Roulette Variants: European Roulette

European Roulette is the standard version of roulette and the most popular variation. It is predominately played throughout Europe, as its name suggest, and in online casinos. This variation is most closely aligned with the version of roulette first played in the 17th century. It owes its discovery to the work of the French mathematician Blaise Pascal.

roulette wheel

The distinguishing characteristic of European Roulette is the single zero. Unlike American Roulette, there is only one zero on the roulette wheel. There are 17 spaces on the wheel numbered from 1 to 36 and an additional green zero space. With only 37 spaces, the house edge is different than American Roulette and much lower. European Roulette has a house edge of 2.63%. This means that players are paid 1/37 or 2.63% lower than they should be. This lower house advantage makes European Roulette more popular with many players.

Although the single zero is the main difference, there are also others features that distinguish European Roulette from its American counterpart. There are several rules that only exist in the European version. For example, there is the “la partage” which means that a player loses half a bet when the ball lands on zero. This is only applied to outside or even bets. When the ball lands on zero, all even bets are divided by two and half of the wager is returned to the player. By doing so, the house edge is cut to 1.35%.

There is another important rule in European Roulette known as the "En Prison" rule. This rule says that if the ball lands on zero, then the bet is placed in "prison" and the player has to use the next spin to hit that number. Money is returned to the player, if the number is hit. However, additional money is not awarded to the player. This scenario only occurs on outside bets. Overall, these stakes are much more beneficial to players than American Roulette.

In European Roulette, players also make what are known as call or announced bets. In this case, a player simply announces what he will bet on, instead of placing the chips in particular positions. Call bets simplify the betting process, especially in high stakes games. There are several different call bets a player can make including Voisins Du Zero, Orphelins and Tiers du Cylindre.

Like American Roulette, the objective of European roulette is to guess which numbered space the ball will land on the roulette wheel. Players make bets against the House by placing chips on the betting table, which is numbered with red and black spaces. To win, players guess correctly and win money according to the payouts of each bet type. The single zero creates a slight difference in the odds of winning. In both versions, the payouts are the same. However, with 37 slots on the roulette wheel, the probability of winning in European Roulette is slightly higher.

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