Stop Playing American Roulette (Here's what to play instead)

26 May 2020
Aaron Braund 26 May 2020
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American Roulette is the worst possible game for a roulette player. It's the last game you should choose at a casino. Here we explain why.
American Roulette
Double Zero Roulette is the #1 roulette game played in Las Vegas casinos. In the UK and European countries, we call this game American Roulette. Unlike a single zero roulette wheel, this game features an extra 00 pocket.
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On the surface, this seems like a minimal point of difference. An extra pocket offers more ways to win, right? But in fact, it's quite the opposite. This is the worst possible game for roulette players - as it is far more friendly to the house than the player.

In this article, we will show you why you should stop playing American Roulette - and offer some better alternatives.

American Roulette Wheel: Why its bad

The American Roulette wheel is much like any other roulette wheel. 36 number pockets alternate between black and red. And there is a single zero pocket. Next to this 0 pocket is another double zero pocket, which creates most of the problems with this game. 

This extra pocket means that the house has a bigger advantage over the player. Here's how the house edge changes with an extra pocket:

  • Single Zero Roulette wheel: 2.70% house edge
  • Double Zero Roulette wheel: 5.26% house edge

The addition of that double zero almost doubles the house edge. This means you will A) lose more and B) experience fewer returns as a result.

Here is a comparison of win percentages on a single zero wheel vs a double zero wheel.

Bet Type
Chances of winning (American)
Chances of winning (Single Zero)
1 to 1847.37%48.64%
19 to 3647.37%48.64%
1 to 1231.58%32.43%
13 to 2431.58%32.43%
25 to 3631.58%32.43%
Six line15.79%16.21%
First five13.16%13.51%
Straight Up2.63%2.70%

As you can see, in every category of bet - you are far more likely to win playing single zero roulette. When talking roulette strategy, American Roulette falls by the wayside yet again.

The Martingale and other popular strategies all rely on 50/50 betting tactics. But on an American wheel, you stand to lose far more due to the reduced chance of winning on an even money bet.

Best Roulette for Winning: French Roulette

The best roulette you can find online is a single zero wheel that uses the La Partage rule. This is the most player-friendly game out there with a more favourable house edge. It's also the best game for a slow and steady even money betting strategy.

With the La Partage rule, half of an even money bet is returned to you if the ball lands in the zero pockets. While it is still a loss, the blow is cushioned by getting at least some of your stake back.

An interesting variation of this rule is En Prison roulette. With the En prison rule active, you can choose to place your bet in prison, with the chance of receiving it back fully on the next spin. The house edge of a La Partage roulette game is 1.35%.