At first sight, a single number might not seem like a big distinction, but it actually has major consequences. It significantly alters the house edge, and makes one of the two options a much better choice for you.
The concept is simple, and you really only need to know two things. First of all, both forms of roulette offer the same payouts. For instance, a single number pays out odds of +3,500, while betting on red always pays even money.
Secondly, European roulette only has 37 possible outcomes, while the American version has 38. As such, you'll have a better chance of winning by playing European roulette. Take a look at an example for a better understanding.
Say you're playing at an online roulette casino and you've bet on the number 7. The wheel spins and the ball lands on 7, so you're paid 35x your stake. That's the same return no matter which of the two roulette games you're playing.
However, here's the catch. If you're sitting at an American roulette table, the odds of the ball landing on the 7 are 1 in 38 — that's odds of +3,702. On the other hand, the likelihood with European roulette is 1 in 37, since there's just one zero and only 37 pockets. Thus, the odds are marginally better at +3,604.
As you can see, you're getting the same payout, but European roulette gives you a slightly better chance of hitting. And that's not only true for betting on a single number, but for all other bets, too. See how this reflects in the house edge.
This difference is the key point to take away from this article. The overall house edge of American roulette is 5.26%, while the European version is significantly better for players, at just 2.70%.
This means that for every $100 spent, the house makes $2.70 from European roulette. With the American equivalent, that amount almost doubles to $5.26.
If you're playing roulette only on rare occasions, this probably won't matter all that much. However, if you're a frequent player, this does add up. So whenever you have the choice, pick the European roulette wheel.
The Five-Number Bet
Apart from the additional 00 pocket, American roulette rules don't differ much from those of its European cousin. The only other real difference is that U.S. roulette allows you to make the so-called five number bet.
You might also know it by its other name: the basket bet. Either way, it covers the first five numbers all at once. These are: 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3.
More options usually mean more fun, so that's a plus point for American roulette, right? Well, not quite. While the odds of the ball landing on these numbers +500, you're only winning 11x your stake. This means that the house has a whopping 7.89% edge on this particular bet.
As such, the five-number bet is actually the worst wager you can make on roulette. So the fact that American roulette allows it isn't really a benefit. Make sure you're up to speed on the most popular roulette strategies and you won't make mistakes like placing the basket bet.
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