American Roulette

The subtleties of American roulette: rules & strategies [updated2024]

In order to make your online roulette winning opportunities a reality, you must be fully aware of each American roulette rule, but also the difference between European and American roulette. Let’s say it now: the multitude of variants makes this challenge almost impossible if you don’t show a minimum of curiosity.

In this article, we are going to teach you the characteristics that are unique to American roulette, one of the most popular casino games on the internet today. From the house advantage to each side of American roulette, this fast-paced variant will no longer hold any secrets for you after reading this article!

American Roulette Wheel

As its name suggests, American roulette is enjoying resounding popularity in physical casinos scattered throughout the United States. All the more reason, it seems that this game also has a certain reputation in Asia and in the United Kingdom. 

However, most European players prefer European roulette because of its lower house advantage (and therefore its better chances of winning). The house advantage is significantly higher in American roulette due to the existence of a double zero (in addition to the single zero). Now let’s take a look at the rules of this game.

Presentation of each American roulette rule: a unique variant

American roulette is the most attractive variant of the invention of the French mathematician Blaise Pascal. The presence of a double zero pocket is particularly original and increases the appeal of this game.

However, American roulette is less generous than its cousins, the double zero pocket representing a real danger for the player, who can lose all of the money wagered if ever the ball were to accidentally fall on this ‘prohibited’ pocket … Let us be so honest: this variant greatly reduces your chances of winning roulette!

You will therefore understand, the first big remark that we can make about American roulette is the existence of thirty-eight pocket against only thirty-six or thirty-seven pockets in the other versions. 

Furthermore, the game pockets are easily recognizable. Indeed, the latter are always tinged with red and black. Note that the carpet on the American roulette table will therefore also be different, since it will include a pocket “00” or “Double zero”, in addition to the usual pocket of zero American roulette.

American Roulette

What should you know about American roulette?

  • American roulette has one more pocket than European roulette: double zero (00);
  • In American roulette, it is also possible to place your bets on single numbers or groups of numbers;
  • The house advantage is almost twice as large as that of European roulette (5.26% versus 2.70%).

How does the “00” pocket influence the odds of American roulette? Detailed answer

The double zero necessarily has a negative impact on the game. The presence of this “trap” pocket reduces the chances of winning for the participant. 

Indeed, there is a one in thirty-eight chance that the ball lands on the double zero square, which has the consequence of depriving the player of all the money he initially wagered on the mat, whether in a land-based casino or in an online American roulette space.

For example, in European roulette, only half of the player’s initial bet is taken by the house when the ball falls on the pocket containing the zero. Players who choose to play American roulette are unfortunately not always aware of this basic distinction, a distinction that can have long-term repercussions if you play American roulette relatively often.

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What is the difference between European and American roulette in terms of bets & advantages

Each variant of roulette offers certain opportunities, actions and wagers against the dealer, but the American version will not bring you these advantages. You will find on the tables types of bets that will only be present on this variant, but they will not necessarily allow you to win more chips.

Betting on the first five American roulette numbers (0, 00, 1, 2, and 3) will, for example, be possible here. This type of bet will be accompanied by a 6 to 1 payout ratio, but the house advantage will, unfortunately, be 7%.

Little bonus info when talking about earnings reports: while the European variant has a house advantage of 2.70%, that of American roulette climbs to 5.26% on average! It’s up to you to see which version you want to favor.

What are the rules of American roulette?

American roulette stands out for its simplicity. The object of the game is to guess in which numbered pocket the white resin ball will stop. If you correctly predict the pocket in which the ball will stop, you will receive payout reports depending on the type of bet made and the stake invested.

Each casino game has its own wagering limits which define the minimum and maximum amounts that you can wager in each round. Online or in a physical casino, there is inevitably a small sign which will indicate the limits of the table to you.

How is a game of American roulette?

It is imperative that you are aware of a few points before you start playing American roulette, whether in an online casino or in a physical casino. In American roulette, we generally use chips whose colors are different from other casino games. After choosing their roulette table, all players must exchange their currencies for chips with the croupier (or cashier) of the table.

Each player will receive chips of different colors to mitigate any risk of confusion during the payment of winning bets. As soon as all players have received their chips, they are now allowed to place their bets on the different table sections. Make sure you know the ins and outs of each type of bet to know what risks you are exposing yourself to!

Players have the option of placing their bets on individual numbers or on groups of numbers. Thereafter, the croupier actuates the wheel of the roulette. It is important to emphasize that you can always place your bets, modify them, or withdraw them from the table after the first spin of the roulette wheel.

But as soon as the croupier announces no more bets or “rien ne va plus” (in French), the players are no longer allowed to place their bets on the table (or to modify them). As soon as the ball comes to rest in one of the numbered pockets, the croupier publicly announces the winning number.

He marks the winning number by placing a “dolly” on the table. All players who correctly predicted the winning number get cash out. Losing bets are picked up by the house. As soon as the winnings are awarded to the winners, a new round can start. Easy, right?

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American roulette and its 38-pocket wheel

As you can see in the illustration below, the American roulette has 38 numbered pockets: 36 pockets whose numbers range from 1 to 36, a single zero (0), and a double zero (00). The numbers between 1 and 36 are alternately colored in red and black.

Single zero and double zero are colored green. As we said earlier, the goal of the game is to predict which numbered pocket the ball will end up. With this in mind, players are required to place their bets in the table sections of their choice.

The dealer activates the roulette wheel in one direction and throws the white ball in the opposite direction. The 38 numbers of American roulette are arranged in such a way that the ball has an equal probability of stopping in any square.

American Roulette Wheel Layout

American roulette wheel


European Roulette Wheel Layout

European roulette wheel


What are the types of betting at American Roulette?

American roulette includes a wide range of bet types. Each of them has its own probabilities of occurrence and its own payout. We usually divide them into two categories: internal bets and external bets.

  • Internal bets are placed on individual numbers or small groups of adjacent numbers. These bets offer very high payout ratios but are unfortunately associated with reduced chances of occurrence.
  • External bets include larger groups of numbers (columns, dozen, even or odd numbers, etc.). Unlike internal bets, they offer higher probabilities of occurrence but are unfortunately associated with less lucrative payout …

Let’s go over them now:

Internal bets on American roulette

Type of stakePayoutProbabilities
Full number35 to 12.63%
Horse riding17 to 15.26%
Full cross11 to 17.89%
Square8 to 110.53%
0 – 00 – 1 – 2 – 3 (Basket Bet)6 to 113.16%
Single cross5 to 115.79%
  1. Full number: A bet is placed on any individual number (including the zero). The payout is 35 to 1.
  2. Staking: We place a bet on two adjacent numbers. The stack of tokens should be placed on the line separating these two numbers. The payout is 17 to 1.
  3. Full cross: We place a bet on the three numbers of the same row. To do this, the stack of tokens must be placed on the line located at the beginning (or at the end) of said row. The payout is: 11 to 1.
  4. Square: We place a bet on a group of four numbers. The stack of tokens must be positioned at the intersection of these four numbers. The payout is 8 to 1.
  5. Combined bet (or “Basket Bet”): It relates to the numbers 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. It is associated with a payout ratio of 6 to 1. It is a type of bet extremely risky in the measure where it propels the house advantage to 7.89%.
  6. Simple cross (or sixain): We place a bet on six numbers (two rows of three numbers). The stack of tokens is placed on the point of intersection of the two rows in question. The payout is 5 to 1.

Bets outside American roulette

Type of stake
Dozen2 on 131.58%
Column2 on 131.58%
Red Black1 to 147.37%
Even odd1 to 147.37%
Lack / Pass1 to 147.37%
  1. Column: This bet relates to an entire column (of 12 numbers). The stack of tokens is placed in the “2 to 1” section (located at the bottom of the column in question). The payout is 2 to 1.
  2. Dozen: It is also a type of bet that involves 12 numbers (as the name suggests). The stack of chips must be placed on “1st 12” (for numbers between 1 and 12), on “2nd 12” (for numbers between 13 and 24) or on “3rd 12” (for numbers between 25 and 36). The payout is 2 to 1.
  3. Red / Black: It is a bet which relates either to all the red numbers or to all the black numbers. Place your stack of chips on “Red” or “Black” to make this type of bet. The payout is 1 to 1.
  4. Even / Odd: This is a bet that involves either all even numbers or all odd numbers. Place your stack of chips on “Odd” or “Even” to place this type of bet. The payout is 1 to 1.
  5. Lack / Pass: By entering this type of bet, you bet either on all numbers between 1 and 18 (miss), or on all numbers between 19 and 36 (pass). The payout is 1 to 1.

The origins of American roulette

According to some historians, it seems that it was the French immigrants fleeing the French Revolution who, in the 18th century, exported the concept of roulette to New Orleans, then the gambling capital of the United States. It is also believed that they also introduced craps, baccarat, and blackjack into the United States. Unfortunately, European roulette did not receive the favor of the American casino operators, who considered that it was a game far too advantageous for the player. Thus they decided to make modifications to it so that it is more to the advantage of the house, hence the birth of the double zero and the version that we know today. Although the order of the numbered pockets is different from that of the European roulette, the two versions obey identical rules.

What strategy to adopt in American roulette?

As you can see in our comparison table, the prospects offered by American roulette are significantly worse than those of European roulette. Moreover, rare is the European players who risk it. It must be said that double zero slightly reduces your chances of winning. A fortiori, he fully deals with the casino.

As with any casino game, there are good and bad strategies. Be sure to set a playing capital that is in line with your financial situation and never make a bet that you cannot afford to lose. Do not hesitate to consult our page dedicated to roulette strategies to find out what are the mistakes that should never be made.

What to remember from American roulette?

Should we favor American roulette or European roulette, against all odds? Whatever variant you are going to set your sights on, be aware that there is no strategy, as advanced as it is, that can decrease the house advantage.

Similarly, apart from an extraordinary power of divination, it is impossible to predict with certainty the outcome of the next round. The double zero greatly increases the risk you take, but that may be what makes it so charming.

If you are the type of player who loves adrenaline rushes, American roulette will meet all your expectations. Otherwise, fall back on European roulette, more to the advantage of the player from the point of view of house advantage.

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