American vs European Roulette

Roulette enjoys a massive following, in both land-based and online casinos, and it attracts thousands or even millions of gamers. The range of betting options offered by roulette is instantly recognizable. There are, however, some critical variants of this game, that are technically similar but have some subtle differences between them.

What is the difference between American and European Roulette? Whether you are a new player or a seasoned punter, you have to familiarize yourself with the critical differences between these two roulette variants, to decide which one would suit your gaming strategy.


One of the most visible differences between American and European roulette is the layout. American and European Roulette have 38 and 37 pockets respectively. The difference is down to the fact that the American variant has an extra ‘00’ pocket.

House Edge

The extra ‘00’ has a significant impact on the house edge. The house is the main thing most players look at when choosing the roulette they want to play. European roulette has an advantage of 2.7%, while its American counterpart has a 5.26% edge, all because of the extra pocket. This means that players stand a better chance of winning when playing European roulette, as the house edge is relatively lower.


The rules of the game remain intact across these roulette types. However, there are a few differences between the games. American roulette has an extra bet type, known as the “basket bet,” which allows the player to wager on numbers including 0, 00, 1, 2, & 3.

The “En Prison Rule,” applicable to European roulette, but absent in American Roulette, allows players a second chance if the ball lands on the zero, thus reducing the house edge to as little as 1.35%. Also, the European roulette wheel has a provision for making call bets, such as the “Red Splits” and “Neighbors.”

Which is the better alternative? This depends on your gaming preferences. American Roulette is preferred by most traditionalists for many reasons, referring to it as the original roulette. On the other hand, European Roulette is a better alternative to players who want to make more money, due to its lower house edge.