American Roulette

Roulette was invented around the XVIII century in France and has since become one of the most popular, if not the biggest game in casinos. Over time, the game evolved with the introduction of several specific rules and bets, eventually sparking new versions of roulette. Such as American roulette.

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After dominating Monte Carlo and European casinos, roulette moved to the USA in the XVIII century, where it started its casino conquest from New Orleans.

Bit by bit, roulette moved West along the Mississippi River, becoming a great hit in American casinos. Instead of following European rules, however, the American version had a total of 38 pockets by adding a double zero on the wheel. This increased the house edge of the American wheel to double (5.26%) and even though it was abandoned for a short period of time, gamblers just couldn’t stop playing American roulette, and it remains like that to this day.

How Do You Play Americain Roulette?

If you ever played one roulette version, you’ve played them all. Well, with a few exceptions. For example, the addition of the double zero pocket in American roulette significantly raises the house edge, but that and the few different bets don’t change the way the action flows.

European Roulette Felt
American roulette table

After placing your casino chips or money on your bets on the layout, the croupier spins the wheel. Until he announces “No more bets”, you can alter your bet. After the croupier announces that he’s taking no more bets, players are unable to bet until the spin ends and all the losing and winning bets have been removed and paid out.

When it comes to American roulette, there are a few different bets that involve the double zero pocket on the wheel which are specific to this variant.

Types of Bets

The types of inside and outside bets in American roulette are the same as in European roulette. You can place a Straight up Bet, a Dozen bet, a split or a corner bet. Additionally, there’s another inside bet available in American roulette called a basket bet, which involves betting on five numbers including the bank pockets 0 and 00 (as well as 1, 2, and 3). The basket bet has a theoretical edge of 7.89%, which makes it the worst roulette bet of all and therefore not a favorite of many people.

The outside bets are far more favorable for the player, even with the higher house edge of American roulette. You can bet on a larger group of numbers and there’s more flexibility for the player with outside bets, as you can place your chips on lines between two boxes. This will give you better chances to win the next spin, but it will also drastically reduce the potential winnings, which isn’t exactly ideal.

The popular street bet is among the most popular outside bets and involves placing the chips (or cash) on the vertical line between inside and outside bets. It pays out 11:1 which makes it pretty enticing for new players and more experience roulette players.

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American- vs. European Roulette

The main difference between American and European roulette is the house edge and the extra 00 pocket. The table layout is different as well due to the extra pocket, so it’s imperative you know which version you’re playing as the house edge and odds are different. In general, the American version of roulette is rarely available in European casinos, and is mostly popular in the USA.

There are certain bets which are only available in American roulette which involve the double zero pocket. The American variant doesn’t offer the En Prison and La Partage rules which are only available in French roulette and mostly confined to Monte Carlo casinos.

With a house edge of 5.26%, American roulette isn’t really great for beginners and as a general rule, experts recommend playing European over the American version.

Why Choose American- Over European Roulette?

Casino purists prefer the American variant of the wheel even with the higher odds. They consider it the original form of the game and they’re right to do so. Roulette was originally invented with a double zero pocket as an addition to the 0. Blanc removed the 00 pocket in order to gain an advantage over other Bad Homburg casinos – if there was no competition at all, he might have kept it.

So, traditionally speaking, American roulette is the pure version of roulette. It’s also easily accessible nowadays, as there are only a few casinos not offering American roulette wheels. It might not be so popular in Europe, but you can play it if you want to. Additionally, European roulette is a bit pricier than its American counterpart – it’s considered a game for the elite and often confined to VIP rooms in the USA, with betting limits of over $100. American roulette, on the other hand, has cut those limits down to about $25 (depends on the casino) per spin, which makes it more affordable for average players.

Of course, it lacks the En Prison or La Partage rules which should be a part of every roulette game if you ask us. In the end, it all depends on you. Play the game with lower betting limits and the one that feels most familiar to you. In this way, you will prevent losing a lot of money as you know more about your preferred wheel.

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