If you’re a beginner to roulette and don’t want to hinder you chances of winning cash, it’s crucial to know the differences between American, French and European roulette.
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THE simple answer is: no roulette numbers are not the same colour across all formats of the game. The evolution of roulette, which means “small wheel” in French, has happened in different countries around the world. You often hear European, French and American roulette bandied about, but how exactly do each of these forms of the game differ from each other?
The wheels in both European and French roulette are the same and feature just the single 0, while the American wheel has both 0 and 00 pockets and a different sequence of numbers on the wheel. Obviously because of the different number sequences and the black-red alternating pockets a number does not necessarily share the same colour across variations of roulette.
French Roulette, which is believed to be the original, is distinct from European roulette by its table layout and several other quirky betting options.
European Roulette & House Edge
European roulette is perhaps the most well-known of all the variations. The wheel has 37 pockets which are red, black and green with numbers from 0-36.
Each number from 1-36 is allotted either red or black. This means there is an equal amount of red and black pockets and an equal amount of odd and even numbers. These 36 numbers also range from the low (1-17) to the high (18-36).
The 37th pocket, called the “house number” because it forces a small house edge into the game, is the 0.
The 2.7 per cent house edge that European roulette has is solely down to the 0 on the wheel.
The order of numbers and their colours on a European roulette wheel going anti-clockwise is: 0 (Green), 26 (Black), 3 (Red), 35 (B), 12 (R), 28 (B), 7 (R), 29 (B), 18 (R), 22 (B), 9 (R), 31 (B), 14 (R), 20 (B), 1 (R), 33 (B), 16 (R), 24 (B), 5 (R), 10 (B), 23 (R), 8 (B), 30 (R), 11 (B), 36 (R), 13 (B), 27 (R), 6 (B), 34 (R), 17 (B), 25 (R), 2 (B), 21 (R), 4 (B), 19 (R), 15 (B), and 32 (R).
American Roulette (00 Roulette)
The American roulette wheel is easy to spot because it is the only one with 38 pockets. Like the European wheel it has black, red and green pockets.
The American wheel varies from the European wheel because it has a different sequence of numbers and it has has an extra green pocket, this being 00, which brings a 5.26 per cent house edge into the game, almost double the 2.7 per cent house edge in European roulette.
A few notable things about the placement of numbers on the American roulette wheel are that no two adjacent pockets are the same colour, the 0 and 00 pockets are directly opposite each other, two odds numbers are generally followed by two even numbers and consecutive numbers are generally found on opposite sides of the wheel.
At most Australian casinos the low-limit tables usually use the American wheel because the house edge is greater. But if you dig deep enough you can generally find a single 0 wheel – usually wherever the high-limit tables are.
The sequence of numbers, moving counterclockwise on the wheel, is 0 (Green), 2 (Black), 14 (Red), 35 (B), 23 (R), 4 (B), 16 (R), 33 (B), 21 (R), 6 (B), 18 (R), 31 (B), 19 (R), 8 (B), 12 (R), 29 (B), 25 (R), 10 (B), 27 (R), 00 (G), 1 (R), 13 (B), 36 (R), 24 (B), 3 (R), 15 (B), 34 (R), 22 (B), 5 (R), 17 (B), 32 (R), 20 (B), 7 (R), 11 (B), 30 (R), 26 (B), 9 (R), and 28 (B).
A French roulette wheel is exactly the same as a European one. The 37 pockets are red, black and green.
Like the European roulette wheel, 36 numbers are allocated red and black evenly. The 0 on the table is green.
French roulette’s major differences is in the betting table where there are options not available in other variations of the game. The table is also labelled in French, rather than English.
The dealer or ‘Stickman’ as he is known uses a stick to announce the winning number, collect chips from the table and to pay the winners, which means the game play is slower than the standard roulette game you would find in Australia.
Players traditionally play the game with cash, rather than casino chips, although this has changed somewhat in recent years.
The order of numbers and their colours on a French roulette wheel going anti-clockwise is: 0 (Green), 26 (Black), 3 (Red), 35 (B), 12 (R), 28 (B), 7 (R), 29 (B), 18 (R), 22 (B), 9 (R), 31 (B), 14 (R), 20 (B), 1 (R), 33 (B), 16 (R), 24 (B), 5 (R), 10 (B), 23 (R), 8 (B), 30 (R), 11 (B), 36 (R), 13 (B), 27 (R), 6 (B), 34 (R), 17 (B), 25 (R), 2 (B), 21 (R), 4 (B), 19 (R), 15 (B), and 32 (R).
Which version of roulette should you play?
Your best bet is to play European roulette. The house edge is lower than American roulette which means it gives you a greater chance of walking away a winner. At brick and mortar casinos, especially in Australia, the lower limit tables will generally be American in style because it has a greater house edge and casinos are about making money. The competitive nature of the online industry means that nearly all casinos are offering European roulette – which is a great win for the punter.
If you happen to be in Europe or enjoy the rules of French roulette there are plenty of casino venues for you to play at around Australia. And there are several bet variations which cannot be found in American or European roulette. If you get the chance to play French roulette in the flesh, it’s worth it for the theatrics alone. The man controlling the action generally wears a top hat and makes a great show of collecting the chips with his stick and the crowd generally get into the action.