 worth of wagers mean a loss of about $2.70 over the same time period.

Payouts

Obviously not all bets on these two versions of the game pay out at 35 to 1, since all other available bets give the player a better chance of winning. These are the standard payouts for roulette bets common to both styles of play. Bets more likely to pay off offer smaller rewards.

After single number bets, the next biggest payoff common to both games is a bet on two numbers, called a split bet. Winning split bets pay off at 17 to 1.

Wagers on any three numbers, called street bets, pay off at 11 to 1.

Corner bets, wagers on any four numbers, pay 8 to 1.

Six-number wagers pay 5 to 1.

Dozens bets, wagers on any outside column, pay 2 to 1.

All even money wagers, like black/red or odd/even, pay 1 to 1.

Gamblers looking for the best odds in roulette should lay bets that offer payouts as close to 1 to 1 as possible. Even money wagers which offer odds closest to 50/50, are the safest in the game, even though the zero spaces (regardless of which style of wheel is used) mean that even money bets don’t come with even odds.

Strategy

Both single zero and double zero versions are negative expectation games. It is impossible to overcome the house edge by placing a certain wager or changing the size of your wagers.

This is a luck based game, meaning the random spin of the game’s big wheel determines the outcome, not player skill. Neither US or Euro rules favor strategy over random chance.

Gamblers who want to lose less money over time can take one bit of strategy advice under consideration. Since American games have two zero spaces and give the casino a bigger edge, don’t play American-style versions if at all possible. Before you place a bet at an online or brick and mortar gambling venue, read through the game’s rules and look at the wheel to determine if you’re playing a European or American version. The number of green zero spaces is all a player needs to look at to figure out if the version they’re playing offers the best odds.

Does that mean playing US-rules titles never makes sense? If all that’s available are double zero rules or if you prefer betting on American tables (regardless of the higher casino edge) then it makes sense to go ahead and lay bets on a double zero game. After all, casino play is supposed to be entertainment, and even though the casino’s edge on US games is almost double that of Euro versions, people do win money at double zero tables all the time.

This French game, an invention of mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal, has been a mainstay of casinos for three centuries. The game has remained a part of casino play because it’s fun, easy to understand, and a few of the wagers available are some of the safest on the gaming floor, even by US rules.

Using a little know-how to find the best game (single zero wheels always give the casino the lowest edge) and sticking to low-risk wagers (even-money being the lowest risk of all) means giving yourself the best chance to win some of the casino’s cash. Enjoying comped drinks and the social interaction available at table games are a good reason to play double zero roulette if that’s all you can find, even though the casino holds a bigger edge against you than on a single zero game.

Find some of the best European roulette tables at www.Casino-Mate.com.

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