Played worldwide, European roulette can easily be distinguished as one of the most popular casino games in history. The game’s immense popularity can be attributed to its dynamics and the great number of betting options. Many players favour the European roulette tables because this particular variation of the game has a lower house edge, especially when compared to its American counterpart.
The rules of play and the betting process in European roulette are quite straightforward. Yet, if players wish to leave the roulette table on profit, it is essential for them to understand well the types of bets to be placed as well as their respective payouts. This understanding will enable them to make informed decisions when placing their bets and to implement a suitable betting strategy. Below, you will find more detailed information on the table layout in European roulette, its house edge, the types of bets in the game and their payouts.
European roulette is played predominantly in landbased gambling venues throughout Europe but due to the game’s immense popularity, all well-known online casino operators have added it to their gaming portfolios, alongside the American variation.
What’s the difference between the two? The rules and the betting options in the two variants are roughly the same with a few small exceptions. The main difference between American and European roulette lies in the number of pockets on the wheel and on the betting layout, respectively.
Unlike American roulette, where there are two zero pockets on the wheel, in European roulette, the wheels have only 37 pockets. There is one zero pocket, coloured in green. The remaining pockets are marked with numbers 1 through 36. It is important to remember that the sequence of numbers on European roulette wheels differs greatly from that on American wheels. Also, the numbers in the pockets face the inner part of the wheel which is not the case in American roulette.
The numbers are aligned in a seemingly random order. There are 18 red pockets and 18 black pockets. Red and black pockets on the wheel always alternate. Each pair of odd numbers is followed by a pair of even numbers. The numbers can also be divided to high and low. Numbers 1 through 18 are “low”, while numbers 19 through 36 are referred to as “high”.
If you look closely, you will notice the numbers on the wheel are arranged in a specific pattern. To the right side of the zero pocket, you will find nine black numbers and nine red ones – 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, and 17, and 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 30, 32, 34, and 36, respectively. The black numbers on this side are low while the red numbers are high.
To the left side of the zero pocket, it is the opposite. There are nine high numbers in black pockets and nine low numbers in red pockets – 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 31, 33 and 35, and 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16 and 18, respectively.
The wheel always spins counterclockwise while the ball is thrown in such a way so that it spins in the opposite direction or clockwise.
The layout is the area on the roulette table where the bets are placed. It is typically covered with green cloth. The layouts on American and European roulette tables are largely the same except that the layout in European roulette has only one zero betting box.
The table layout can be divided into two sections which correspond to the two major types of bets that can be placed. Inside bets are placed in the inner section of the layout, where the 37 numbers on the wheel are represented in separate betting boxes. The outside section is where outside bets are placed – it consists of specific areas corresponding to Odd/Even, Red/Black, High/Low, Dozen and Column bets.
House Advantage in European Roulette
Many roulette fans favour the European variation of the game because it offers them better odds. In American roulette, the house edge is higher and stands at 5.26% which can be explained with the introduction of the double-zero pocket.
However, there is only one zero pocket on the European roulette wheel and it lowers the built-in house advantage significantly to 2.70%. If the La Partage rule applies at the table, half of the players’ even-money bets will be returned if zero comes up. This further reduces the house edge to 1.35%, but the La Partage rule is valid predominantly at French roulette tables and is implemented in European roulette only on rare occasions.
It is important to mention the house advantage in roulette remains the same despite the fact the payouts for different types of bets vary.
European Roulette House Edge and Payout
Square or Corner
Red / Black
Odd / Even
High / Low
Types of Bets
Many players are attracted to European roulette because it offers them an extensive range of betting options. Most generally, the types of wagers one can make in the game can be subdivided into two major categories – outside and inside bets. Each of the two categories encompasses several subtypes.
Inexperienced roulette players are recommended to start by placing outside bets because the latter have better odds of winning. Their payouts, however, are smaller. Outside bets are easier to understand as they are made of combinations of numbers and not on specific numbers. In European roulette, all outside bets typically lose when the zero is spun.
Red/Black bets are among the most popular subtypes of outside bets. Here, the player is betting that the next number to come up will be of their chosen colour. Winning Red/Black bets pay out 1 to 1.
Another popular subtype of outside wager is the Odd/Even bet where the player is betting that the ball would land on the number of their chosen type – odd or even. As the chances of winning and losing with this type of bet are almost equal, its payout is again 1 to 1.
The High/Low bet is also suitable for those, who wish to play it safe. In this case, players are betting that the next number to be spun will either be low (1 through 18) or high (19 through 36). Again, we have almost equal chances of winning with this bet so it pays out even money or 1 to 1.
The Column bet is a bet that the next number to come up will be in the player’s chosen column on the layout. An example would be a bet on numbers 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31 and 34 in the first column. If you win with this bet, your payout will be 2 to 1.
Finally, we have the Dozen bet which also encompasses twelve numbers. The 36 numbers on the table can be divided into three dozens – the first dozen consists of numbers 1 through 12, the second dozen encompasses numbers 13 through 24, and the third dozen covers numbers 25 through 36. Winning Dozen bets also pay out 2 to 1.
Inside bets are much riskier as their odds of winning are smaller. Nevertheless, making inside bets can sometimes be lucrative as their payouts are much higher compared to those of winning outside bets. Inside bets can be made on specific numbers or combinations of numbers, and are placed within the betting grid with the 36 numbered boxes.
The Straight Up bet is undoubtedly the simplest type of bet in the game as it covers only one particular number. As your chances of winning with a Straight Up bet are smaller, it has a bigger payout of 35 to 1.
The Split bet covers two adjacent numbers on the layout – an example would be betting on numbers 8 and 9. The chips are placed on the line separating the two numbers. Winning Split bets have a payout of 17 to 1.
The Street bet, on the other hand, covers a row consisting of three numbers, for example, numbers 10, 11 and 12. The chips are placed on the line at the end of the row. Winning Street bets pay out 11 to 1. Street bets are not to be confused with the so-called Trio bet which has the same payout and also encompasses three numbers, but one of them is inevitably the zero. A Trio bet covers either numbers 0, 1 and 2 or numbers 0, 2 and 3.
The Square or Corner bet covers a total of four numbers on the layout, which share a common corner, hence the name Corner bet. In this case, the chips for this type of bet are placed on the common corner the numbers share. An example of one such bet would be wagering on numbers 5, 6, 8 and 9. It has a payout of 8 to 1.
The Corner bet is often mistaken for a Four-Number bet by less experienced players. However, there is a difference. The Four-Number bet covers only numbers 0, 1, 2 and 3 and no other combinations are possible. When you want to make a Four-Number bet, you place your chips at the end of the line that separates the zero and the first row of numbers. Similarly to the Five-Number bet in American roulette, the Four-Number bet is exclusive to European roulette only. It pays out at a rate of 8 to 1.
The Six-Line bet (often called simply a Line Bet) resembles the Street bet, but covers two adjacent rows of numbers. An example of a Six-Line bet would be wagering on numbers 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. The chips for this bet are placed at the end of the two rows, on the line that separates them. Should you win with a Six-Line bet, your payout will be 5 to 1.
As you can see, the number of bets to be placed in European roulette is truly staggering. If you wish to turn a profit when playing the game, it is recommended to memorise all betting options and their corresponding payouts.