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The Differences between American and European Roulette

If you have played or looked into playing roulette, whether in a land based or online casino, you may have encountered the information that American and European roulette are slightly different. The main difference between the two roulette wheels is in the zeros – a European wheel has only one green zero pocket, whilst the American wheel features two green pockets, the zero and the double zero.

The European wheel’s single zero means that the house edge is altered in favor of the gambler, in comparison to the house edge in American roulette. The house advantage on the American wheel is 5.26 per cent compared to the reduced 2.7 per cent of the European wheel. European roulette often also allows players to use what is known as the en prison rule. The en prison rule means that if the zero comes up on a player’s turn, he can choose to either surrender one half of his outside wagers or alternatively to leave them where they are for the next spin.

This additional rule, also known as “Surrender”, alters the house advantage even more, causing it to drop from the already minimal 2.7 per cent right down to 1.352 per cent. When compared to the 5.26 per cent of the American wheel, this is a very inviting house edge and therefore preferable to many players.

One final potential difference between American and European roulette depends on whether you or playing in a casino or whether you opt for online roulette. In an American land-based casino, you are likely to be given coloured chips when you buy in at the roulette table. The colour of your chips means that they can be differentiated from other players betting on the table. European casinos generally give out chips of the same colour, so bets from different players need to be memorized in order to keep them separate.