American Roulette – Is It Worth Playing?

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One of the most popular casino games out there is American roulette. The simplicity and visual aesthetics of the game are just a few of the reasons why this game is so popular among punters. Gamblers in the United States play this version and people around the world too. This variant has a lot of similarities with the European version, so you will feel right at home when trying this out for the first time.

The big demand for this game means that casinos around the world make sure to include this variant in their line up. Continue reading this overview of American Roulette to learn more about the various bets you can place, house edge, table layout and more.

Best Online Casinos With American Roulette in USA

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    American Roulette

    Table Layout and Wheel of the American Roulette

    The biggest gameplay difference that you need to know about between the European and American versions of the game is the amount of numbers the ball can land on. The American version has a total of 38 pockets. These are numbers from 1 to 36 (alternating red and black), 0 and 00.  However, the European version has only 37 pockets. Broken down it is 36 numbers with red and black, and number 0.

    Take a look at a picture of the wheel for both variants and you will notice that the numbers are completely random. The idea is to make the black and red number opposite one another. Also, you will notice that red and black alternates as you go around the wheel. You will find that the 00 number is between 2 red numbers and the 0 is between two black ones. The random nature of the wheel means that players have no idea where the ball will land until the last second when it stops.


    After looking at the wheel with a closer inspection, you might conclude that there is a higher density of red numbers around the 00 number. It’s true but the effect is much smaller than you might think and it should have no real bearing regarding strategy.

    There is only one difference in the layout of the European and American versions at the betting box. That is to provide a betting box for the 00 number in the US version. Also, you are not allowed to make bets like the Voisin du Zero and Orphelins on the US table, so that is not available in the betting arrangement. Otherwise, everything is the same so there is no need to learn a new layout when switching versions.

    What You Need to Know About House Edge in American Roulette

    roulleteOverall, the American game has a bigger house edge because there are 2 green possible squares to land which are 0 and 00. Compare this with the European one where there is only a single green square. This means that most punters will avoid playing the USA one because of the lower house edge that the game provides. The difference is that the edge is about 5.26% for the United States one and 2.7% for the European one. The difference is quite big and will add up over time. However, when making just a few bets this difference will hardly be noticeable.

    The house edge difference comes from the fact that the ball can land on one extra green square. Therefore, when placing bets on the red or black squares, you will have a lower chance of winning. The biggest house edge comes if you make a wager that is called a Five-Number bet. This only applies to the US variant and the edge increases to a whopping 7.89%.

    You will still see many players play the game that has the bigger house edge because they don’t consider the difference. If you do the same, be prepared for the fact that the you will have a lower chance of winning and your bankroll will take a hit as a result.

    For example, let’s take a scenario that allows you to see in real terms what the winning amounts might be. When you play the US version and place a wager of $1, then the house will win $0.054 on average. However, when you are enjoying roulette games with a single green number, then the house will on average take $0.027 for every $1 that you wager.

    In a lot of online casinos where they offer wheels with the 00 number, you will see the surrender rule. For example, the casinos that you will find in Atlantic City use this rule. Giving players the chance to surrender is similar to the Partage rule and the house edge therefore decreases to 2.63%.

    Punters that don’t have a lot of experience might have also overlooked where the roulette wheel is actually positioned. You will notice that in the French or European version, the wheel can be placed anywhere on the board. However, in the USA variant it is always at the end. This small detail will allow you to tell the difference between the games when looking at a distance.

    American Roulette Bet Types

    The different wagers that gamblers can make when playing the US and European variants are the same for the most part. In the French version there are some unique betting types such as Tiers du Cylindre, Orphelins and Voinsins du Zero. Overall, the bet types can be broken down into inside and outside betting options. Keep in mind that when making the Five-number bet that you can only do this when you enjoy the United States roulette offering.

    Additionally, when making wagers, you cannot forget that the odds are not the same when placing bets on different variants. Remember that because of the added 00 pocket in the American version, you will have lower odds of winning over the long term.

    Outside Bets Overview

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    The outside bets offer a higher chance of winning, which means they are much more popular for newcomers to the roulette wheel. Here are the top options to know about:

    • Red or black: the classic bet to make either red or black. You will double your money when placing this bet but it has a lower than 50% of hitting because of the green numbers.
    • Odd or even: the alternative to the color bet is to choose if the ball will land on an even or odd number. The return rate for this wager is just under 50%.
    • High or low: here you are trying to guess what number range the ball will land on. The high numbers are 19 to 36 and the low numbers are 1 to 18. Note that the 0 or 00 does not enter the equation here.
    • Even-money: the more specific outside bets are broken down into 3 number ranges. These are 1 to 12, 13 to 24 and 25 to 36. You have an equal chance of winning when wagering on any one of these ranges. The payout amount is a bit higher than 2 to 1.
    • Column: another simple wager option is going for 1 of 3 columns. They also have a return rate that is slightly better than 2 to 1.

    Inside Bets Overview


    The more experienced players understand the higher risk that comes with inside bets but there is also a bigger reward. In this section we will be taking a look at the various types of inside bets that you can place:

    • Straight up: this bet type has a win rate of 35 to 1 and it involves you betting on a single number. On the betting board each number has a square, so you simply place the chips on the number you want to bet on.
    • Split bet: here you will place the chip on the line between two numbers, which means you are betting on both of them. Therefore, the odds of winning such a betting type is 17 to 1.
    • Street bet: here you can bet on a street of numbers that are positioned in a column. For example, it might be 10, 11 and 12. You will need to place the chip on the outside line of the row to make the bet stand. The winning rate of this bet type is 11 to 1.
    • Corner bet: the corner bet means that you are wagering on 4 numbers. To make this wager you will need to place this chip on the corner of all 4 numbers that you want. For example, this might be 9, 12, 8 and 14. The chances of a payout when you execute this wager is 8 to 1.
    • 6-line: as the name suggests this wager type means that you are taking your chances in 1 of 6 numbers being landed on. To make this happen you need to decide on which two columns you want and place the chip on the outside line between them. For example, you can wager that the ball will land on 18, 17, 16, 21, 20 and 19. The odds of you getting a win with this combination is 6 to 1.
    • 5 number bet: this type is only for the American roulette tables and it is also known as a basket bet. The specific number that you will be trying to predict are 3, 2, 1, 00 and 0. You will need to place the chip on the corner between these numbers to make the wager. However, it is not a recommended bet type because the house edge is huge at 13.2%. For the other gambling activity on the roulette table the house edge is smaller at 7.89%, so you have a higher chance of winning.

    Online American Roulette – How to Play?

    rouletteThe internet has completely transformed where players are playing roulette games. Online there is a big advantage because you don’t have to make the decisions quickly. You can take a long time to decide on the betting strategy that you want to execute. Whereas, at a real casino location, there is a time limit between spins forcing you to act faster. When you can act slower, then the decision you make will be better. You can make sure that all the chips are placed exactly where you want them to be.

    The 00 variant of the game is very popular in the gambling community, so it is offered on the majority of online casino websites. You will see the live casino games of the American Roulette games full of players that you can interact with.

    When you navigate the internet and try out various virtual casinos, you’ll notice that there are many designs to how the roulette tables look. Some are plain while others have much better graphics. However, the looks of the table don’t matter in the end. The rules of the game are the same everywhere that you play, so there is no need to learn how to play again. The point of the game is to predict where the ball will land and the odds of winning remain the same as explained in the betting types above.

    Regardless of what American roulette table you have arrived on, at the start you will need to decide on the chip denominations. This should be related to the size of the bets that you want to place. At first you might want to choose smaller chip denominations to get comfortable and increase as you progress through the session.

    Next, you need to decide on what combinations you will try to guess that the ball will land on. As you’ve read above there are multiple combinations that you can try out with different payout ratios. Do you want to go for a less risky outside bet or gamble with a riskier inside bet? Some casino operators allow you to save the wager layout so you don’t have to lay the chips out in the same places each round. The software will remember where you have placed the chips the last round if you wish to repeat the same bet. It’s perfect for players that want to execute a strategy where the same wager needs to be made multiple times.

    Once all the chips are where you want them, press the spin button to get the wheel in motion and the ball spinning. The conclusion of the round will take place when the ball lands on one of the numbers. The ball usually spins for a while to add a sense of drama to the process. If you have a winning combination, then you will receive the amount owed. However, if the wagered a losing combination, then you will lose the staked amount.

    Once the round is over you might notice that the chips are distributed on the table based on the last bet. Therefore, to make a different wager you will need to adjust the chip layout. Some software might have a clear button that removes all the chips from the table.

    Famous American Roulette Game Types

    We have already established that because of the 00 number, the American roulette variant has the biggest house edge. However, that doesn’t stop this type from being a popular choice among punters on the internet. Perhaps some players love the extra number as it provides more betting options and makes the game feel like more is happening. Next, we will take a look at the popular software developers that offer this game at casinos online.

    Playtech’s Version of American Roulette

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    One of the best software providers in the industry that offers amazing graphics is Playtech. The quality of their American roulette offering means that you will love the visual aesthetics – even if you spend hours at the table trying to decide on what strategy works best.

    The attention to detail of the roulette wheel and betting means that it is a good representation of the real thing. Players that have visited a real casino to enjoy roulette action will appreciate the amount of detail here.

    The customization is one of the highlights of this design. Players can alter the direction the wheel spin to mix up the action. Also, the felt color can be changed if you don’t want it to be the classic green.

    Furthermore, you will have access to statistics so you can look at your betting history. Maybe you will notice that you get luckier with specific bet types. It will help you understand where you have made the biggest wins and losses over time.

    When using the Playtech roulette software, players are not likely to face any problems. It has been thoroughly tested and the American roulette experience remains consistent whether you are playing for a few rounds or multiple hours.

    Netent American Roulette Software

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    The NetEnt is another highly respected casino software provider that offers the 00 variant of the game. The simplicity and quality of the graphics are just a few reasons to give this version a try for yourself. Also, the voice announcements are great at immersing you in the experience.

    Furthermore, all types of gamblers are accommodated because you can choose chip denominations of $0.10 all the way to $5,000. It gives you a lot of flexibility when placing different chips around the table.

    To make wagers you only need a single click, which is a fast way of laying out the chips. Also, there is an option for setting up a quick spin, so that the results of the round are received quicker. It means fans can experience more rounds per hour.

    More extra features are available for punters that want to know the statistics of their game. You can dig into the number to find out your betting history. After a session it is interesting to learn what betting types were the most successful and the ones that were the biggest losers. From the betting history you can save bets that you want to make in the future for your convenience.

    Microgaming American Roulette Overview

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    To enjoy a realistic experience that will immersive you in the action try out Microgaming. The animations of the graphics and sounds are just a few of the reasons why you should play this variant compared to others. It’s visually pleasing to look at and the colors pop off the screen.

    The smooth gameplay can be enjoyed no matter how many rounds you want to go for. Also, there is an expert mode that you can try out. The chip denotations for from $1 to $2,000 so low budget players and those with deep pockets can enjoy the action at their own pace.

    There is a statistics button that gives players access to their betting history. You can have a look at the information from the last 100 spins to see where you are making the most gains and losses. You might be surprised to learn something about the statistics that you were not aware of.

    Also, you can generate a favorite bets list so that you don’t have to make the same ones over and over. It helps if you are following a strategy where you have to place many chips around the table and it takes a while. This shortcut will save you time and make the game more enjoyable.

    Live Casino American Roulette

    There is a version of roulette that you can play that tries to mimic the feel of a real betting location. It’s called live roulette and it is available at most online casinos. The biggest software providers have created an immersive experience where you can see the real wheel and dealer. The pace of the game is a bit slower, but it’s all about the enjoyment of the interaction here. Also, the dealer will call out the top winners of each round, which gives you something to aim for.

    David G. Schwartz
    Written by: David G. Schwartz
    David loves gambling and history, after being a professor at UNLV for 10 years - David was given an opportunity to create a center focused on gaming research.
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