The iconic casino table game of Roulette comes in three of distinct flavors – European, French and American. Each game type has subtle differences, however the general play is the same.
Key differences between European and American Roulette
- European roulette: utilizes a roulette wheel with 37 pockets, numbered 0 to 36, with one zero.
- French roulette: also utilizes a roulette wheel with 37 pockets, numbered 0 to 36, with one zero.
- American Roulette: – Casinos manipulate the game’s house edge by adding one or two extra zeros – reducing the player’s odds of winning, and making sure that the casinos make more profit in the long run.
On roulette wheels with a single zero the house edge is 2.6%
The house edge on double zero roulette is 5.26%, while Triple zero roulette has a huge 7.69% house edge due to having 39 pockets – three zeroes and the numbers 1 to 36.
The phrase “the house always wins” is one that gamblers frequently utilize. In essence, it means that the casino will always win in the long-run, regardless of any one player’s performance at casino games. While not a 100% accurate statement, the casino does win the majority of the time. The goal of both new and established casinos is to turn as much profit as possible for shareholders – just like with any other business enterprise.
Las Vegas casinos continue to generate record-breaking revenues despite the effects of the global health pandemic. The state of Nevada collected an all-time record gambling revenue in 2021, with $13.4 billion in gambling revenue – and casino industry revenue reports in 2022 are trending upwards and in some cases breaking records. Nevada’s gambling operators resulted in the state’s 16th consecutive 1 billion dollar revenue month in June 2022. The house always wins!
There are games that provide players greater odds to win, and which have less or close to zero house edge – and seasoned gamblers and advantage players focus on these games to generate consistent profits.
What is House Edge in Roulette – and how is it calculated?
The house edge in roulette, to put it simply, is a the benefit the casino has over players when a wager is placed. The house edge in a certain game refers to the discrepancy between the chances of a particular event happening and the casino’s payout for winning wagers on that event. Although the house always wins in casino games, table games like roulette provide players a better chance of winning despite the fact that the game is entirely dependent on chance.
American Roulette (Double Zero) House Edge Example
The house edge in American roulette is calculated by subtracting the payout odds from the probability of winning.
In American roulette, there are 38 possible outcomes, (the numbers 1-36, 0, and 00). According to the rules the payout odds for a hitting a single number bet are 35:1, which means that if you bet on a single number and it hits, you will win 35 x your wager amount.
To calculate the house edge at American roulette it’s necessary to first calculate the probability of winning a single number bet. Since there are 38 possible outcomes and you are betting on one specific number, the probability of winning is 1/38, or 0.0263.
To calculate the house edge, we subtract the payout odds from the probability of winning. In this case, the payout odds are 35:1, or 0.0286. When we subtract the probability of winning from the payout odds, we get 0.0023, which is the house edge in US roulette.
This means that for every $1 you bet on a single number in American roulette, you can expect to lose 0.23 cents on average, due to the house edge. This is why American roulette is considered to have a higher house edge than European roulette, which only has one zero on the wheel.
French Roulette (Single Zero) House Edge Example
Despite the fact that the wheel has 37 potential winning combinations (zero, and 1 through 36), a player will still earn a 35 to 1 payment for a winning wager on a single number. Or rather the casino will give the player 35 units in addition to the winning wager if they win a bet of one unit.
The odds of winning a straight-up wager are 1/37 (1 chance in 37), yet the player receives less – just 36 units, and the difference of 1 unit (37 minus 36) is the house advantage or “edge”.
The following will happen if we multiply the house edge by the likelihood of winning and display the result as a percentage:
1.37 times 1/37 equals 0.0270270 x 100, or 2.7%
European (Single Zero) Roulette House Edge
In European roulette, the house edge is calculated by taking the total number of possible outcomes and subtracting the number of winning outcomes. The resulting number is then divided by the total number of possible outcomes and multiplied by 100 to express it as a percentage.
For example, in single zero, European roulette, there are 37 possible outcomes (the numbers 1 through 36, plus 0). Of these, only one (the winning number) pays out at the standard 1:1 odds. This means that there are 36 losing outcomes and one winning outcome, for a total of 37 possible outcomes.
To calculate the house edge, we subtract the number of winning outcomes (1) from the total number of possible outcomes (37), which gives us 36 – giving us a house edge of 2.7%.
In other words, for every $100 that players bet on single zero, European roulette, the casino can expect to make an average profit of $2.70. This is how the house edge is calculated in this particular game.