Intro to American roulette
The history of roulette begins in Europe, but it arrived in America in the late 19th century. The game was popular in Louisiana and Mississippi riverboat casinos, before spreading through the United States. Today you can play American roulette at tons of online casinos, for free or real money. Although modern European roulette tables have 37 slots on the wheel, early tables had 38 thanks to two separate zero slots. This is the version that was brought to America, and is still used in American roulette today.
American roulette rules
The rules of American roulette are simple. An American roulette table has 38 pockets: numbers 1-36 are red/black and the two zero slots are green. You place your bets on which pocket the ball will land on, and the dealer or croupier spins the wheel. Wherever the ball settles decides if you win your bet. There are loads of interesting ways to bet too, each with different odds of winning. However, the house edge of 5.3% in American roulette never changes.
American roulette tips
There is no strategy guaranteed to make you win in roulette, but there are still ways of playing to give yourself the best shot. Here are our top tips:
Decide on your bankroll in advance
One way that players end up losing way more than they expected is from not managing their money smartly. Deciding on your budget before you hit the tables is important so you don't end up gambling more than you can afford.
Accept the house edge
With American roulette, the house always has the same edge of 5.3%, period. Once you accept this you can have fun with different types of bets and strategies, without worrying about affecting the edge.
Play for free
You can play American roulette for free online. This is perfect for getting a feel for the game before risking your own money. The same goes for other types of roulette.
Try different types of bets
There are loads of ways to play American roulette. Play responsibly and have fun testing out different roulette bets and finding out which ones you enjoy the most.
American roulette strategy
There are loads of interesting roulette strategies, since there are so many ways to bet. Some, like the Martingale system, are based on altering your bet size based on the result of your last bet. Others involve manipulating the odds by placing lots of bets at once.
One of the most popular ways to play American roulette was developed by Andres Martinez, the former Editor of the Los Angeles Times. Martinez' strategy involves dividing the amount of money you want to spend in one session into 35 chunks and then betting each chunk on the same number for 35 consecutive spins. It's worth noting though that over 35 spins there is a fairly risky 60.68% of winning - but if risks aren't for you, roulette is not going to be your game! You can learn about other types of roulette here.
American roulette FAQs
How does American Roulette work?
The rules of American roulette are simple. Players can place a variety of bets on where the ball will finish when the roulette wheel is spun. The American roulette wheel has red and black slots for the numbers 1-36 and two green 0 slots. Some of the most popular bets include red/black, odd/even, betting on individual numbers or on one third of the numbers at a time.
Where can I play American roulette online?
American roulette is available at lots of online casinos. Our list of recommended sites has the best place to play American roulette online today.
Are the odds in American roulette better than other variants?
No. Mathematically, American roulette has slightly worse odds than the other main variants like European roulette. This is due to an American Roulette table having two zero slots instead of one.
What's the house edge?
In American roulette the house edge is 5.26%, which is how we describe the mathematical advantage the casino or house has over gamblers.
What's the RTP?
The RTP of American roulette is 94.74%. With a real money game of chance like American roulette, we can calculate the RTP by subtracting the house edge from 100.
Can I use a roulette system to play?
Yes. There are loads of systems you can try out when playing roulette. Testing out different patterns and systems is part of what makes roulette such an interesting game.
Is there an American roulette winning formula?
No. American roulette is a game of chance, and the house always has a 5.3% edge. This means you are always at a slight disadvantage and there is no formula to win consistently.
How many numbers (pockets) are there in American roulette?
An American roulette wheel has 38 pockets. There are two 0 pockets and the numbers 1-36.
What's the best American roulette bet?
It all depends on the player. Betting on simply red or black is a good way for absolute beginners to try the game. If you have some experience you might prefer betting on different combinations. Lots of people even like to bet on their “lucky” numbers. In mathematical terms however, no bet is technically better than the others.