American Roulette v European Roulette: What’s the Difference?

Roulette may be one of the oldest casino games, but it’s still one of the most popular. The game is iconic and for many is synonymous with the casino experience.

For a game as old as roulette, it’s only natural that it has undergone a number of changes over the years. Today, the two main types of roulette found at casinos are American roulette and European roulette. Let’s examine American roulette v European roulette and discuss which version of live dealer roulette is best for your casino.  

American Roulette

When roulette arrived in the US in the 1800s, casino owners made a seemingly small change to the game, but one that would prove to be incredibly significant; they added an extra zero. This gave an extra betting option for players to choose from, but it also worked to make the edge more favorable to the house.

This new zero is represented as a double zero, with the new pocket on the wheel increasing the total number from the original 37 to 38. The key difference in American roulette is that the chance of landing on a chosen number is reduced while the odds remain at the standard 35/1, what this does is increase the house edge to 5.26%.

The American version of roulette also has a unique feature called the Five Number Bet. This is a wager that covers both the zero and double zero, as well as the numbers one, two, and three. This bet carries a house edge of 7.9% but can offer the player payout odds of six to one.

So, American roulette v European roulette, how do they stack up against each other?

European Roulette

European roulette wheels feature just a single zero which, combined with the numbers one to 36, makes for a total of 37 pockets. With odds for each pocket at 35/1, the game offers players a more generous house edge of 2.7%.  

What other differences can be found when comparing American roulette v European roulette? The first and most well-known of these is called En Prison. What this means is that, in the case of the ball landing on zero, bets on even money wagers will not be taken by the house and will instead remain in place on the table.

The other feature is called La Partage, which can be offered to players in place of En Prison. Should the ball land on the zero when La Partage is in use, half of the stakes placed on even money bets will return to the player with the other half taken by the house. This feature reduces the house edge of even money bets down to 1.35%.  

There are clear differences to see between American roulette v European roulette. This variety is one of the reasons why the game remains so popular. Let’s find out more.

Why is Roulette so Popular?

Roulette is one of the most popular worldwide casino games. According to research published by the Gambling Commission last year, roulette accounted for largest share of gross gambling yield in the UK online gambling sector, outside of slots. American roulette v European roulette: players seem to love the game regardless of what version is on offer.

As the operator of a live casino, your players will expect one if not several roulette options to be available. Just why is it so popular? One answer could be in its simplicity. Other than a basic understanding of how the game works, roulette requires little else to play and, more importantly, to win.

Roulette is also a game that encourages banter and social interaction. This is what makes live dealer roulette such an incredible addition to any live casino, it will give players the thrill and excitement of the traditional casino experience. Out of American roulette v European roulette, which is the best choice for your casino?

Which is Best For Your Live Casino?

When examining American roulette v European roulette, it’s clear to see that both come with their own unique advantages and disadvantages. American roulette is the most commonly depicted version the game in media, and it is by far the most popular game at US land-based casinos. With European roulette’s more generous house edge, why is it that the American version continues to be so popular?

Players enjoy the extra choice offered by the addition of the extra zero, and might appreciate the simplification of the rules through the omission of some features, but it is perhaps American roulette’s familiarity that makes it so enduringly popular, as it’s human nature to be drawn to things we are familiar with.

That said, European roulette is certainly becoming more popular among players, who are coming to enjoy the improved winning opportunities and additional features.

So, American roulette v European roulette; which is best for your live casino? The answer is both! By offering your players as much choice as possible, it will ensure they continue to play on your platform rather than turn to a competitor to find their favourite roulette game.


The American roulette v European roulette debate rages on, and it’s easy to assume that the differences between the versions are inconsequential. However, they can have an enormous impact on the player experience. Use this guide to learn the differences between the two and why both are essential for your live casino.