Understanding European and American Roulette Odds

If you are into gambling, you probably are familiar with roulette. We can’t see why not, as this game has been with us for more than two centuries and has gained a large enough player base to be called popular. This is all due to the fact that roulette’s rules are relatively simple compared to other casino games. You only have to place your bet, then watch as the wheel is spun and the ball is rolled, the latter eventually landing on the winning bet’s pocket – whether it be yours or someone else’s, we’re pretty sure you’ll get that same old thrill and excitement.

Now what makes roulette a lot more interesting is the rather high odds of winning the game. The highest chance of winning one can get plays at a little below 50%. However, the trade off for this is a lower pay out, which increases as the bet’s odds of winning decreases. We are going to talk about these odds in the following paragraphs to give you a heads up.

Roulette Bets Explained

Before we begin, let us tackle the two types of roulette bets: inside bets that have less favorable odds of winning but higher pay out and outside bets that are comparably easier to win but can net lower pay outs.

The inside bets, the individual red and black numbers on the roulette table, which are further subdivided according to the number of these bets:

  • straight bet for one number
  • split for two
  • street for three
  • square for four
  • sixline for six

The outside bets meanwhile, are categorized into:

  • color (red/black)
  • even/odd
  • low/high (1-18/19-36)
  • dozen bets
  • column bets

Odds of Winning European Roulette

European or French roulette is played with a roulette wheel that has a single zero (0) which determines the house edge, the predictable game element from which the house or casino takes profit in the long run. The house edge is 2.7%, equivalent to a single straight bet. This gives even money bets a winning chance of 48.64% – the presence of zero and thus the possibility of the ball landing on it prevents this wager from actually hitting 50% – and pays out 1 to 1 (one chip won for a single bet). Column and dozen bets have 32.3% winning chances, and a win is rewarded with a modest 2 to 1.

Meanwhile, inside bets have the following odds and corresponding pay outs:

  • Straight bets have the highest pay at 35 to 1 but very low winning chances at 2.7%
  • Split bets can net 17 to 1 at a doubled 5.4% odds
  • 11 to 1 in a street bet, at 8.1%
  • 8 to 1 in corner bets at 10.81%
  • 5 to 1 in sixline at 16.21%.

European roulette is also known for its en prison rule, where a player can make an even money bet and if the ball ends up in zero, the player can either take half the wager back (la partage) or instead “imprison” the bet, that is, let all of it remain in the same slot for the next spin – what happens if the next spin hits zero and winning odds for this depends on the casino.

Odds of Winning American Roulette

The most striking characteristic that differentiate American roulette from its Old World counterpart is the fact that has a double zero (00) apart from the single zero slot, giving it a significantly larger house edge of 5.26%. The game is also more straightforward, as evident in the absence of the en prison rule.

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The pay outs in American roulette are basically the same as in the European version, but have lower winning odds due to the increased house advantage. The probability of winning for all even money bets are 47.3% while dozen and column bets can be won with odds at 31.58%. The following goes for inside bets:

  • A straight bet can be won at 2.63%
  • Split at 5.26%, equal to the house edge
  • Street at 7.89%; corner at 10.53%
  • Sixline at 15.79%.
  • A sixth inside bet unique to American roulette is known as the first-five, which is the 0-00-1-2-3 combination. It has a 6 to 1 pay out, a 13.16% winning chance, and is the only bet on which the house has a high 7.89% advantage as the combination takes both zero slots into account.

Now that is all you have to know about European and American roulette odds. Consider this as a handy guide to help you understand the pros and cons of every bet you can possibly make.

Other articles:

  1. European Roulette Odds When Playing with a European Roulette Wheel
  2. What Are the European Roulette Rules?
  3. How to Use Roulette Odds Chart and Roulette Tips to Win

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