There are many differences between European Roulette and American Roulette. To begin, the Casino advantage for European Roulette is 2.7%, or about half the Casino advantage of American Roulette. The difference stems from the French wheel. It has a single 0, yet the payoffs are identical to the American version with both a single 0 and a double 0. To calculate the advantage, simply divide 1 by 37 which equals 2.70%. To calculate the Casino advantage for the American wheel, because there are 2 zero’s and 38 total numbers, divide 2 by 38, and you get the Casino advantage of 5.26%. Now you see why American Roulette is seldom played. You will find slot machines with lower Casino advantage than this.
But the single 0 is only one part of the equation. In Europe, when playing even money outside bets, you have a rule called en prison. This rule is in effect when the winning number is 0. The player has the option of losing half of the bet, or letting it ride for another spin. The bet is “in prison” until the next spin. If they lose, the bet is forfeited. If they win, their bet is returned. This reduces the Casino advantage to 1.35% on the outside bets. This advantage is low enough that the player has a chance when using a betting system on these outside bets. This rule does not affect the dozens, columns, or inside bets.
European roulette is often offered at online casinos that operate in North America. This includes the online casino Canada website Bodog.
The French Wheel
This is not a wheel, but rather a photo of a neat little card which can be used to make bets on contiguous number spans. You may copy, and print this card on card stock for reference. Many use this technique, hoping if the number falls in an area, all the numbers in the area are covered.
The most famous of these techniques in Europe is known as “Voisins du Zero”, or Neighbors of Zero. This bet covers 17 numbers from 22 clockwise to 25, inclusively. This bet requires 9 chips. Place 2 chips on 0,1,2,3; 1 chip on the 4-7 split bet; 1 chip on the 12-15 split bet; 1 chip on the 18-21 split bet; 1 chip on the 19-22 split bet; 2 chips on the corner of numbers 25-26-28-29; and finally, 1 chip on 32-35 split bet.
The second contiguous span is called “Tiers,” or The Third. This bet requires 6 chips and covers numbers clockwise between 27 and 33, inclusively. One chip is placed on the following split bets: 5-8; 10-11; 13-16; 23-24; 27-30; and 33-36.
There are two sections between the Neighbors and Third, and these collectively are called “Orphelins,” which means orphans. It requires 5 bets to cover the orphans, which are the numbers, 17, 34, 6, 1, 20, 14, 31, and 9.
If your objective is to cover a larger span, you may cover 20 contiguous numbers with 9 chips, from 11 clockwise to 12, plus 4 other numbers by placing the following bets:
Six Street (Transversal) Bets:7-8-910-11-1216-17-1822-23-2428-29-3031-32-33
Split Bets (A Cheval):14-1720-23and finally a corner (Carre) Bet on 1-2-4-5
The 4 outliers are 32, 4, 2, and 17.
The corner bet is a break-even bet, but prevents gaps in the 20 number span, and puts gaps in the losing numbers. The split bet numbers 17 and 23 pay twice, on the split bet and the street bet.
The French/European Table
The bets on a French/European table are the same as on an American one except for the five number bet. The terminology is as follows:
Manque: Low Numbers, 1-18
Passe: High Numbers, 19-36
Pair: Even Numbers
Impair: Odd Numbers
The dozen(Douzain) bets are at the bottom of the table:
Premiere: First dozen
Moyenne: Middle or second dozen
Derniere: Last or third dozen
Other French terms you might familiarize yourself with are:
En Plein: Straight Up
A Cheval: Split Bet
Transversal: Street Bet or Trio
Quatre Premiers: First 4 numbers
Sixain: six numbers or line bet/double street bet