European, French, and American Roulette: Learn the Difference

Roulette is highly popular entertainment, available in casinos all over the world. The game originated in Europe and was introduced to the US by immigrants. At the moment, there are three common versions of it: European, French, and American. The basics of games are the same: there’s a wheel with numbers up to 36 on it, and players need to guess on which number the ball will land. There are numerous ways to make bets: you can choose not only the exact number or some groupings but also dozens or columns, the color, the range, whether it’s odd or even.

The Key Differences

European and American roulette versions namely differ in one little detail, which, however, changes a lot regarding winning chances. The American type has an additional zero (00) which increases the house edge.

Wheel and Table

The American version also has some modifications in how the wheel is arranged. Not only is has a double zero but also the sequence of numbers is different: European roulette wheel has a completely different order.

Wheel and Table

The layout is quite confusing in every version of the game. The logic of arranging the numbers on the wheel is about alternating them as much as possible: high and low numbers are not situated next to each other, as well as even and odd ones. Needless to say that red and black pockets always alternate. There are two green numbers in American roulette instead of one because it features additional zero.

Interestingly, there’s even a variation with three zeros. It is ridiculously unfavorable to players and therefore not popular at all. French roulette features the same wheel as the European one.

The table layout, where outside bets are placed, is the same in every version except for additional zero section in American roulette. Plus, it could sometimes be that French roulette table is in French.

For the called (or announced) bets, there is a special table layout, racetrack, which helps players place such wagers. The origin of called bets in French, and they often go without translation, if they are available in the first place:

  • Voisins du zero: 17 numbers close to 0 (including 0 itself)
  • Jeu zero: 6 numbers closest to zero (including zero itself)
  • Le tiers du cylindre: 12 numbers on the opposite side
  • Orphelins: two groups of numbers that cover other areas



Basic rules are the same. However, there might be some additional betting options:

  • since the American version of the game features an additional number 00, there is a special bet that involves it – top line (0-00-1-2-3)
  • trio (0-1-2 or 0-2-3) and basket (0-1-2-3) are only available in European roulette
  • “finales en plein,” available mostly in French roulette, stand for betting on a number and all others ending on the same digit (for example, 2-12-22-32 or 7-17-27)

French roulette is known by unique rules which lower the house edge, making it the most attractive type of the game:

  • La Partage: all even-money bets only half-lose when the ball lands on zero
  • En Prison: not only your loss is cut in half, but also your bet automatically remains the same for the next round

The House Edge

Different types of roulette differ in the house edge, which is a key element for many players. Choosing American roulette, you need to be aware that the advantage of a casino is rather high – 5.26%. You still can have a decent win, but the game is risky.

The most common version of roulette with a single zero section, the European one, features the house edge of 2.7%. This is one of its biggest attraction that drives gamblers to play it. However, it can be hard to play European roulette with low minimum bets, especially in land-based casinos.

French roulette, thanks to its special rules that bring players half of the bet back in some cases, offers the house edge of 1.35%. It’s generally recommended trying this version first as it’s the most favorable to customers.

There are many types you can find on the Internet, including live roulette games. Not only three main versions are accessible but also roulettes with multiple balls or wheels, high-speed variations, high-limit ones, etc. You can try them for free before putting real money in the process. Also, you may achieve the desired success owing to some bonuses from a casino.

Online roulette games with live dealers are currently the biggest trend in the industry – you can try any entertainment with real croupiers on the other side of the screen.

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