How to play European Roulette: Complete Guide | LeoVegas

How To Play European Roulette

Summary: European Roulette is a classic roulette game that has a single zero and 37 pockets and a house edge of 2.7%. European Roulette is preferred over American Roulette due to its favorable odds and lower house edge.

Table of Content:

What is European Roulette?

Oh, what a wheel of possibilities! Engaging, entertaining and full of anticipation, this simple game translates quite literally to ‘little wheel’ and dates all the way back to 1655. French mathematician, inventor and physicist Blaise Pascal had intended to create a perpetual motion machine. He failed, but we sure made lemonade out of his lemons! Some say this was the beginning of one of today’s most cherished casino games - roulette.


Today’s roulette resembles a 17th century English game called Roly Poly and is quite similar to an older Italian game, Biribi, in which players bet on single numbers, groupings, red or black, high, low, odd or even numbers. Sound familiar?

We’ll leave the debate to historians as no matter how it started, we’ve got it here at Canada’s LeoVegas online casino and virtually every brick & mortar casino out there.

European stands as the most popular of all the variations, over French and American. It uses a wheel shared by the French; a 37 pocket, single zero wheel. With a friendly house edge and a roaring good time guaranteed, it’s time to learn more about a true classic - European Roulette!


European Roulette Features

European Roulette Wheel

european roulette layout.jpg

The rules and payouts of European roulette are the same as its American cousin, but there is one important difference. The European roulette wheel features only one zero and 37 pockets, the American wheel has an additional pocket, with a double zero. It’s this 38th pocket that takes its house edge to 5.3%, a far cry over European roulette’s 2.7%.

European Roulette Bets

If we’re talking betting styles, European roulette pays much more attention to grouped bets over single digit plays. You’ll hear the term ‘announced bets’ or ‘called bets’ a lot here. These are French bets that group numbers together based on sections of the wheel. Stay with us and we’ll walk you through these below in much more detail.

European vs French vs American Roulette

While players often choose European or French over American roulette, due to its house edge, if you’re choosing between variations, French roulette has a couple of generous rules applicable when the ball drops into the zero pocket.

With En Prison, bets are pushed through to the next round (or held ‘en prison’ for another go), while La Partage returns half of any even bet back to you if zero hits. Seems more courteous, no?

For all of these reasons, if you’ve got a choice at your fingertips, many players will start with European or French over American roulette any day of the week!

European Roulette Rules

If you’re new to the game, you’ll be delighted to know that it’s simple to learn and easy to love.

It all comes down to one simple goal - to predict where the little ball will land.

We’re referring to the ball landing in one of the 37 pockets on the European roulette wheel. Numbers 1-36 all have a red or black pocket and zero is green. Bets range from single number wagers that pay 35:1, to multiple numbers covered off with fancier bets like dozens and columns. Red? Black? Even? Odd? Number 33 for Margie’s birthday? Whatever you choose, you’re always just hoping you have a bet on the number that hits!

To place your bet, you’ll be dropping chips on the felted betting table. Nothing to be overwhelmed about, it’s a grid that holds a square for each number on the wheel, plus well labelled squares for bets like red/black, odd/even, high/low. Over time, you’ll get to know all the ins and outs of this grid.

Get started on the lower paying bets - or outside bets. These squares may pay lower if won, but offer much less risk while getting acquainted with the game. Once you get a feel for the wheel, move to inside bets. These include bets on single numbers and if hit, can surprise you with a 35:1 payday! Intrigued? Head over to our Roulette Beginner’s Guide for the full meal deal of rules.

European Roulette Table Layout

Since there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, the European wheel is used for both European and French roulette play.

It’s the American one that went a little rogue, adding one extra pocket for a double zero (00).

While this may seem like a minor difference, it shifts the house edge in your favour from an Amerisized 5.26% down to a respectable 2.7%.

Once you get settled at a table, a few more differences are notable. On the wheel, numbers are ordered differently, following a clockwise sequence.

And when seated at a table, you’ll notice European tables often have the wheel as a centerpiece, rather than at one tail end.

European Roulette Bets and Payouts

Inside bets

Straight bet

The simplest and highest paying bet on the board! Pick a number, any number, and slide your chip on top of it. Voila! You’ve just placed a Straight Bet privy to a 35:1 payout. Perfect for special anniversaries, birthdays or lucky numbers.

Split bet

Splits cover two numbers that sit adjacent to each other on the betting grid. Simply slide your bet on to the line that connects the two and you’ll enjoy a 17:1 payday if either of the two hit.

Street bet

Consider the grid a series of upward rows, each with three numbers. Let’s call em Streets. To place a street bet, drop your chip on the lowest of the trio, on the outer line, and you’ll be covered for all three numbers. If any in your threesome hit, it’s a 11:1 payday.

Corner bet

Squares have four corners, and Corner bets have four numbers. Coincidence? Think of it as a block of four to bank on for an 8:1 payday. To bet, place your chip at the point where all four intersect.

Line bet

Also known as the Six Line bet or Double Street, it slaps two adjacent streets together on the betting grid so you’re covered for six numbers. Chips are placed on the outer grid, at the intersection of the two rows and pays 5:1.

Outside bets

Column bet

Using only numbers on the grid, 1-36, this outside bet covers 12 numbers that run crosswise. At the end of each of the three columns, you’ll find a box usually marked 2 to 1 (for your 2:1 payday). Very similar to the dozen, but you’ll get a range of numbers that don’t run numerically.

Dozen Bet

Whether you’re betting or baking, a dozen is 12. On the betting grid, you’ll see three squares that each represent a set of 12. Often labelled 1st 12 (1-12), 2nd 12 (13-24) and 3rd 12 (25-36), this bet covers you for any of the numbers within the set and is yet another 2:1 outside bet.

Red/Black bet

As basic as it sounds! On the betting grid, there are two boxes for this bet, one is black and you guessed it, the other is red. Place a chip on your choice and hope it hits for an Even Steven 1:1 payday. Pssst, keep in mind that zero is green, and it’s not easy being, or hitting green.

Odd/even bet

Similar to its colour counterpart, this is a simple choice between the number being odd or even (and tip, zero is neither!). These are clearly marked on the betting grid, making placing a bet easy peasey.

Low/high bet

Low covers 1-18 while high covers 19-36. If it lands within your range, you’ll enjoy a 1:1 payday.

Called bets

Voisins du Zéro (neighbours of zero)

This bet is a little unique as it can’t be placed with one chip. It, and all the French Called bets we’re about to dive into, chop the wheel into sections. To bet on neighbours of zero, you’ll need to manually place chips on 27,13,36,11,30,8,23,10,5,24,16, and 33. Overall, you’ll need 9 chips to cover these 17 numbers, which are the 17 closest to 0. Why 9 chips for 17 numbers? You’ll be using a combo of split, three-number and corner bets, so it pays up to 17:1.

Le Tiers du Cylindre (thirds of the wheel)

En francais, ‘thirds of the wheel’, is unique to European and French roulette. It works with a system that divides the wheel up by sections rather than numerically or by colour. You’ll need 6 chips to tackle this bet which covers the 12 numbers opposite to the Voisins bet. Includes: 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, and 33. All are split paying for 17:1.

Jue Zero (zero game)

A shrunken version of Voisins du Zero, this mini bet covers the two numbers on the zero’s right and the four to its left (12, 35, 3, 26, 32,15) for wins of up to 35:1. Why ‘up to’? Again, you’ll be using a combo of straight up and split bets here, so as 26 is on its own within this mix, it garners the top payout.

Orphelins (orphans)

By looking at the wheel with our french glasses, this bet covers the ‘orphaned’ or leftover numbers not included in Voisons or Tiers. Stay with us now! This is an 8 number bet requiring 5 chips in a mix of straight up and split bets on 17, 34, 6, 1, 20, 4, 31 and 9.


Surely you can translate this, even without grade 8 French - final. Only available on the single zero wheel, this one bets on the ‘final’ digit. Let’s use an example. A final ‘5’ bet means you’re banking on any number ending in a 5 (so that’s 5, 15, 25 and 35). These are placed as straight up bets paying 35:1.

How to win at European Roulette

In a game of chance where lady luck rules the roost, how to win can be a tricky subject. With roulette, a few strategies come to mind that are share-worthy. So let’s get into them!

The Martingale Strategy is a series of simple, repeatable steps where bets are doubled after each loss. The intent? To instantly recoup those losses when a win finally comes your way! Once a win occurs, wagers are dropped back to their initial amount. Repeat! Keep in mind, this is a strategy for longer sessions and healthy bankrolls.

Another strategy, the D’Alembert follows a similar pattern but increases the bet only by one after each loss, rather than a full double. For those with a lighter bankroll, the Reverse Martingale is also a solid option. Instead of doubling up after a loss, double on a win to take advantage of lucky streaks! On the flip side, you’d ideally decrease your bet after each loss.

More strategies are out there. From high roller James Bond to the more-for-the-math inclined Fibonacci. When shopping around for strategies, choose one that makes sense for your style and level of play, knowledge of roulette rules, and takes your bankroll into consideration. And remember, our free demo modes on roulette tables within Canada’s LeoVegas Casino are always open and present the perfect place to test out these roulette strategies with virtual, rather than real money, coins.

Tips for European Roulette

If you’re just learning this fantastically entertaining game, we always encourage players to start small. In roulette, this can mean starting with outside bets.

The advantage of these is that they cover off quite a few numbers in one she-bang and make for simple choices, like red/black, high/low or even/odd.

Sure, they pay even steven or 2:1, but you’ll get a feel for the game without breaking your bankroll.

Once you are down with the flow, level up to inside bets that pay better or kick start a strategy. Straight up bets are the highest return offering a 35:1 payday.

European Roulette FAQ

What is a house edge in European roulette?

The zero pocket in European roulette creates a house edge. Because of the 37 pockets in play, players only get paid for numbers 1 through 36 hitting creating a house edge of 2.7%.

Can I play European roulette for free?

Of course! All of our LeoVegas online Casino Canada roulette games feature a demo mode, with no obligation to make a deposit or even sign up. Jump in and test your roulette luck without a loonie or toonie sacrificed. When you’re ready, simply switch to real money with a LeoVegas account and deposit to get started. May we suggest European roulette to get you started?

Can I play European roulette with a live dealer?

Absolutely. LeoVegas Live Casino has no shortage of choices when it comes to live roulette play, featuring live dealers from all over the globe. Take Nexus Roulette, for example! Beyond live-streamed dealer action, innovation hits the wheel in new games like Quantum Roulette Liveand Mega Roulette Live These games add a touch of game show excitement featuring multipliers, big bonuses and jackpots!

Is European roulette better than French roulette?

When gambling, answering with math wins. And with that in mind, French roulette is usually better given it features a lower house edge with its addition of two extra rules - La Partage and En Prison - which allow some winnings to be returned should the ball drop in the dreaded green pocket (0).

What is the difference between American and European roulette?

The main difference all falls to the double zero on the wheel. This single pocket addition to the wheel, taking it up a notch from 37 to 38, changes the house edge, spiking from 2.7% to 5.27%. Seems like a small difference doesn't it? But it has a big impact if you’re playing long term!

What bet has the highest payout in European roulette?

In all roulette games, the highest bet is the Straight Up one number bet. Pick correctly, and you’ll be rewarded with a substantial 35:1 payout.

How many numbers are in European roulette?

Great question. European roulette has a total of 37 numbers. To break it down, 36 of them are coloured red or black and numbered 1 through 36, while one is a green pocket zero (0).

Does European or American roulette have better odds?

European roulette has slightly better odds since American roulette has the double zero pocket, which increases the house edge.

What is the difference between French roulette and European roulette?

The table layout and numbers sequence is the same; however, French roulette has two additional rules: La Partage and En Prison.

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