How to Play European Roulette?

ROULETTE Updated on: 4 September 2018

Most people would rather play European roulette instead of American roulette. And why wouldn’t they? This game is best know for its better winning odds because it has just a single zero while American roulette, its closest rival, has a double zero pocket in addition to a zero pocket. This little tweak means that European roulette gives its players a 2% bump in winning odds, which is quite a remarkable difference.

1. How did European Roulette Begin?

As per its name, this form of roulette was invented in the European country of France some centuries ago. In fact, this form of roulette is also called the French roulette. Casinos wanted more people walking through their doors, and they decided to do this by removing one of the zero pockets to make the game more winnable. Roulette games at the time looked a lot like the current version of American roulette in that they had two zero pockets.

Of course, not all casinos jumped on this bandwagon. But this only served to make the impact of this innovation more apparent. People frequented casinos that had done away with one of the zeros more regularly. With time, the game had a huge following, and it became the greatest rival to the traditional roulette game; a battle that persists even today.

Actually, at the moment, statistics indicate that European roulette is more popular than American roulette, which goes to show that people appreciate having a slightly better winning edge as they enjoy this exciting casino game. The main reason American roulette managed to remain popular is because America did not take up the concept of the single zero roulette game like Europe had done.

Therefore, even though roulette was invented in Europe, two zeros or not, the double-zero version ended up being associated with America, which is how it got the name American roulette. And the roulette version with a single zero, because it was played in Europe, ended up being named European roulette.

How is European Roulette Played?

If you already know how to play American roulette, then you have little to learn about playing European roulette. For one, the bets are exactly alike. The only major difference is that the odds are a little against you because of the double zero.

But just for clarity, you will place your bets on the table as preferred, and the wheel will be spun and the ball thrown on it. When the wheel and the ball finally come to a stop, the outcome of the game will be determined and the bets settled. If you have won the bet, you will get the matching payout rate, otherwise, you will lose your bet.

The zero pocket is what earns the casino money with a roulette game. All spins that end up landing on the zero result in a loss for all field bets, which means the casino wins in such cases. So, by having two zeros, a casino is able to increase its profitability with this game even further, which is what happens when players are using American roulette.

What Are the Winning Odds for European Roulette?

Now that you know that European roulette generally offers better chances of winning, you can go on to learn of the specific winning chances you will have for placing various bets when playing this game. So, here they are:

Red/Black, Odd/Even, and Column Bets – 48,64%
Dozen Bets – 32.43%
Straight Bets – 2.7%
Street Bets – 8.1%
Split Bets – 5.4%
Line Bets – 16.51%
Corner Bets – 10.81%

American roulette obviously has worse winning odds than these because of the added double zero pocket. However, don’t expect to see an eye-popping difference in the potential winning odds. The difference will be slight, but still significant, and quite relevant to any player who wants to win with this game. American roulette has a house edge of 5.26%, while the European version has an edge of 2.70%.

Note that physically, there might not be a very notable difference between American and European roulette. Therefore, make sure you check this out before playing to avoid exposing yourself to odds you don’t like.

Other Differences between American and European Roulette

It is also worth noting that the European roulette version has an optional en prison rule. This rule is not available when playing American roulette. In case you have no idea what I am talking about, the en prison rule lets you spin the wheel another time if you had placed an even money bet (eg Red/Black), but the ball landed on the zero.

Is There Any Reason to Choose American Roulette Over European Roulette?

Personally, I cannot think of many. The two kinds of roulette offer what is essentially a similar form of gameplay, so there is no reason to say the American version of this game will be more exciting than the European version.

I mean, if you only had the American roulette version to work with, you could play it just for fun. But otherwise, if you want to play with real money and enjoy better winning chances, your choice should obviously be the European roulette variant over the American alternative.

Still, there are some people who choose to play American roulette because it is the roulette version they initially fell in love with. However, even for such people, if winning is important, the European roulette variant will still be the best option.

But if you find the chance to brace worse odds titillating, then you might opt to play American roulette instead of the European version so that you can feel better about getting wins when the odds are less friendlier to you. Obviously, this is a bad approach if you are playing to win, but if you play just for fun, then it might just work.

So, that is what European roulette is all about. You can learn more about American roulette from the guide I have posted about this game right here on this site. You never know, you could learn more about roulette in general and have a deeper appreciation for it once you understand what this other version is all about and why people play it, despite its worse house edge.