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American roulette rules and house edge

In recent times, American roulette has become the de facto format on the main floor at land-based Australian casinos. But what, if anything, separates this version from its more popular European cousin? We’ll show you.

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Rules of American roulette

American roulette by NetEnt
Play American Roulette at Slots Million online casino.

US roulette follows the same premise as the traditional French and European games. A ball is dropped onto a wheel with numbered pockets, and wherever it comes to rest determines the winning number. So if the ball stops on 22 black, for instance, all bets featuring either the number 22 or the colour black win.

Wagers are made by placing chips in various boxes on the betting layout. These are separated into outside bets which cover large groups of numbers, and inside bets which focus on one or more individual numbers. The payout odds are better on inside bets, but the outside wagers are much more likely to win.

The only key point of difference between American and European roulette is the number of pockets on the wheel. For while Euro games feature 37 numbers (0 to 36), US versions add a Double Zero panel (00) to make 38 pockets in total. Besides creating a few different betting options, this seemingly negligible alteration has a significant effect on the player’s overall chances of winning.

US roulette bets and payouts

A standard American roulette layout features seven different inside wagers and a dozen outside bets. The inside options are highly dependent on precisely where you place your chips, so make sure you follow our instructions below.

Inside bets

Inside bets on American roulette
Inside bets – straight bet on American roulette.

Single number – Exactly as it sounds. Place your chips over the centre of the number, not touching any lines. Pays 35 to 1.

Split – Two adjacent numbers. Place your chips on the line between the two numbers you wish to bet on. Pays 17 to 1.

Street – Three consecutive numbers on the same row. Place your chips on the line where the row joins the edge of the layout. Pays 11 to 1.

Corner – Four adjacent numbers. Place your chips on the + intersection between all four numbers. Pays 8 to 1.

Double street – Six consecutive numbers on two adjacent rows. Place your chips on the T intersection where the two rows join the edge of the layout. Pays 5 to 1.

Basket – Three numbers consisting of either Zero, One and Two; Zero, Double Zero and Two; or Double Zero, Two and Three. Place your chips on the T intersection between all three numbers. Pays 11 to 1.

Top line – Five numbers consisting of Zero, Double Zero, One, Two and Three. Place your chips on the T intersection where Zero and One meet the edge of the layout. Pays 6 to 1.

Outside bets

Outside bets on American roulette
Outside bets pay even money on American roulette.

Red – All the red numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 30, 32, 34, 36). Pays 1 to 1.

Black – All the black numbers (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 31, 33, 35). Pays 1 to 1.

Odd – All the odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35). Pays 1 to 1.

Even – All the even numbers (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36). Pays 1 to 1.

1 to 18 – The 18 low numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18). Pays 1 to 1.

19 to 36 – The 18 high numbers (19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36). Pays 1 to 1.

First dozen – The 12 lowest numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12). Pays 2 to 1.

Second dozen – The 12 middle numbers (13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24). Pays 2 to 1.

Third dozen – The 12 highest numbers (25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36). Pays 2 to 1.

First column – The 12 numbers in the first column of the layout (1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34). Pays 2 to 1.

Second column – The 12 numbers in the middle column of the layout (2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 35). Pays 2 to 1.

Third column – The 12 numbers in the third column on the layout (3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36). Pays 2 to 1.

American roulette house edge

House edge on American roulette by netent
American roulette has a very high house edge.

Although the standard payouts for US roulette games are identical to European and French roulette, the odds of winning in the long run are far worse. This is all down to the double-zero layout, as more pockets overall decreases the likelihood of any single number hitting. It also gives the casino an additional advantage against outside bets, as Zero and Double Zero aren’t included in even-money wagers, dozens, or columns.

For most wagers, the house edge on American roulette is 5.26 per cent – nearly twice as much as single-zero roulette games (2.70 per cent). That figure rises to 7.89 per cent for the top line bet (also called ‘first five’), which is unique to US layouts. Thus, we recommend playing only French or European roulette games online.

Bet Payout House edge
Single number 35 to 1 5.26%
Split 17 to 1 5.26%
Street 11 to 1 5.26%
Basket 11 to 1 5.26%
Corner 8 to 1 5.26%
Top line 6 to 1 7.89%
Double street 5 to 1 5.26%
Dozens 2 to 1 5.26%
Columns 2 to 1 5.26%
Red or black 1 to 1 5.26%
Odd or even 1 to 1 5.26%
Low or high 1 to 1 5.26%

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