How to play American Roulette: Complete Guide | LeoVegas NZ


American Roulette originated in the early 1800s in the United States by the French Immigration. The introduction of this version allowed for modifications to the traditional game by adding an extra zero, resulting in 38 pockets, including 0 and 00. This alteration increased the house edge to 5.26%, distinguishing it from European Roulette with its 37 pockets and a lower house edge of 2.7%.

Despite having a higher house edge, both versions maintain a consistent 35-to-1 payout for winning bets. The only difference being that the American Roulette table includes an additional betting box for the double-zero (00) pocket. The wheel layout emphasizes this difference, with the American wheel featuring two green pockets (0 and 00), while the European wheel has only one green pocket (0).

Betting options in American Roulette encompass inside bets (straight-up, split, corner, five, and line bets) and outside bets (column, dozen, color, odd/even, and low/high bets), each offering distinct odds and payouts. The strategic addition of the extra zero aims to enhance the house edge, making American Roulette distinct, despite providing players with diverse betting choices, contributing to an engaging gaming experience.

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How To Play American Roulette: Complete Guide

Roulette is a hugely popular casino game that is the most popular casino games played by millions of people around the world. Named after the French meaning for ‘little wheel’, roulette used to be played solely in casinos. However, due to the rise of online gambling sites, people can now enjoy the roulette experience from the comfort of their own homes.

But what is American Roulette? In this guide, we’ll take a look at what it is, how it’s played, the different bets that can be placed, and how it differs from European Roulette.


What is American Roulette?

In a traditional game of roulette, a wheel is used that features numbered pockets on it. The aim of the game is to bet on which of these numbered pockets a ball will land in once the dealer has released it.

Players will wager bets by placing betting chips on the corresponding number on a roulette table, and they will win if the ball lands on the number they have chosen. Players can bet on the call landing on a certain number, on the colour of a number, on whether the ball lands on an odd or even number, or more bets on which section of the Roulette table the balls landing number corresponds to on the table.

Having become incredibly popular in France, where roulette was invented, and gaining further popularity across Europe, the game was first introduced to the United States by French immigrants in the early 1800s, who were fleeing the French Revolution.

The immigrants who arrived in Louisiana helped New Orleans to become the gambling capital of the country, but at the time, the casino proprietors initially gave roulette a cold reception because of its low house edge odds, thus making it harder for them to make any income from the game.

They therefore added an extra zero to the game to gain that house edge, which marked the beginning of American Roulette. This version continued to evolve, including the adding of a 00, and increasing the numbers from 28 in the original type, to 38 numbers that ranged from 0 and 00 up to 36.

American Roulette vs European Roulette

American Roulette and European Roulette are two very similar games, but two very different games too. Here is how both versions of the game differ, whether you are just playing roulette online or standing next to a roulette table at a live casino.

A quick glance at the layout of the roulette tables and of the wheel used in each form of the game will allow you too see the most important difference between American Roulette and European Roulette.

The American wheel has 38 pockets that the ball can land in. These are black and red numbers, from 1 to 36, with two extra green pockets for a single 0 (0) and a double 0 (00).

A European Roulette wheel also has 36 numbered pockets that are coloured either red or black, but importantly only one green pocket for zero (0). Although the difference is subtle it not only affects the design of the table and the wheel, but it will also affect the all-important house edge.

The numbers on the wheels are not in the exact same order too, but that does not have much relevance or change in the game between the two versions.

The extra pocket on the American Roulette wheel is very relevant though, and changes the house edge significantly. The odds of winning when betting on American Roulette are lower, with a 1 in 38 chance, compared to the same payout with a 1 in 37 chance when playing European Roulette.

You might think that with the odds being lower on American Roulette the pay outs must be bigger, but even with lower odds, the pay out is the same at 35 to 1 for winning bets both forms of the game. This means the house edge is higher and so they have a better advantage over the player.

Having the extra 00 green pocket in American Roulette was a strategic move by the casino owners to give the house a higher edge. When playing American Roulette, the house edge is 5.26%, whereas in European Roulette, the house edge is just 2.7%. a big difference considering you are playing the same game with the same pay outs.

American Roulette Table

An American Roulette table has a similar layout to that of a European Roulette table, but for one significant difference. There is one additional betting box that represents the double-zero (00) pocket on the wheel.

There is also no option to play the bets sometimes found on a French or European Roulette table, such as Orphelins en plein (Orphans in full), Orphelins en Cheval (Orphans on horseback), and Voisin du Zero (Neighbour of Zero) as these are not allowed in American Roulette.

American Roulette Wheel Layout

The biggest difference between American and European Roulette wheels is the number of pockets that the roulette ball can land in. A European Roulette wheel has 37 pockets numbered 0 to 36, whilst an American Roulette wheel has 38 pockets, numbered 1 to 36 and coloured in black and red with the two zero pockets, 0 and 00, which are coloured green.

The numbers alternate so that there is always a black number opposite a red number, with each red number always being followed by a black number. The double-zero pocket sits between two red numbers, with the single-zero pocket situated between two black numbers.

American Roulette Bets

There are two main types of bet in American Roulette – Inside Bets and Outside Bets – with the layout of the table playing a key role in determining which is which. The table design sees two sections that consist of individual numbers and group bets. Inside Bets are formed on a single winning number, or small groups of different numbers, with Outside Bets including bigger groups of numbers that often pay out lower amounts. Here we look at the main types of Inside Bet and Outside Bet you can play:

Inside bets

Straight-up bet – placed directly on any of twelve numbers in the single number options, including 0 and 00.

Split bet – is a bet placed two numbers that are opposite each other, such as 0 and 00.

Corner bet – this is a bet on a group of four numbers with five number bet chips placed on the corner that the four numbers meet.

Five bet – features 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3, with chips placed at the corner by 0 and 1.

Line bet – features six numbers (or two rows of three adjacent numbers) with chips placed at the end of two rows, on the border between them.

Outside bets

Column bet – this is a corner bet covers an entire column bet and is placed on the 2-1 box at the end of the column.

Dozen bet – features a group of 12 numbers with dozens bet chips placed on the 1 to 12, 13 to 24, and 25 to 36 areas.

Bet on colour – this is when you place your chips to bet on all of the red numbers or you street bet on all of the black numbers.

Bet on odd/even – this is when you place your chips to bet on all of the odd numbers or straight bet on all of the even numbers.

Bet on low/high – this bet sees you place your chips to bet on all of the low numbers or all of the high numbers hoping the ball will land in either 1-18 if you have bet low, or 19-36 if you have bet high.

American Roulette Odds and Payouts

In American Roulette, due to the double zero pocket on the wheel, the true odds bets pay out should be 37 to 1 as there are 38 numbers, but because of the house edge, the actual pay out odd are 35 to 1. Here are the odds and pay out for each individual bet type:

  • Straight-up bet – pays 35:1
  • Split bet – pays 17:1
  • Corner bet – pays 8:1
  • Five bet – pays 6:1
  • Line bet – pays 5:1
  • Column bet – pays 2:1
  • Dozen bet – pays 2:1
  • Bet on colour – pays 1:1
  • Bet on odd/even – pays 1:1
  • Bet on low/high – pays 1:1

American Roulette House Edge

The American Roulette house edge refers to the advantage the casino or ‘house’ has over a player. The term reflects the difference between the odds of winning a bet type and the payout for losing bets on a winning bet type.

The typical house edge for American Roulette is 5.26%, whereas, in European Roulette, the house edge is just 2.7%. This is a significant difference considering the same game is being played.

Make no mistake, all casino games are designed so the house comes out on top, but games like American Roulette do offer a player a better chance of either even money or winning, despite the game being based solely on luck.

American Roulette FAQ

Is American Roulette different from European Roulette?

The main difference between American and European roulette versions is the number of zeros. European version has only one zero numbered pocket, while the American roulette wheel features zero and double zero pockets.

What are the main betting options in American Roulette?

American Roulette features the same betting types as the European version, except for a Five Bet (also known as the Sucker Bet, which is a bet on the numbers 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3.

How can I increase my chances of winning in American Roulette?

Players can use the same roulette strategy as for the European roulette wheel.

What is the house edge in American Roulette?

The typical house edge in American roulette is 5.26%, which is a much higher house edge compared to European and French roulette versions.

Can I play American Roulette online?

Of course! LeoVegas New Zealand offers two different American roulette games:

American Roulette from Microgaming - a great RNG table game to grasp the basic rules of American roulette and practice for free.

Live American Roulette from Evolution - play American roulette with a live dealer in this online roulette game.

Are there any specific etiquette rules for playing American Roulette?

There are no specific rules that players need to consider when playing American roulette online or in land-based casinos.