Does European Roulette Have Better Odds Than American Roulette?

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Lily Martin

Many people think that European roulette is the same thing as American roulette and that it just depends on where it is played. This is not true. The fact of the matter is that European roulette and American roulette while being the same basic game actually have quite a few significant differences. Roulette was invented in the eighteenth century by the French mathematician Blaise Pascal who was trying to invent a perpetual motion device so it was really a happy accident that roulette exists at all.

Ever since this lucky discovery the very look, sound and feel of a perfectly crafted wooden wheel spinning on its own axis in a wooden table seems to capture the imagination of both players and spectators alike. The sound of the tiny metal ball that is spun around the outer edge of the wheel by the roulette croupier is quite iconic and merely hearing it will make most people automatically think of roulette.

The original roulette consisted of thirty six numbers and one zero. The numbers were divided into black numbers or red numbers, one colour representing even numbers and the other representing odd numbers. The zero was a different colour because it was neither odd nor even and is usually always green. Once the game had been established in every major casino and was enormously popular an addition was added to improve the house edge. Another segment was added called a double zero so now the wheel consisted of a single zero as well as a double zero.

This new version of roulette is the version that was taken to America and became popular there. In the meantime Europeans decided that they preferred the original version a lot more and so began to revert to the original version which then became known as European roulette, distinguished by, among other things, a single zero.

There are a couple of other features in European roulette that are not featured in American roulette. These features are especially popular and well-loved in Europe because they add drama and excitement to the game. There really are two main rules which are “La Partage” and “En Prison”.

La Partage simply means that you will lose half of your bet if the ball lands on zero. The rule of La Partage only applies to outside bets. The second rule En Prison means that if the ball lands on zero then your bet will be “imprisoned” and you have the opportunity of releasing it on the next spin provided you get it right. If you are lucky then you get to keep your money but with no extra winnings, if you are unlucky then you lose your bet altogether.