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Both bricks and mortar, and online casinos offer both of the most popular versions of roulette. These are American or European (often called French) roulette. This article will provide you with a brief overview of the American version of roulette and how it differs from the French version.

American Roulette History

American Roulette is played on an almost identical table to the European version, the tablecloth is marked with 36 numbers, odd and even boxes, black and white and two green ones that count as zero and double zero respectively. This is by far the most popular of the roulette games worldwide but it is actually derived from the French version of the game. Even the American version we know so well today is actually different from the American roulette of days gone by which only featured the numbers from 1 to 28 plus the same zero and double zero and a box with an American eagle. Traditionally American roulette odds favor the house much more than other versions of the game, and this is true of older to newer versions. The older American roulette just outlines had worse odds for the player than the newer version, but the newer version in keeping the double zero still has worse odds than the European (or French) version that only has a single zero.

American Roulette vs European Roulette

In what follows we will describe the differences between the American and European version of this most popular casino game in order to make you aware which one you are playing and why your odds are different with each choice.

  • Smaller tables - American roulette tables are slightly smaller than European ones. Obviously this makes no difference for the online game but we think the difference is relevant here. The reason for this difference is that American roulette tends to be slightly faster paced with not as many players staying on for subsequent rounds.
  • English language - American roulette has all the announcements made by the croupier be in English, where as traditionally all European versions are in French
  • Layout - The numbers in European Roulette are randomly placed whereas American roulette has all consecutive numbers placed side by side.
  • Double Zéro - As already explained American roulette features both a zero and a double zero.
  • Dolly - In the American game the croupier uses a dolly, which is a small metal stick instead of a rake in order to indicate the winning wager and collect the losing chips.
  • Zéro rule - In European roulette wagers placed on even money bets are only half lost when a zero is landed. In American roulette even money bets lose on zero.
  • Personal tokens - American roulette also features special personal chips that are issued at the table to players with the denomination they represent decided by how much the player has pay for them.

House Edge For American Roulette

In roulette the house edge is the amount the casino wins back for every wager made. In American roulette is a player wagers on a single number his odds are one in 38 (1-36 plus 2 zeros). It follows that there is a 37 out of 38 chance that he will lose the money he wagered. So the house edge works out to 5.26%. This means that players lose 0.053 out of every 1 (Euro, Dollar, Pounds) that they wager.


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