American and European Roulette are not so very different. For some it will sound like we`re stating the obvious, nevertheless, the prima facie difference is that European Roulette was invented in Europe in the 17th century (Ah, Europe! Where the history comes from…) and spread all over America in the 19th century, where it developed into the game that we know today as the American Roulette. Of course, European Roulette is still the most favored roulette game in most countries throughout Europe and even around the globe.
The most important difference lies in the numbering of the roulette wheel. The European wheel is numbered from 1 to 36 to which an extra single zero green color slot was added. The American wheel also has an extra double zero slot, thus, giving the casino a bigger house edge (5.26% as opposed to 2.70% in European Roulette). The single zero and double zero slots are placed opposite to each other on the roulette wheel. Initially, the single zero slot was red, whereas the double zero slot was black, but in order to avoid confusion the color green was selected.
Apart from the difference in the zero digit slots, the two types of roulette wheels are also numbered differently.
The European roulette has a spin called en prison rule, which gives the opportunity to a player who placed an even money bet and the result was zero, to spin the wheel another time.
In American Roulette you can have a 5 number bet, which includes the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3 and 00. This type of bet gives the house a 7.89 % edge. You sure know how to gamble, America!
And while we`re on the topic of the betting system, another difference is that the European Roulette has a so called “announced or called bets”, which in essence, are bets that cover a certain section of the roulette wheel.