You haven’t lived on earth for any length of time without finding out what roulette is. It has a spinning wheel, a betting table, and players can generally be seen jumping up and down in excitement when playing. What is perhaps less well known is that there are two distinct versions of roulette; American and European. If you’re a patriotic American you might automatically be saying that you’ll be going for the American version, because the USA rules. But hold your horses there cowboy, let’s talk this through.
The American version of roulette is, objectively, much worse for the player by far than the European version. It is, in fact, rather blatantly geared towards taking money from your pocket and giving it to the casino. Remember; being patriotic only works when it doesn’t involve you having less of a chance of winning in the game of roulette.
The American version of roulette has an added zero pocket, the aptly named double zero pocket. If you know anything about roulette you know that the zero pockets are excluded from all other betting options. Meaning, of course, that you specifically have to bet on the zero pockets in order to make any money when they turn up. Few do this, since it is a rather tall order as far as betting goes, so when the zero pockets come up, it generally means a loss for all players, and everything going to the casino. Two zero pockets mean twice the chance of this happening. Conclusion; play the European version of roulette.
What you might be asking now is how a version of roulette came about that is rather brashly a less a fair version of an already functional game. It’s a good question, so let’s have a look.
Roulette Wheel History
Talking about the double zero pocket on the roulette wheel, the single zero pocket didn’t even exist until the 1800s. Yes, the single zero pocket itself was not a standard addition to the roulette wheel until someone decided it should be there in 1842. It was very obviously added as a way to give the casino, or house, more of an edge, since casino earnings were not that great as far as roulette wheels were concerned. And, lets be honest, a casino can’t pay its rent on compliments and handshakes alone; they have to be making money at some point.
So the addition of a single zero pocket made sense. There is more to it than this, such as a certain member of the royal family having financial difficulty at the time, but we’re dealing with the simplified version as far as this blog goes.
But who had the bright idea of adding a second zero pocket? It was not until the game of roulette made its way to the United States, also in the 1800s, that the second zero pocket was added to the roulette wheel. After all, someone must have thought, what could possibly be better than one zero pocket. Two zero pockets, of course. Double the income for the casino. And so the two zero pocket version of the game became known as the American version.
If a European was faced with such a version, of course, they would likely have thrown each and every one of their toys out of the cot and demanded to see the manager.
Freedom Of Choice
If it has not already been made very clear; choose to play the European version of roulette as opposed to the American version at your favourite online casino. To be more specific and drive the point home; the house edge on a single zero roulette wheel is about 2.7%. On an American double zero roulette wheel that number jumps up to about 5.2%. It may not seem like a huge difference, but such numbers make all the difference in the world when you’re talking about a casino game.
An added rule in the European version, known as the En Prison rule, states that if a player has their chips on the odd bet, and the ball lands in the zero pocket, half the chips are given back to the player, and half remain here they are. If odds comes up on the next spin the player gets the remaining half of the chips back.
Thankfully, in modern times you don’t have to be stuck with a version of roulette based on your geographical position in the world. The vast majority of online casinos give an option as to whether a player would like to engage the European or American version. Sneakily, many online casinos will even have the two options available side by side, hoping against hope that a player will pick the American version without knowing the differences. Being that you are now an educated person, due to the information in this blog, we’ll be seeing you over by the European tables.