America vs. Europe – Who’s the Winner of the Wheel?

America vs. Europe – Who’s the Winner of the Wheel?

American and European roulette are two common variants of this well-known casino game. Read on as we deduce which version is more intriguing.


Roulette is the most recognised game of chance in the casino world. Invented in France in the 17th century, it gradually spread to Las Vegas. This original version is known as European roulette, the most popular version till today. American roulette was invented soon after in the United States.

Here are the differences between these two forms:

1) About Those Zeroes


The prominent difference is that American roulette has an extra ‘00’ number. If you just took this away from an American roulette table, you’d be left with something quite close to a European table.

2) Total Number of Pockets

American roulette has 38 numbers:

– 36 red and black

– 2 green

European roulette has 37 numbers:

European roulette has 37 numbers:

– 36 red and black

– 1 green

As mentioned, American roulette has an extra number on the roulette wheel.

 3) The House Edge

American roulette has a house edge of 5.26%. European roulette has a house edge of 2.70%.

As you can see, the difference is almost double. This again is due to the double zeros!

4) Order of Numbers on the Wheel


On examining the American wheel closely, you’ll notice that the extra ‘00’ isn’t the only difference from the European wheel layout. The order of numbers on the wheel in both games is completely different.

5) The ‘En Prison’ Rule

The ‘En Prison’ rule is that you get to spin the wheel again, hence another chance to win, if you placed an ‘even money’ bet, like red or black, and the result was 0. Some casinos offer the optional ‘En Prison’ rule on their European roulette tables. However, this rule can never be applied to American roulette.

6) Call Bet


Call bets, or ‘announced bets’, are predetermined bets that cover specific sections of the roulette wheel. These are only available in European roulette. For example, ‘voisins du zero’ is a call bet that covers the same 17 numbers surrounding the green 0.

7) The Five Number Bet


The ‘five number bet’ or ‘basket bet’ is only available on an American roulette table. This bet includes the numbers 1, 2, 3, 0 and 00.

This is the only wager in American roulette that does not have a 5.26% house advantage and 7.89% instead which makes it the worst bet in all of roulette! If you do find yourself at an American roulette table, avoid this wager at all times.

So Which Version is Better?


Both American and European roulette are fundamentally the same but the latter gives you better odds.

Here’s a table that compares the percentage probability of winning with each type of bet in both variants.



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