When the famous Roulette wheel was first invented it was the European version that everyone played with. Containing a huge spinning wheel with numbers 0 thru 36, the purpose to the game is to pick either numbers or colors in which you believe a little white ball that is dropped into the spinning wheel will land on. Simple enough and yet, not the simple enough to beat easily, so why come out with another version of the wheel and label it the "American" Roulette Wheel?
A little background on the European Roulette Wheel is called for before we go any further on the differences between the European and the American version. The European Wheel or sometimes called the French Roulette Wheel because it was first to be discovered and created in France, was a big hit back when first developed and gambled on. Gaining popularity in the European countries with players having fun and good future on the big wheel, soon word got across the sea to America about this new game and of course Vegas wanted in! Now the European version of Roulette was built with 37 slots for numbers, 1 – 36 and then a spot for 0. The layout of the wheel and numbers are random and have no symmetry. But when the game was brought over to America, the casino owners did not like the odds that this big wheel had, they favored the player more than the house, and that just wasn't considered a good thing to casino owners so they established their own American Roulette wheel where they made some changes from the original European version.
The American version of the Roulette wheel contains spots for 38 numbers, 1 – 36, a spot for 0 and another spot for 00! By adding this extra 00 spot the odds were than changed over to favor the casinos and no longer the players. Also changed on the big wheel was the randomness of the layout of the wheel, instead the Roulette wheel now had a pattern with the numbers being placed in pairs across from each other making the layout look more uniformed and appealing according to American Casinos. Once this new Roulette wheel version was unveiled in the USA casinos, the players started to not have the grand luck that they were over in Europe on the version of the game thus satisfying casino owners that there idea of a more casino friendly wheel was better. Now the difference in odds might not seem big to someone looking at the wheel, I mean its only one extra spot on the wheel, how much difference can it make? So let's look at the odds difference:
A casino edge on a single bet of one number on the American version of the Roulette wheel with 38 numbers is 2/38 which means a 5.26 percentage.
For the European Roulette wheel, a single bet of one number has a casino edge of 1/37 or 2.70 percent. That is a big difference in casino odds and its players.
So what you should take away from this article is when playing Roulette whether online or at land based casinos always play the European version for better player odds.