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American vs. European Roulette: What is the Difference

Roulette simulators

When people think about casinos, there are usually four games that come to mind. Slots, poker, blackjack, and roulette. Of those, the most popular is slots. However, the most iconic is certainly roulette.

European and American Roulette

The black-and-red wheel has been a staple of gambling establishments since the game was first invented in the 17th century. However, throughout the years, the game has gone through some alterations, changeups, and variations.

Even if you were to look up online, you would find various different versions of roulette at casino websites. For example, the Novibet roulette game is based on the popular European variant. However, you could just as easily find American roulette games at other casinos.

But, just what is the difference between American and European roulette? In this article, we are going to answer that very question, by looking at both games respectfully, and comparing the rules, wheels, and odds.

European Roulette

European roulette, or sometimes called French roulette, is the original version of the game that came about in the 17th century. Invented by a French mathematician, the game features a numbered wheel, with numbers from 0 to 36.

The goal of the player is simple; guess whether the ball tossed by the dealer will land on an even or odd number, and/or guess whether the ball will land on black, white, or zero. As you can see, the game is simple, which is why it is so popular.

American Roulette

American roulette developed from the European variant, likely around the mid-18th century. In terms of the basics, the game is the same as its predecessor. There is, however, one difference, which, while may not seem major, changes up the game completely.

American roulette has an extra field labeled 00. That brings the total of numbers on the American roulette wheel to 38. While it may not seem like a big deal, this extra number drastically changes the game.

The Similarities and Differences

The similarities are self-evident. Both games are purely luck-based, and both follow the same rules. A dealer throws a ball on the wheel, and the players wager on where said ball will land. Some people might not even realize that they are playing one version over the other, as the two are seemingly the same.

However, there is a major difference. Said difference lies in the odds. You see, by adding the extra number, American roulette heavily tilts the odds in the house’s favor. If we take a look at the odds of American roulette, we will find that the house advantage is bigger than in the European variant.

This change, rather infamously, prompted the great Albert Einstein to exclaim that the only way to win at roulette is to distract the dealer and take off with the pot. And while Einstein was certainly joking, certainly there was some truth to his jest.

Which One Should You Play?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. If you prefer the higher risk gameplay of American roulette, we would recommend you have fun with the 00. However, if you are a new player looking to get a taste for the game, our suggestion would be to start with the European variant.

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