Roulette is a table game with an impressive history. Its origins are somewhat mysterious, although many believe it was invented by the renowned French mathematician Blaise Pascal in the 17th century. From there, it spread globally, becoming a staple in countless casinos and other gaming establishments.
Centuries on, little has changed in this regard. One of the most popular versions of this casino classic — American roulette — remains a firm favorite in online casinos. If you’re new to it, here’s everything you need to know to get started.
What Is American Roulette Online?
Before diving into specifics, we should answer the question, “what is American roulette online?” As stated, roulette began its journey across Europe shortly after its invention. It traveled wherever its players went, eventually reaching the New World in the late 1800s.
Once American casinos started introducing roulette, they realized the game’s low house edge wasn’t working in their favor. They attempted to increase it, but players weren’t interested in a game that offered a slim chance of winning. Eventually, someone thought of changing the traditional roulette wheel to achieve the same effect more seamlessly.
To the casino owners’ relief, patrons warmed to the new version of the game quite comfortably. The roulette variant with an expanded wheel, known as American roulette, started gaining traction in the gaming community. Within a few years, it reached the same level of popularity as the original European and French variations.
The reputation of these games transferred seamlessly to the iGaming realm when internet casino gambling took off. Recognizing their widespread appeal, online casinos wasted no time adapting these games for virtual play. The rapid advancement of technology later paved the way for the integration of live American roulette online, making it an integral part of many gaming sites.
How Does American Roulette Differ from Other Variants?
American roulette shares a good deal of its rules and gameplay with the standard version. Both use the same kinds of equipment — a spinning wheel, a marble ball, a betting table, and chips. They can play with one to eight players and operate in virtual and live environments. Additionally, they share the same objective — guessing the numbered pocket on the spinning wheel where the marble ball will land.
However, the structure of their wheels and, by extension, their betting options and house advantages are different. The following sections explore each of these categories in greater detail.
American Roulette — Wheel Structure
American roulette uses a spinning wheel with 38 instead of the traditional 37 pockets. The extra pocket is numbered double zero and located opposite the standard single zero on the wheel. It’s also coloured green, with the rest of the pockets around it alternating between red and black.
American Roulette — Bet Types
The extra zero might seem like a small change, but it has a significant impact on gameplay. Firstly, it adds an extra bet type to American roulette’s betting options — the Five Number Bet or Basket Bet. This option lets players bet on the top line in the inner betting grid, covering numbers 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3.
Moreover, the double zero gives players another field to wager on in the following bet types:
- Straight bet — This bet type covers single fields on the roulette wheel.
- Split bet — Here, players bet on two adjacent number fields at once.
- Street bet — This option includes any 3-field row on the betting grid.
- Corner bet — Also known as a square bet, this one covers four adjacent number fields that make a square on the betting grid.
- Line bet — This bet type comprises two rows of numbers, covering six fields.
American roulette also excludes some bet types that its European and French counterparts offer. For instance, players can’t take advantage of the famous En Prison and La Partage bets, which help lower the game’s profit margin.
Moreover, many casinos in the UK hosting this game don’t allow Called bets as they categorise it as “playing on credit.”
American Roulette — House Edge and RTP
The above mentioned changes directly affect American roulette’s house edge. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, house edge signifies the advantage the casino has over the players during the game. It shows what percentage of each bet the casino expects to retain over time.
Traditional roulette variants, with only 37 pockets, offer a house edge of 2.7%. The inclusion of En Prison and La Partage side bets can lower this number even further. However, American roulette doesn’t feature either of these benefits. The additional zero pocket on the wheel raises its house advantage to 5.25%. With this structure, the casino keeps over $5 of profit for every $100 wagered in the game.
The double zero also lowers American roulette’s Return to Player (RTP). While variants with the standard wheel enjoy an average RTP of 97.3%, the American version’s RTP stands at 94.74%, so players can expect to earn less in the long run.
Benefits of Playing American Roulette xOnline
Despite the less favourable statistics of American roulette, there are several reasons why you should give this variant a try.
- Accessibility — You won’t spend hours searching for this game. Most reputable modern casinos offer American roulette online, with various versions for you to choose from.
- Familiarity — As mentioned earlier, American roulette shares much of its gameplay with classic roulette games. It won’t take you long to learn the rules or understand the game mechanics.
- Exciting gameplay — The changes American roulette introduced to the betting grid add excitement to the game without making it difficult to follow or enjoy. Additional bets make the gameplay more diversified and entertaining.
- Betting limits — Casinos tend to earn more profits from American roulette than other variants because of its higher house edge. This allows the house to lower the game’s minimum betting limits without losing too much money. As a result, you can find American roulette titles with minimum betting limits ranging from $1 to $5.
How to Play American Roulette Online
Start by finding a gaming site that hosts the titles you like. Online casinos offer this game in both virtual and live formats. Once you’ve found the right platform, register, deposit some cash, and claim available bonuses. After this, you’re ready for real-money gameplay.
Virtual American roulette variants are computer-simulated games whose outcome is determined by an RNG machine, while live games take place in land-based studios and stream in real time. The former is easier for beginners, but the latter is more immersive.
The action starts with betting time in both virtual and live formats, so study the betting grid, choose between chip sizes, and click on the appropriate places to make different types of bets.
The wheel will start spinning once the timer runs out. Wait for the ball to settle in one pocket to discover the winning number. If any of your bets include this number, you’ll get your payout immediately.
Payouts and Odds in American Roulette
To take full advantage of American roulette online, you must understand its betting system. If you’re familiar with European and French roulette payouts and odds, you’re good to go. The American variant follows a similar pattern.
Inside bets cover specific numbers, and they offer the biggest returns. For instance, Straight, Split, and Street odds range between 2.6% and 7.9%, and their returns reach up to 35x your bet. Conversely, Outside bets offer modest prizes but have much better winning chances because they cover more pockets on the wheel.
In American roulette, Red/Black, Odd/Even, and High/Low bets offer odds of 47.37%, and each Column or Dozen has a 31.6% chance of landing.
The Five Number Bet is another bet type with a solid return, typically paying out 6:1. However, you might not be delighted with its winning odds. While they’re not as low as on the Inside bets listed above, they don’t go above 13.2% either.
Five Number also has a higher house edge than the average of 5.26%, so most seasoned players avoid it.
Tips and Tricks for Playing American Roulette
While there’s no foolproof strategy for playing American roulette, there are tips and tricks that can help you get the most out of every game:
- Learn about the rules and gameplay — Whether you’re an experienced American roulette player or not, you should check the rules and gameplay for the specific release you’ve decided to play. Most versions look similar, but developers often include small changes to make their releases stand out. Don’t enter the game unprepared and let these details blindside you. Take some time to read the rules or test the game before you commit — you’ll avoid confusion and feel more confident going into each session.
- Claim available bonuses — Promotions are among online casinos’ greatest strengths. They award players with hefty amounts of money, allowing them to maximise their enjoyment. They can use the extra cash to explore the gaming catalogue, test different American roulette versions, find their favourite titles, prolong their betting sessions, and land more prizes.
- Practise in the free-play mode — Most modern online gaming platforms host games that offer a free-play mode. This option lets newbies test virtual titles free of charge. It’s a fantastic way to learn the ropes of American roulette and hone your skills before you invest real money.
- Try a betting strategy — Betting strategies or systems are guidelines you can follow when deciding how to wager in a roulette game. Depending on their type, they may advise you to increase or decrease your bet sizes when you lose or win. These practices can help you keep track of your bankroll and improve your winning chances.
- Stick to a budget — Responsible players enter every real-money gaming session with a fixed budget. Try to do the same and stick to your bankroll regardless of how the game progresses. You’ll avoid spending more than you can afford and be able to relax and enjoy the gameplay to the fullest.
American roulette online offers an exciting gaming experience for casino enthusiasts worldwide. While its double zero pocket makes the game a bit more challenging, it also adds thrills to the experience. Choose a high-quality release, learn the rules, use an effective betting system, and stick to your budget, and you’re sure to have a whale of a time.
What’s the difference between American and European roulette?
The main difference between American and European roulette lies in the spinning wheel. The former plays with a wheel that includes the Double Zero pocket, resulting in different betting options, odds, and house edge.
Why should I play American roulette online?
American roulette is easy to find online and straightforward to understand and play. Plus, it offers lower minimum betting limits and a more exciting gameplay experience.
What bets should I avoid in American roulette?
You might want to avoid the Five Number bet. This option is less profitable than others due to a house edge of 7.89%.