American roulette can be called the younger sister of French roulette. It is mainly played in the United States, and its roots can be traced back to the classic game of roulette, with a few variations along the way to its present form. This original type of roulette is widely believed to have been invented by Blaise Pascal, the renowned scientist and mathematician.
Interesting Things About American Roulette
The home of the first roulette wheel is believed to have stemmed from 17th century France, when brothers Louis and Francois Blanc invented the original single-zero wheel. The wheel found its way into the United States late in the 19th century, where it underwent a few changes, foremost of which was the addition of a double zero. In the earliest versions of the American roulette wheel, the double zero took the form of an American eagle. This was how American roulette was born. It became very popular with Western gamblers, especially during the heydays of the California Gold Rush.
The game of roulette became so popular, in fact, that casino owners decided to add a zero to the wheel sections. The additional zero raised the odds of hitting the player’s number from 1 out of 36 to 1 out of 37, therefore improving the odds in favor of the house. Later on, American casino owners included another section to their version of the roulette wheel, this time with a double zero. The combination of the zero and double zero on the same roulette wheel further increased the odds in favor of the house.
What makes roulette so popular? There are several reasons, but some aficionados say that the beauty of roulette lies in its simplicity and the myriad of betting choices it offers the players. But that is not to say that betting is standardized on all roulette tables. Every table in every casino has its own limit on the smallest and largest bets that a player can place. In between these limits, players can bet any amount they wish.
In American roulette, the table layout is divided into sections composed of individual number bets and group bets. Inside bets are those bets made on individual numbers, adjacent numbers, or even small groups of numbers. Betting on groups of 12 or more numbers – like dozens, red, odd numbers, etc. – are referred to as outside bets.
At present, the American roulette wheel is composed of 38 sections. The sections are numbered from 1 to 36, with two more sections of “0” and “00”. As explained earlier, the two zero sections give the house a 5.26% advantage, compared to the European roulette wheel which only has a 2.70% advantage, having only one zero section. This is probably the foremost difference between the American and European roulette versions, although there are a few more.
The color of the chips is another factor that sets apart American and European roulette. European roulette players have to use chips that are of the same color, which can make for some confusing games, especially for beginners. In American roulette, the players get to use differently colored chips, allowing them to distinguish their own chips from that of other players’. One more difference between American and European roulette is that the European croupier uses a “rake” for gathering all the chips, while the American roulette dealer simply sweeps in the chips with his hands.