American Roulette Wheel Breakdown – Learn All You Need To Know

American roulette wheel

9 minutes

Posted by: MPC Team

If you’ve never played roulette, you might assume that roulette wheels are the same in different variations, or that the specific number placement on the American roulette wheel is random.

However, this is far from fact, as the US roulette wheel features a specific number layout for a reason.

In this detailed guide to the American roulette wheel, we’ll break down the number placement of the US roulette wheel, how it affects the house edge and odds, and several other key aspects to help you decide whether or not you should play American roulette.

American Roulette Wheel Breakdown

Even at first glance, you can see that the layout of the American roulette wheel significantly differs from the one featured in the European version of the game.

For starters, the American roulette wheel has 38 pockets, while the European version has 37 pockets in total.

This is because the American roulette also features a 00 pocket, besides the standard 0 to 36 pockets.

The 00 pocket is placed directly opposite of the 0 pocket on the wheel. Both of these pockets are colored green, while the remaining 36 numbers are either red or black, with 18 numbers in each of the two colors.

Besides this numerical difference that separates the American wheel version from the European one, there’s also one more purely visual difference that doesn’t impact the game in any way.

This is that the numbers on the American roulette wheel are always facing outwards. In contrast, the European roulette wheel has inwards-facing numbers.

Now, looking at the order of the numbers on the wheel, the clockwise sequence starting with the green 0 pocket looks like this: 28, 9, 26, 30, 11, 7, 20, 32, 17, 5, 22, 34, 15, 3, 24, 36, 13, and 1.

Then, this red/black sequence is interrupted by the 00 green pocket at the halfway point of the wheel. After this, it continues in the following pattern: 27, 10, 25, 29, 12, 8, 19, 31, 18, 6, 21, 33, 16, 4, 23, 35, 14, and 2.

When you look at his randomized sequence of numbers, you will notice that there’s no discernible pattern.

The American roulette wheel is designed this way for a reason. This is to make it almost impossible for casual US roulette players to notice any bias.

How the Roulette Wheel in American Roulette Affects the House Edge

So, understanding how the American roulette looks like and what pattern it follows, we should also know how this affects the house edge and the casino odds.

And, when it comes to this aspect of the American roulette wheel, this is the most significant drawback compared to European roulette.

American roulette

More specifically, the extra pocket on the American roulette wheel almost doubles the house edge of European roulette.

The European version has a house edge of just 2.7%, while the US roulette version has a house edge of 5.26%.

This is still not as much as what you’ll find in many other casino games. But, when playing for real money, every difference counts, especially in this case, when you would be giving the casino twice as much money in the long run than a European roulette player.

So, if you’re looking to maximize your returns, unfortunately, American roulette isn’t the best variation for doing so.

American Roulette Odds and Payouts

The house edge is crucial to know before playing American roulette but it’s also key to understand the odds and payouts for each specific type of roulette bet.

The payouts in American roulette are identical to those you’ll find in European roulette.

That said, due to the extra number on the American roulette wheel, the winnings are slightly more unfavorable compared to the European version. That being said, here’s a complete rundown of all of the bets and payouts.

American Roulette Bet Type

Winning Odds

Payout

Straight

2.6%

35:1

Split

5.3%

17:1

Street

7.9%

11:1

Corner (Square, Center)

10.5%

8:1

Basket

13.2%

6:1

Six Line

15.8%

5:1

Dozens

31.5%

2:1

High/Low (18 Numbers)

47.4%

1:1

Odds/Evens

47.4%

1:1

As you can see from the table above, the fewer numbers you have in your bet, the better the payout odds will be, but the lower the winning odds will be.

With that in mind, there’s no way to talk about the roulette wheel without going over the roulette betting board. This brings us to the next key section of this American roulette wheel guide.

American Roulette Table – A Closer Look at the Betting Board

As we’ve covered all of the odds and payouts in American roulette, we also want to classify them based on the category they fall under and how they look on the roulette betting board.

In this regard, the betting board in American roulette doesn’t differ from the European version, except for the presence of the 00 on the top left corner of the board.

American roulette table

The only other difference you might notice in American roulette is that red and black are often spelled instead of illustrated as colors like they are in European and French roulette versions.

Besides these slight differences, the American roulette table is made of the standard inside and outside roulette bets.

To help you understand each bet that falls under these two categories, let’s take a closer look at each outside and inside bet in American roulette separately:

Outside Bets

Outside bets offer smaller payouts but are also significantly less risky, as you’re betting on large groups of numbers.

Because of this, these bets are most suitable for beginner American roulette players or conservative gamblers. These are all of the outside bets you can place in American roulette:

Columns

Column bets in American roulette involve betting on one of three horizontal columns, each containing twelve numbers.

When betting on a column, you place your chips in the far right box of the betting board, indicated by the 2:1 odds. The columns in American roulette are divided into these numbers :

  • 1st Column – 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36
  • 2nd Column – 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 35
  • 3rd Column – 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34

Dozens

Similar to the columns bet, the dozens bet in American roulette also separates the betting numbers into three groups you can bet on. The difference is that the numbers are separated based on their numerical value.

More specifically, numbers from 1 to 12 fall into the first dozen group. Then, numbers from 13 to 24 fall into the second group. Lastly, numbers from 25 to 36 fall into the third dozen group.

Odd/Even

The first of the three even-money bets in American roulette, this bet allows you to bet on all even numbers or all odd numbers.

The even numbers bet box is located on the left side of the “red” betting option on the board, while the odd numbers bet box is located on the right side of the “black” betting option.

Red/Black

A simple color-based bet, you have the option of wagering on all red or all black pockets. You place this outside American roulette bet by putting the chips in the lower central box marked “red” or “black”. Both colors include 18 numbers each.

Low/High

The third even-money American roulette bet involves choosing between low and high numbers. Again, it includes two groups of 18 numbers, in this case from 1 to 18 and from 19 to 36.

You bet on low by placing the chips on the bottom left box of the betting board and bet on high by placing the chips on the bottom right box of the betting board.

Inside Bets

Inside bets are generally riskier than outside bets, as they involve betting on single numbers or on smaller groups of numbers.

Roulette wheel american

Inside bets offer potentially better payouts, but also significantly lower winning chances. Here’s a rundown of the available inside bets in American roulette:

Straight

A straight bet, or straight up bet, is a bet on just one number on the roulette wheel. It’s the simplest bet in roulette you can place, as you just place the chips on the number you want to bet on. It’s also the best-paying one, as we listed above, but with the lowest winning odds.

Split

A split bet is any bet that covers two adjacent numbers on the roulette betting table. The numbers can be adjacent horizontally and vertically.

When making this bet in a land-based casino, you place the chips in the line of the two numbers you want your bet to cover.

Street

The street bet involves betting on three numbers by placing your chips at the bottom end of the row you want to bet on. You can bet on any row.

For example, if you’re betting on 22, 23, 24, you place your chips on the bottom line of the number 22.

Additionally, you can also bet on a 0,1, 2 street, 00, 0, 2 street, or 00, 2, 3 street, which aren’t in a row on the US roulette betting board but are considered as such.

Corner

The corner bet covers four numbers that share the same corner on the American roulette betting board.

You place this bet by putting the chips on the corner where all four numbers touch.

For instance, if you want to bet on the 31, 32, 34, 35 corner, you simply place the chips directly in the middle where these numbers meet.

Five

Also known as a basket bet, this American roulette bet is exclusive to this game, as it includes the 00 number.

This bet covers the first five numbers on the US roulette betting board, 0, 00, 1, 2, 3. While it does offer a solid payout of 6 to 1, the odds make it very unfavorable. This is why many roulette players call this a sucker bet.

Line

A line bet covers two vertical rows of three numbers for a total of six numbers. For example, this can include 16, 17, 18 and 19, 20, 21 and is placed at the bottom end between the two rows you want included in the bet.

American Roulette in Casinos – Play or Pass?

Accomplished American roulette players understand the importance of the wheel layout and number sequences.

Moreover, they know all of the bets, their odds and probabilities, and the best betting systems for each specific situation.

And, with the in-depth information we’ve provided you in this American roulette wheel guide, you’ve acquired enough knowledge to go head-to-head with experienced US roulette casino players.

US roulette wheel

The only thing that remains to be answered is whether American roulette is worth your money? To answer this, you need to remember both the good and the bad aspects of the US roulette wheel.

When it comes to the latter, the higher house edge is undoubtedly the most important one to factor in.

From that perspective, American roulette is a great roulette variation to try out for fun if you want to explore various roulette variations and you haven’t tried this game.

That is, if you don’t mind playing a game with a higher house edge, one that you can easily avoid by playing a different version.

In any other case, we recommend sticking to European roulette, as playing this version will provide you with the best long-term returns.

American Roulette Wheel FAQ

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