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Over the years, several roulette variants became available in land-based and online casinos.
The European variant is by far the most popular one, mainly because of its low house edge of only 2.63%.
If you’re interested in trying European roulette, this detailed guide will tell you all you need to know before you begin.
Basic Rules of the Game
European roulette is mostly the same whether you play it in a land-based or an online casino. The basic equipment needed for the game is a table comprising a roulette wheel with a ball and the betting layout.
Each European roulette wheel includes 37 numbered slots, featuring numbers from 1 to 36 and one zero slot.
The zero slot is colored green, whereas the slots from 1 to 36 are colored either red or black. The dealer or the system spins the numbered wheel in one direction and the ball in another. The objective is to correctly predict which number or color the ball will land on.
Players can place their bets on just one number or color or different number groups. The sheer number of bets you can place may seem intimidating at first. However, the bets are easy to understand, as shown in the following section.
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Types of Bets You Can Place in European Roulette
The betting layout on the European roulette table features the same numbers you can see on the roulette wheel. However, you’ll also see additional sections marked 1st 12, 2nd 12, 3rd 12, Odd, Even, and more. These sections are where you place your chips to signify that you want to make a specific bet.
European roulette bets are categorized into three main groups:
- Inside bets
- Outside bets
- Call bets
We explore each one in more detail below.
The bets from this group are marked on the inside of the betting layout, thus the name. They include single-number bets and bets on groups of up to six different numbers.
Let’s take a look at them:
- Straight-up bet — placing a bet on one specific number;
- Split — placing a chip on the line that divides two different numbers on the betting layout, thus betting on both of those numbers;
- Street — placing a chip on the line at the beginning of a three-number row means you bet on those numbers;
- Corner bet — a bet placed on any four neighboring numbers by placing a chip on the line dividing their dedicated sections;
- Line bet — a bet placed on the line dividing two adjacent rows of three numbers each, thus betting on all six numbers.
As the name suggests, outside bets are signified by the sections located outside the betting layout.
When you place these bets, you bet on larger groups of up to 12 numbers. This group also includes color bets and odd/even bets.
Here is the breakdown:
- Odd/Even — predicting that the ball will hit either an even or an odd number;
- Red/Black — predicting that the slot the ball lands on will be colored either red or black;
- High/Low — predicting that the number the ball lands on will belong to either the high (19–36) or the low (1–18) category;
- Dozens — predicting that the number the ball lands on will belong to any of the three dozens marked on the betting layout;
- Columns — predicting that the number the ball lands on will belong to any of the three columns marked on the betting layout.
In addition to the inside and outside bets, European roulette also features “call bets.” The name comes from the fact that players must call out or say their wagers to the dealer as they aren’t represented on the betting layout.
These bets include:
- Tiers du Cylindre — betting on numbers placed between 27 and 33 on the wheel;
- Voisins du Zero — betting on 17 different numbers positioned on both sides of the zero slot on the wheel;
- Orphelins — betting on the remaining eight numbers on the wheel, not covered by the previous two bets.
Payouts and House Edge in European Roulette
Different types of bets in European roulette feature different payouts.
- Odd/Even, High/Low, and Red/Black bets can bring you a payout of 1:1 if the ball lands in the predicted slot.
- On the other hand, dozens and columns have an even higher payout of 2:1.
Inside bets are way riskier as they encompass smaller groups of numbers, so they have much higher payouts.
Here is what you can expect to win if you make the correct prediction on different inside bets:
- Straight-up bet — 35:1
- Split bet — 17:1
- Street bet — 11:1
- Corner bet — 8:1
- Line bet — 5:1
Regarding the house edge, European roulette boasts the lowest percentage of all roulette variants — 2.63%. However, this percentage can fluctuate depending on the game variant.
Some European roulette games feature the La Partage rule, which, if played, can lower the house edge to 1.35%. If the game has this rule, it can give the players half of their bet back under the condition that they played an even-money (1:1) bet, and the ball landed on the zero slot.
Another rule commonly included in European roulette games is the En Prison rule. It is similar to the La Partage rule in that it is valid only on even-money bets like:
However, unlike La Partage, the player doesn’t get half of their bet back if the ball lands on zero. Instead, the game “imprisons” the stake and invests it in the following round. If the player wins that round, they will get their bet back as a reward.
European vs. American Roulette: Main Differences
The most apparent difference between European and American roulette is their wheels. While European roulette has only one zero, American roulette has two. This may not seem like a big deal until you learn that the existence of the second zero slot almost doubles the house edge to 5.26%.
In fact, American roulette was designed to increase the house edge so that casinos could have a more significant advantage over players. Players naturally prefer European roulette, which is why this version is so widespread in land-based and online casinos.
Another thing that makes European roulette more attractive than its American counterpart is the existence of the La Partage and En Prison rules mentioned above. These rules enable players to get back half or even their entire stake when the ball lands on zero. Players simply lose their bets when the same thing happens in American roulette.
With its low house edge and player-friendly rules, European roulette is rightfully the most commonly played roulette variant worldwide. We hope our guide has helped answer some questions you might have had about this casino game.
The information on this page pertains to all types of European roulette games, whether you play them online or in land-based casinos. As always, enjoy your gambling sessions and remember to play responsibly.
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