European Roulette Wheel Breakdown – Learn How to Play This Variation

european roulette wheel

11 minutes

Posted by: MPC Team

Roulette is one of the first gambling games introduced in casinos and has been one of the most popular games to bet on for centuries. It’s exciting, offers a lot of betting opportunities, and is very easy to learn.

That said, if you’ve never played roulette, you might think that all roulette wheels are the same. However, they differ in various design features and even the specific number placement.

In this guide, we’ll teach you how to play European roulette, how to differentiate it from other roulette versions, and all of the bets available to you in this version. But, let’s briefly highlight some of the basics.

The History of the European Roulette Wheel

Ancient forms of roulette date back to the Roman Empire, and similar games have even been found in China a few centuries later.

But, talking about European roulette in the context of the game as we know it today, it’s thought to have originated in the late 18th century in France.

Initially, roulette had a zero and a double zero pocket, but this changed in 1843 when Francois and Louis Blanc introduced a roulette wheel with only one zero.

They devised this game to provide a more player-friendly alternative, as the previously-invented roulette wheel with 0 and 00 pockets set odds too heavily in the casino’s favor.

During the next few decades, this variation spread across Europe and became the standard in European casinos. Because of this, the single-zero roulette wheel is today most commonly known as a European roulette wheel.

Basic Overview of the European Roulette Wheel

Let’s start with the basics of the European roulette wheel. It has a total of 37 pockets. The number 0 pocket is green and there are 18 red pockets and 18 black pockets.

If you look at the roulette wheel clockwise and counterclockwise, starting with the green 0, you’ll find eight black and eight red numbers on each side.

Looking at the European roulette wheel on the right side of the 0, you’ll find that all red numbers belong in the “high” bracket, while the black numbers belong in the “low” bracket.

roulette european wheel

More precisely, the black numbers are 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, and 17. The red numbers are 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 30, 32, 34, and 36.

If you were to start from the left side of the 0, the layout would be reversed. The red numbers are low, and the black numbers are high.

The black numbers looking from the left are 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 31, 33, and 35. The red numbers are 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, and 18.

European Roulette Betting Table Overview

While the European roulette wheel significantly differs from the American version, the betting table itself is very similar to the one in American roulette.

More important to know is that all bets are divided into two groups. These are inside and outside bets. So, let’s go over each of the two groups separately to see all of the bets they include:

European Roulette Outside Bets

The outside bets in European roulette are all of the bets that you place on whole groups of numbers. Outside bets are easier for beginners as you cover more numbers, making your bet safer.

Moreover, you can easily determine that you lost if the ball landed on a 0, as this number isn’t included in any outside bet. With that in mind, here’s an overview of all outside bets in European roulette:

Columns

The columns bet provides you with the option of choosing between three groups of 12 numbers. One column covers all numbers included in a horizontal line, so the three columns look like this:

  • 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

Like the previous bet, the dozens bet involves betting on one of three groups of 12 numbers. The first dozen includes numbers from 1 to 12. The second dozen covers numbers from 13 to 24. The third dozen covers any number from 25 to 36.

Red/Black

Apart from the straight up inside bet, the red/black bet is one of the most popular bets in European roulette. When you bet on one of these options, you’re predicting that the numbered pocket will either be red or black.

You do so by putting casino chips on one of the two colored fields in the lower central part of the European roulette betting table.

High/Low

Another even-money bet, the high/low bet involves choosing between two groups of numbers. The low group includes numbers from 1 to 18, and the high group includes numbers from 19 to 36.

You place these bets by putting your chips in the “1 to 18” box or the “19 to 36” box, located in the bottom left and bottom right corner, respectively.

Odd/Even

Finally, the third of the even-money bets, odd/even allows you to bet on either all odd numbers or all even numbers.

You place it by putting your chips on the even box (on the left side of the red box) or the odd box (on the right side of the black box).

European Roulette Inside Bets

Opposite to the outside bets, inside bets are those that only cover single numbers or combinations of only a few numbers.

european roulette play

These bets have lower winning probabilities but also more rewarding payouts. Let’s go over the inside bets in European roulette:

Straight Up Bet

The straight up bet is the simplest bet in the game. You just pick a number you want to bet n and place your chips on it.

However, while it is a straightforward bet, it’s also the riskiest one, as it has the lowest probability of all bets in European roulette.

Split

A slightly more favorable bet that pays less than the straight up bet, this bet allows you to split your stake between two numbers.

To place the split bet, just put your chips on the line dividing the two numbers you want to cover.

Street

The street bet covers any row of three vertical numbers on the roulette betting table. For example, this can be a 1, 2, 3 row, a 19, 20, 21 row, or any of the 12 vertical rows available. You place the chips on the bottom end of the row you want to bet on.

Corner

The corner bet is an interesting European roulette bet that includes betting on four adjacent numbers that share the same corner on the betting board. This bet is also known as a square bet.

Six Line

The six line bet is nearly identical to the street bet, only this bet covers two rows of three numbers instead of just one.

Again, you only look at numbers adjacent on the betting board and not on the European roulette wheel itself.

European Roulette Odds

Apart from knowing what bets you can place in European roulette, it’s also useful to know the odds of each bet before you place it. With that in mind, here’s a closer look at the odds of each bet in European roulette:

  • Straight Up – 35:1
  • Split – 17:1
  • Street – 11:1
  • Corner – 8:1
  • Six Line – 5:1
  • Dozens – 2:1
  • Columns – 2:1
  • Odds/Evens – 1:1
  • High/Low – 1:1
  • Red/Black – 1:1

How to Play European Roulette

Now that you know the layout, what bets you can make, and the odds of each bet in European roulette, it’s time to move on to the most exciting part of this guide.

As luck would have it, you can learn to play European roulette without much effort and within just a couple of minutes.

As European roulette is a luck-based game, you only need to know the basics of the betting process and don’t need to learn any strategies or skills.

Every betting round of European roulette begins the same way. Each player at the table selects what they want to bet on and determines how much they want to bet.

european roulette table

After waiting for an appropriate amount of time, the croupier spins the wheel. Following this, you will still have a few seconds to place your bets.

Then, the croupier will signal to everyone at the table to stop betting. If you continue betting after the croupier declares they won’t accept any mode bets, your bets will get disqualified.

As the wheel comes to a stop and the ball lands in one of the numbered pockets, the croupier will place a small puck on the betting board, marking the winning number.

They will then collect all of the losing bets and pay out everyone who got their bet right.

After all of the winners have been paid out, the croupier will remove the puck from the betting board. By doing so, they signal the beginning of the next betting round, and the process begins again.

If you’re playing in a real brick-and-mortar casino, you can always ask the croupier for help in case you get confused during any step.

They are there to make you feel comfortable and make sure everything goes without a hitch, so don’t hesitate to ask for assistance.

On the other hand, if you’re betting at an online casino, you can likely find helpful in-game guides. You’ll be betting on your own, so it might take some getting used to the betting process.

But don’t worry, online and land-based European roulette are identical, so when you master one version, you’ll have no trouble playing the other one.

Lastly, you can also play European roulette in live online casinos. This is the closest you can get to the real casino experience.

You can directly interact with a real dealer and have the real feeling comparable to playing roulette in a land-based casino.

How Is European Roulette Different From Other Roulette Versions?

Although there are many roulette variations in today’s industry, the traditional differentiation boils down to two versions: European roulette and American roulette.

The most notable difference between these two versions is the fact that the European version has a lower house edge.

european roulette

As European roulette has only one 0 pocket and American roulette has a 0 and a 00 pocket, the house edge in American roulette is twice as high.

To be more precise, the house edge in European roulette is 2.7%, while American roulette has a house edge of 5.26%.

Another difference between these two roulette versions is the positioning of numbers, as the number sequences between these wheel versions don’t match.

Lastly, the numbers in European roulette are facing towards the wheel center; in American, they are facing outwards.

Comparing the potential payouts you get for each bet, the two versions have the same payouts we’ve listed above.

But, while the payouts for landing the same bets in these two versions are identical, the difference in house edge means that the winning probabilities are different.

More specifically, European roulette is significantly more favorable in this regard. Here’s how European roulette compares to American roulette in terms of winning probabilities:

Bet Type

European Roulette Win Probability

American Roulette Win Probability

Straight Up

2.70%

2.63%

Split

5.41%

5.26%

Street

8.11%

7.89%

Corner

10.81%

10.53%

Six Line

16.2%

15.79%

Dozens

32.4%

31.58%

Columns

32.4%

31.58%

Odd/Even

48.64%

46.37%

High/Low

48.64%

46.37%

Red/Black

48.64%

46.37%

Looking at these percentages, you might not think that there’s a big difference in how much you’ll win over time. But, this difference in probabilities can rack up over time if you play for months or years.

Because of this, we always recommend playing the European wheel version instead of the American one.

European Roulette – The Most Player-Friendly Variation!

If you’re read everything we’ve covered in this detailed European roulette guide, congratulations, you now know more about this game than most other roulette players!

Hopefully, we’ve made the game sound enticing enough to try on your own.

If yes, you are equipped with the necessary information to have a fun and successful experience playing European roulette.

This roulette variation is the most player-friendly one in terms of house edge and winning probabilities, making it a smarter choice to play wherever available.

Still, remember that European roulette is a luck-based game. This means that you can still lose, despite knowing strategies and the odds and payouts of each bet. So, make sure to gamble responsibly and only bet what you can afford to lose.

European Roulette Wheel FAQ

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