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How to play American roulette?

2023 Apr 27 5 min read
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American roulette is one of those casino games that has a lot of sway in certain parts of the world. But what are the rules of American roulette? How do you win? And what does the roulette table look like? All this and more will be explained.

What is American roulette?

American roulette comes with a variety of bet types, including inside bets, but it is one of those roulette games at a casino that has a few subtleties compared to its European counterparts.

However, the main difference is that there is a zero and a double zero pocket, meaning there are 38 slots in total where the ball can fall into on the roulette wheel. Numbers on the table at the casino will be marked red and black from 1 to 36, so the ball that lands in the slots could be high or low and red/black.

In the next section, we will dig a little deeper and explore the basic American roulette objectives and rulings.

American roulette rules

As far as basic rules are concerned anyway, there are 38 pockets, and this includes a zero and a double zero pocket. The pockets will contain odd numbers as well as even numbers, and some groups of numbers will be more profitable and help you win more money.

In terms of bets, they come in all shapes and sizes. With a street bet, for example, a player will be wagering at the roulette table that the ball will land in a particular row on the next spin. If that number wins, the odds pays out at 35/1, so it can be lucrative if you opt to place a street bet.

Whereas, split bets at a casino are also quite interesting. In split bets, you are hoping that the balls land next to each other on the table. A straight bet is perhaps the simplest. With a straight bet, you are just betting on a particular number to crop up in a round.

Once you have placed your bet, the croupier at the casino spins the wheel. It is a case of being patient and seeing where the ball lands. How much you win will be determined by whether you have wagered an odd or even number. If you backed an odd number, and the ball lands on an odd number, then you could be in line for a big payout.

Later on, we will look in more detail at the odds and what number pays what on the roulette table. We will also divulge some American roulette strategy tips.

How to play American roulette step by step

It’s time to now run through how bets work. You can of course place a low bet at a casino, but our simple step by step guide should prove to be useful.

Make your way to the roulette wheel

Firstly, if you are playing at a casino, you will need to seek out the American roulette table and establish if there are any betting limits for say six numbers.

Line up your bets

You will need to line up your bets and decide what number or numbers you wish to stake on. Once you have spoken to the croupier or the dealer, then the croupier will spin the American roulette wheel and the bets can’t be changed at this point, so if you want to make a low bet then check you have done this.

Watch the wheel spin and collect your winnings

Now, it will be a game of patience as the wheel spins. In roulette, you will be hoping that the ball will land on the odd or even number or even group of numbers you have bet on.

Your fate will be in the hand of the gods after you have made your bets. Nevertheless, if you have been successful with your spin, then you will be able to collect any winnings made from your stake. If not, you may decide to take a rest and try out another game. Having a rest will give you a chance to reset if you have had bad fortune on the roulette tables, otherwise the following bets could see you head in one direction on your next spin, and that is a downward spiral.

American roulette odds and payouts

As explained, American roulette has several subtleties compared to European roulette, and as mentioned there are a handful of outside bets or even a column bet.

We have presented a table below which illustrates the odds of all types of bets, including a three number bet, four number bet, and dozen bet. As the table shows a column bet provides a 31.6% chance of winning that wager, while with a dozen bet, there is also a 31.6% chance that you win. Some bets at roulette tables will pay out at even money.

Bet typePlayer oddsPayout
Straight (single number)2.6%35/1
Split (two numbers)5.3%17/1
Street (three numbers)7.9%11/1
Corner (four numbers)10.5%8/1

Compared to other versions of roulette, the odds are slightly less favourable in American roulette. That said, when playing for real money, you could be leaving the casino with twice as much in your pocket as those playing another version of roulette.

American roulette bets

While we only touched upon this in a previous section, American roulette has a variety of betting types. We have discussed them in a bit more detail below.

Inside Bets

These are generally considered in games to be riskier bets in contrast to outside bets. While outside bets offer smaller payouts, with inside bets, you are betting on single numbers or a smaller group of numbers, so this is something you have to be aware of when the ball lands.

As such, inside bets will have better payout rates, but the chances of winning are significantly smaller. A good grip of the rules of roulette in general will stand you in good stead here when you play games.

Line bet

A line bet covers two vertical rows of numbers for a total of six numbers. For example, this could include 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20, and this will be placed at the bottom of the two rows for which you wish to place a bet. We have included some other bet types below.

Corner bet

The corner bet covers four numbers that share the same corner on the American roulette betting board. When you place this number bet in a column in roulette games, all four numbers will touch.


With an even/odd bet, this allows bettors to wager on odd numbers as well as even numbers. The even numbers bet box can be found when playing online or at a casino on the left side of the red betting option on the board.


Similar to a column bet, the dozens bet separates the betting numbers in a column into three groups that you can bet on. The difference is that the pockets numbered will be based on their numerical value whether they are high or low. Numbers from 1 to 12 will fall into the first dozen group, 13 to 24 in the second group, and 25 to 36 in the third dozen. The same rule applies to playing at a casino or online.

Outside bets

Outside bets offer smaller payouts but they are generally less risky compared to say an inside bet as you are protecting yourself by covering yourself with more numbers. These kinds of bets will be better suited to those who are novices.

American roulette strategy and tips

While wagering on American roulette can be fun at a casino, here are a few betting tips that we think you should bear in mind before competing for real money and even before your next spin:

  1. Keep an eye on the house edge – Each game will have a house edge and they will be woven into roulette psyche. There is no getting around the fact that betting on American roulette has a high house edge. Therefore, when placing your wagers, consider making wagers for an outside bet as they are less risky.
  2. Experiment with different strategies – If you want to manage your bankroll properly when playing for real money, then try out different strategies. There aren’t any hard and fast suggestions, but your payout may be greater, and you may win more from the dealer if you deviate when it comes to imposing strict betting limits.
  3. Don’t bet more than you can afford – Don’t chase any losses. If you make even money after the next round, then you should walk away from the table. The more bets you place in the hope the ball will land and provide a huge win, the chances are that you will be disappointed. Always gamble responsibly when you play, otherwise, you will only head in one direction at the table.
  4. Play for free first – Most casinos will allow you to go into a demo mode and try it out first before gambling and playing for real. By trying them for free first, you can get a feel for how it works before raising the stakes and wagering big amounts on red or black.

French roulette vs American roulette

While most forms are largely the same, there is a distinct difference between French and American roulette.

Firstly, there are more pockets numbered when wagering on American roulette (38), whereas the French version has 37. Also, more pertinently, the betting types available are different. As opposed to a three number bet or a four number bet, French roulette has a system for red black. So, when playing, you might notice La Partage, which is only in play for even money bets, and the house edge is brought down.

There is En Prison, which is a variation of La Partage, and that means your bet is kept in place for the next round or the next spin.

What is the difference between American and European roulette?

The fundamental difference between gambling on American roulette and European roulette, is that European roulette has fewer numbered pockets. While you will see fewer slots, you will still encounter the same red black balls. You can call red or black for either roulette game, and its just the visual aspect of the European version that is different if you have played it before. The pay amounts also vary between the two.

American roulette RTP

As we have seen, American roulette consists of more bets, but gambling on it can be profitable if you bet wisely.

On the RTP (Return to Player) front, whoever spins the wheel in the French version of the game will have more joy when gambling, as the RTP sits at 98.65%, which means you can expect small but regular wins if you place a bet on the correct groups of numbers.

Whereas at the wheel for the American version, the RTP drops to around 93%. So, in many respects, it is quite volatile while gambling, and as such you may get the odd win, but it pays out very well when gambling on it.

American Roulette casino games in EC

While slots take pride and place at EnergyCasino, the site is also brimming with plenty of other table classics if you wish to deviate away from slots. Here are some of our favourites:

Auto roulette

Aimed at the VIPs or high rollers, auto roulette is an immersive version of the popular game, and the ball comes to life on the table. There will be a real life dealer who will guide you through the game, and the minimum deposit per game is quite small. EnergyCasino has worked with the leading developers to stream this game, so you can line things up and there is a demo mode before you swing by the table.

Gold bar

Worth its weight in gold (excuse the pun!) is Gold bar. This is one of the more fancy betting titles on the roster. However, when you place a bet, it is all rather seamless while playing and you can recreate the fast and furious action that would take place at a casino table. It is one of our recommended titles.