American Roulette is one of the three major roulette variations out there. Played primarily in North American casinos, it has become a staple in Las Vegas and other gambling cities across the Atlantic. Though similar to its European and French counterparts, American Roulette has distinct differences that change the play style and introduce subtleties not present in other versions. Below, we will take a close look at American Roulette to see just what makes it work and what you can do to improve your chances at scoring wins.
American style dealing doesn’t differ much from the European/French variant. The only difference is maybe that unlike his French/European counterpart, the American dealer uses their hands to collect all chips at the end of each spin. Also, American dealers are known to voice their signals “No more bets” – for example. European croupiers will usually just raise/wave their hand to signal that the betting is over.
The Wheel in American Roulette
As you already know, roulette is played with a wheel. This wheel and the ball that comes with it will determine how the game goes for you. What’s interesting about American Roulette is that it is not the same as in other mainstream variations of the game. The most important difference between a single zero and a double zero wheel is the sequence of numbers. A double-zero wheel has the following sequence:
The betting layout is mostly the same as you would find in other roulette variations. It consists of a grid of numbers. The grid features three columns and twelve rows, each with three numbers. On top, you will find the zero and the double-zero. The latter is exclusive to American Roulette and is the major difference between this and all other variations.
Bet Options in American Roulette
If you like diverse betting, you have come to the right table. Roulette offers about a dozen different options and each is different in its own right. When you stand at the roulette table, you can bet on just about anything. There is nothing to limit you and you can go with a high-risk approach or take things slow. The choice is in your hand. Now that we have that in mind, let’s take a look at what your options are in American Roulette.
The inside bets in American Roulette are pretty straightforward. They are found within the numbers grind, which is also where they get their name. When you place an inside bet, you are betting on a specific number or several of them. The inside bets offer rewards ranging from excellent to medium, but the payouts also correspond to the risk and the odds of winning. Generally, the inside bets are for those who like the thrill and excitement of roulette. Below, you will find the inside wagers and their rewards.
- Straight Up – a wager made on a specific number in the layout. Pays 35:1
- Split – a wager made on two adjacent numbers in the layout. Pays 17:1
- Street – a wager made on three numbers in a row in the layout. Pays 11:1
- Corner – a wager made on four neighbouring numbers in the layout. Pays 8:1
- Basket – a wager made on 0-00-1-2-3 at once. Pays 6:1. This bet is only available in American Roulette
- Six Line – a wager made on two rows in the layout and includes six consecutive numbers. Pays 6:1
Aside from the inside bets, American Roulette also offers a number of other bet options. Referred to as the outside bets, these wagers are found next to the numbers grid, which is where they get their name from. Unlike the inside bets which deal with specific numbers, the outside bets cover broader aspects of the winning number. As such, they are not as risk-prone as their inside counterparts and are better suited for gamblers who prefer a more stable experience.
The following outside bets are available in American Roulette:
- Red/Black – a wager on the colour of the winning number. Pays 1:1
- Odd/Even – a wager on whether the winning number is odd or even. Pays 1:1
- Low/High – a wager on whether the winning number will be in the 1-18 or 19-36 range. Pays 1:1
- Dozens – a wager on whether the winning number will be in the 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36 range. Pays 2:1
- Column – a wager on whether the winning number will be in the first, second or third column of the layout. Pays 2:1
House Edge and RTP in American Roulette
When looking at any casino game it is generally a good idea to see how large the house advantage is. If you do not know what the house advantage is, this is a good chance to get an idea.
Generally, the casino advantage, also called the house edge, is the degree to which the game favours the house. As you may or may not know, all casino games have an inherent bias in favour of the casino. This is realized in the odds of the game and the payouts offered based on those odds.
This is best shown with an example. For instance, the American version of roulette features 38 numbers on the wheel. Whenever you bet on a single number, you have a 1 in 38 chance to win. This means that the odds to lose are 37:1 since if any of the 37 other numbers come up, your bet is lost. Since the odds of losing are 37:1, it only makes sense for the payout to be the same. This is what we call true odds in the gambling world. However, if you have paid attention thus far, you know that this is not the case. In American Roulette, the same bet will only pay at a ratio of 35:1. This is what we call casino odds.
The difference between the true and casino odds is called the house edge. Imagine that you play Straight Up bets for an infinite number of spins. Theoretically, you would win once after every 37 spins. But since the winning bet will only bring back the worth of 35 spins, you would be consistently losing money. In percentage terms, this would be 5.26% and what we call the house edge.
The house edge is how casinos generate a profit. It is an interesting concept and not one that many people understand outright. What’s more, it is shrouded in misconceptions and myths, which are not particularly helpful.
With this in mind, we ask you not to immediately be turned off by the idea of the house edge. Another interesting aspect of gambling is that the house edge is theoretical and can only be meaningfully considered after hundreds of thousands or millions of spins. It is unlikely that you can play all of that in a single night. Therefore, if you have the good fortune of beating the odds in the short term, you can certainly go home with a little extra cash. However, the longer you play the higher the likelihood that the casino will gain the upper hand.
Having covered the house edge, it is time to consider the other metric. The Return to Player (RTP) percentage represents the share from the total money turnover at the table paid out to players as winnings. Combined with the house edge value, the two always form 100% of the turnover. The house edge is money kept by the casino and the RTP is percentage returned to customers. Therefore, based on a 5.26% house edge, we can say that American Roulette has an RTP percentage of 94.74%.
The Basket Bet House Advantage
The house edge of 5.26% generally goes for all American Roulette bets. However, there is one exception to this rule and this is the Basket Bet. As we have mentioned above, the Basket Bet is only featured at American tables. This is because it only involves the double-zero pocket.
A Basket bet is a wager made on 0-00-1-2-3 and has a payout of 6:1. As it happens, this reward is too low for the risk to be appropriate. By comparison, the Six Line bet also has the same payout but it involves six numbers and has a higher probability of success.
Taking this into account, we see that the Basket bet has a house edge value of 7.89%. This is significantly higher than the table average. As a result, the Basket bet is least favourable of all roulette wagers out there and we recommend that you avoid it like the plague.
Comparison Between European and American Roulette Odds
You may have heard certain people say that European Roulette is the superior roulette variations and that playing the American version is almost a sin. While that might be somewhat exaggerated, it is based on fact. Players in-the-know understand that American Roulette is the less favourable of the two variations. This is due to the addition of the extra zero in the American wheel. Since the payouts are not changed to reflect the different odds, American Roulette has a higher house edge at 5.26%. European Roulette, on the other hand, comes in at 2.7% across all bets. For this reason, it is recommended that you play at a European table whenever possible.
American Style Roulette Online
The iGaming scene has come up with many American Roulette games over the years. While the European and French styles are clear favourites online, the American game still retains some players and is commonly available at online casinos. Below, we will mention some popular roulette games that follow American rules.
American Roulette by Evolution Gaming
Evolution Gaming has been a revolutionary force in the iGaming space. One of the first companies to release live dealer games, this company has always been at the forefront of the live genre bringing new and exciting titles for us to enjoy. Among its portfolio, we also find American Roulette. This is the most immersive American Roulette experience that you can find on the Internet and we recommend it over all others.
Live American Roulette is just like the real thing. You can communicate with players, watch the wheel as it spins, and soak in the genuine casino atmosphere. We should point out that Evolution’s Live American Roulette has lower betting limits than other roulette variations, however.
Premium American Roulette by Playtech
Playtech has always held an excellent reputation in the online casino world. Having developed hundreds of high-quality games over the years, it is only natural for us to expect the best from this company. As it happens, Premium American Roulette is exactly that.
This version of American Roulette offers players a multitude of customisation options. You can change the colour of the table, the spinning direction of the ball, and save some of your favourite bets. On the gameplay level, Premium American Roulette performs as well as anyone can expect. If you ever start playing at a Playtech-powered casino, be sure to check out this game.
American Roulette by NetEnt
NetEnt is another top-tier software provider and one that has much to offer you. While NetEnt might be famous for its slots selection, its table games are nothing to scoff at either. Within that game selection, we find American Roulette.
This game features premium graphics, including 3D animations. It is obvious that NetEnt has put in considerable effort when developing this game. The graphics are highly immersive while the background music is relaxing and enjoyable. The betting layout is presented directly in front of you for easy access and you can even track the ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ numbers in the top right corner.
American Roulette by Microgaming
We cannot feature a list of the best games without a Microgaming entry. When it comes to casino games, Microgaming has it all. The table games from this software provider are some of the best in the business. American Roulette by Microgaming is a perfect example of that.
As soon as you open the game, you are met with a great relaxing ambience. The atmosphere presented by the game is one of serenity and relaxation. Playing American Roulette by Microgaming is a fun experience. You get a close-up shot of the wheel and where the ball lands. Moreover, in the top-right corner, the game presents you with the history of the previous numbers. This comes in handy if you ever want to keep track of that sort of thing.