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European Roulette vs American Roulette

Gone are the days that you need to travel to a casino in Europe to play European roulette or America to get your fix of American roulette. At online casinos, such as Paddy Power Games, you’ll be spoilt for choice with both variations of the game available, as well as other games you’re not likely to find in a brick-and-mortar casino. The convenience of online roulette is just as favourable as the game’s odds!
But which variation of the game is better and what are the key differences? In this guide, we’ll explore both European and American roulette and by the end, you should be in a position to decide which is the game for you.

The layout

The most obvious difference between European roulette and American roulette is the layout of each game. A European roulette wheel has 37 pockets (the numbers 1-36 and 0; while an American roulette wheel has 38 pockets (the numbers 1-36, a 0 and a 00). In both instances, the numbers 1-36 are red and black, with 18 red pockets and 18 black, and the 0 (and 00 in American roulette) in green. The ordering of the numbers on both wheels also differs. However, the positioning of the numbers doesn’t affect your chances of winning, with the odd/even and red/black numbers evenly distributed.

The house edge

One of the major differences between the two variations of the game is the house edge, as the differing number of pockets affects your chances of winning. Therefore, it’s understandably one of the deciding factors in choosing which form of roulette to play. In European roulette, the house edge is 2.70%; while in American roulette, it’s almost double, at 5.26%.

Despite the house edge differing, the pay-outs for each bet remain the same. For example, placing an outside bet on red/black, odd/even, 1-18/19-36 will always pay-out 1:1 as it’s a 50/50 chance (well not quite 50/50 when you factor in the 0 and 00, which will marginally decrease your chances). Below, the table shows your odds and pay-outs for both versions of roulette.

Bet European roulette odds American roulette odds Pay-out
Red or black

Odd or even

Low or high

48.60% 47.40% 1:1


32.40% 31.60% 2:1
Double Street 16.22% 15.79% 5:1
Basket N/A 13.16% 6:1
Corner 10.81% 10.53% 8:1
Street 8.11% 7.89% 11:1
Split 5.41% 5.26% 17:1
Straight 2.70% 2.63% 35:1

The rules

The basic rules are very much the same in both variations of roulette; however, there are some rules which can be applied to European roulette, but not American – and vice versa.
In American roulette, if an outside bet is placed and the ball lands on 0 or 00, then the bet is lost. However, in European roulette, there are two rules that players can make use of, which ensure the bet isn’t completely lost. The first is ‘En Prison’ which allows the player to take an extra spin; however, if 0 lands on the next spin, the bet is lost. The second is called ‘La Partage’, which means splitting and, in this case, the player loses half of their bet.


In short, most people favour European roulette, as it has a lower house edge and the two insurance rules to ensure that bets aren’t completely lost. Using a European roulette wheel is more likely to produce a win and therefore offers the best experience for those that want to make money.