American Roulette

Spinning the Thunderball on the Wheel of Chance

If you’ve picked up the James Bond references, you may be asking what the British super-spy has to do with American Roulette. Bond was no stranger to casinos and he always won. Movie fans will tell you the 00 is his license to kill. But for wheel players, the 00 is synonymous with one thing: American Roulette.

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Where to play the best American Roulette online

American Roulette is one of the top live dealer games played online across the globe. All the major online casinos in Canada offer American Roulette, both as an RNG version and as a live game.

The below operators offer a variety of both and they are a great place to start if you’re interested in playing the American version of Roulette.

american roulette canada casino guides rolletto roulette games
Rolletto Casino has one of the widest choices for Live American Roulette

Master the Rules & Odds of American Roulette

If you’re new to roulette or trying the American version for the first time, the rules, bets and odds are slightly different from the European and French Roulette Version.

So is the wheel. American Roulette is the only wheel with thirty-eight pockets rather than the standard thirty-seven. It includes a Double Zero (00). Does it make a difference? Yes, and more than one. 

American Roulette Online Canada Casino Guides
American Roulette Wheel features 38 pockets, unlike the French & European Roulette which feature 37 pockets

The Objective

In simple terms, players bet on a numbered pocket where a white ball circling the roulette wheel will land as the wheel slows to a stop. If the player guesses the correct pocket, they win.

American roulette is played with against the casino through RNG technology – and not with other players. 

Types of bets in American Roulette

For the uninitiated, a roulette wheel American Roulette is a complex piece of gaming equipment that has been designed to provide players with a wide choice of betting opportunities based on the many features of the wheel.

Worry not! We will dissect and simplify the working parts that form part of the betting landscape surrounding the American Roulette wheel. 

Generally speaking, there are three categories of bets to consider when playing American Roulette:

  1. Outside Bets – The outer section of the roulette American wheel. This area is preferred by beginners – primarily because the chances of winning are statistically higher.
  1. Inside Bets – Those numbers, pockets and sections of the wheel closest to the centre. Inside bets are usually preferred by experienced American Roulette players who understand that while the odds are less favourable, the payouts are higher.
  1. The Rest – variations and combinations of bets available that offer players a range of opportunities to win on a given spin.  

Outside bets for American Roulette

  • Low/High

On an American Roulette wheel numbered from one to thirty-six and containing two additional pockets for zero and double zero, a bet on any number between 1 and 18 (inclusive) is a Low bet. A number between 19 and 36 is a High bet. Both bets pay even money.

  • Red/Black (Colour bet)

Choosing Red or Black correctly will pay even money, irrespective of the number the ball lands on. Keep in mind that the two green pockets for zero and double zero reduce the odds on a Colour bet.

  • Odd/Even

Players can bet on an odd or even number between 1 and 36 (inclusive). This bet also pays out even money.

  • Dozen (Section bet)

The American Roulette wheel is divided into three sections. Each section contains twelve numbers; 1 to 12, 13 to 24, and 25 to 36. Players can bet on one of the three sections and should the ball land in the one chosen, the house will pay out 2:1 on that wager.  

  • Column bet

Similar to the three sections, three columns form part of the wheel design and each contains a group of twelve numbers. Unlike in the sections, the column groups of numbers are unsequenced. If players bet on a column containing the number pocket where the ball lands, this bet also pays out at 2:1.

Inside bets for American Roulette

  • Straight (Up) bet

Players bet on a single number on the wheel. If the ball lands on that number, the payout is 35:1.

  • Split

Players choose two numbers and split their bet across them by placing a chip on the line that divides them on the betting table. Therefore, the two numbers must be adjacent to each other. Players can expect a 17:1 payout.

  • Street (Row) bet

Players bet on a row of three numbers displayed on the betting table. By placing a chip at the edge of the row, players can win when the ball lands on any of those three numbers and expect a payout of 11:1.

  • Corner/Quad (Square) bet

Choosing the intersection where four numbers meet on the betting table to form a block (or cube), players can place a chip and spread the bet across the number group. The Corner is a four-number bet and pays out a handsome 8:1.

  • Five/Top Line (Basket) bet

In particular to American Roulette, this bet groups the zero, double zero, and the numbers 1, 2, and 3 found on the line above them. A wager spread across this group pays out 6:1 if the ball falls on any one of these numbers.

  • Six/Line (Double Street) bet

This wager spreads across a line of six numbers, or two adjacent lines each containing three numbers. A chip is placed at the end of the two rows or on the borderline separating them. Expect a payout of 5:1

Other types of bets for American Roulette

  • Snake bet

Named for the pattern a player’s chips form on the betting table, the Snake bet incorporates twelve numbers into the wager. While the ball landing on any one number will pay out 35:1, the necessary spread of bets across a dozen numbers effectively reduces the payout to 2:1.

  • Advanced/Exotics

Subject to the casino operators, and more typically found at online casinos offering American Roulette, players can choose from a menu of bets that may be available to provide added interest and variety to the game. Some betting choices, such as Call or Announced bets, are specific to European Roulette and are not used in the American version.  

American Roulette Canada Casino guide
American Roulette

RTP, Payouts and House Edge in American Roulette

When considering American Roulette, players can benefit from the information summarised in the table below. As can be seen, the house edge (with one exception) is uniform across the range of typical bets.

The payouts are based on the probability that varies between a low of less than three percent (a win less than three times in every one hundred spins of the wheel), and almost fifty percent – nearly the same odds as winning a coin toss

RTP in American Roulette

The Return To Player (RTP) percentage offered by American Roulette is 94.74%, the Five Line bet excepted. Expressed in dollars, this means that players can expect to lose $5.26 on every $100.00 wagered. Viewed from this perspective, it is easy for players to understand why the Five Line is the least popular bet in American Roulette.  

Payouts in American Roulette

Probably a key attraction for most players is that American Roulette offers a wide range of payouts. Conservative players can enjoy the game betting even money or even try 2:1 odds. Ambitious players looking at the long game can reap rewards as high as 35:1.  

House Edge in American Roulette

The house edge in American Roulette is generally 5.26%. In comparison with other Roulette games, the American version commands a higher house advantage than most. This is primarily because of the double zero pockets on the wheel, a unique feature that nearly doubles the house advantage when compared to French or European Roulette. 

American Roulette vs. other Roulette Variants

As mentioned, the main differences between American Roulette and other Roulette Variants, particularly French and European Roulette, can be found on the wheel (double zero pocket is uniquely American), which negatively impacts RTP and the betting menus.

The table below illustrates where American Roulette stacks up in comparison to the two other most popular variations.

American RouletteEuropean RouletteFrench Roulette
Layout38 pockets
(0-36 + 00)
37 pockets
(0-36)
37 pockets(0-36)
BetsInside, Outside, ExoticInside, Outside, Call, AnnounceInside, Outside, Call, Announce, En Prison, La Partage
RTP94.74%97.30%98.65%
House Edge5.26%2.70%1.35%

Difference between American and European Roulette

The biggest difference between American and European Roulette that is of interest to players is the House Edge.

European Roulette wheels feature thirty-seven pockets rather than the American version of thirty-eight that incorporates the double zero. This translates into a nearly 50% reduction in the House advantage faced by European Roulette players. 

Difference between American and French Roulette

Using the same wheel as the European version, French Roulette reduces the House odds still further with a wider betting menu and wagering rules that advantage the players.

As the game rules are nearly identical for all three versions, players who learn the basics of American Roulette soon gravitate to the European and French games and the better odds they offer.   

How to play American Roulette – Breakdown of a Round

Like most casino games, playing a round of Roulette begins with making a bet.

  1. Players place a chip on the betting table to indicate and confirm their wager. The betting table is a corresponding map of the roulette wheel that displays each number, colour and section.
  1. The Dealer (or Croupier) will usually announce when players can place their bets. This period may include after the roulette wheel has been spun.
  1. The Dealer will close off the betting at some point while the roulette wheel is still in motion. No more bets can be placed after that announcement.
  1. When the ball lands, the Dealer will use a puck or other marker to identify the number that has won. At this point, all losing bets will be cleared from the table. 
  1. The Dealer will pay out the winning bets.
  1. After the bets are paid out, the Dealer will remove the puck from the winning number. At this point, new bets can be placed on the next spin.  

Strategies for advanced players

American Roulette is first and foremost a game of chance. There is no possible way for a player to influence the outcome of a spin. That said, some players have adopted and practised betting strategies for roulette based on a number of different rationales including betting styles and chip placement.

The Martingale System

Used by Roulette and Blackjack players alike, the Martingale system is a popular and well-known betting strategy. Players double the bet value after every loss in order to win back their bankroll.

After a win, players revert to the initial betting amount and begin the process again. 

While popular, the Martingale system is not well-liked by experienced roulette players. Typically, when using the system, large bets earn small wins and the potential to rack up large losses quickly is its main weakness. 

Reverse Martingale Strategy

Also commonly known as the Paroli Strategy, the Reverse Martingale strategy recommends that players start a roulette game with a minimum wager and double their bets after every win. At the first loss, the player reverts to the minimum wager again and restarts the betting cycle.

The Reverse Martingale Strategy is designed to take advantage of winning streaks and unlike its namesake, tries to avert significant losses. Considered a more balanced approach to the mathematics of probability, its biggest advantage is in the fact that players don’t lose a large sum at once

Fibonacci Strategy

Named for a medieval Italian mathematical principle and adopted by gamblers down through the years, the Fibonacci Strategy relies on betting according to a sequence of numbers. Usually starting with the number one, players bet an amount that is the sum of the previous two numbers in the sequence; 0+1=1, 1+1=2, 2+1=3, 3+2=5, 5+3=8, 8+5=13, 13+8=21, etc.

Players move back two numbers in the sequence when a bet is won. 

Only to be used for outside bets where even money is at stake, the Fibonacci System is considered a strategy that takes advantage of winning streaks. Like all gambling strategies, it is not failsafe and in real terms, only gives players an organized method of wagering but no proven advantage

James Bond (007) Roulette Strategy

Most fans can attest that British secret service agent James Bond knows his way around a casino.

Typically a Baccarat fan, Bond was also famous for making a very specific bet on the roulette wheel. Known as a flat bet (the same amount used on each spin), it consists of placing the equivalent of $20, $200, or $2,000 across the betting table. The ratios are what is considered important: $14 on the high numbers (19-36), $5 on the six numbers of 13 through 18, and a dollar on zero for insurance. 

Whether players are shaken or stirred by this strategy remains to be seen. While one segment of the bet may win, the other two will lose. Having the luck (or designation) of a couple of zeros turning up at the table is a hefty part of the success – or failure – of this strategy.

Conclusion

American Roulette is definitely popular – all the top casinos as well as new casinos in Canada offer it as a crucial part of their live dealer game portfolio. While American Roulette is a great game enjoyed by players the world over, it is usually the version that introduces new players who then go on to play European or French Roulette. The Double 0 pocket is a license to kill the RTP, and players searching for a roulette game with better odds don’t have far to look. 

When filming From Russia with Love on location in Italy, actor Sean Connery visited a casino one evening, approached the roulette table and bet on the number 17. At odds of 36:1, he won the bet, repeated it twice and won twice more, then promptly left. It wasn’t the James Bond strategy, and we can safely bet it wasn’t an American Roulette wheel. How’s that for a Gold Finger?