November 11, 2022
Understanding the House Edge in Roulette
Roulette is a simple game. You predict where the ball is going to stop on a spinning wheel. However, once you get into specifics, you’ll see that there are strategic decisions you need to make before the wheel spins. One of the most important concepts you need to grasp is the roulette house edge. All…
Roulette is a simple game. You predict where the ball is going to stop on a spinning wheel. However, once you get into specifics, you’ll see that there are strategic decisions you need to make before the wheel spins.
One of the most important concepts you need to grasp is the roulette house edge. All casino games have an edge. However, understanding the house edge in roulette can give you a better theoretical chance of winning, so read on if you want to up your game.
What is House Edge in Roulette?
The roulette house edge is the advantage a casino has on any given spin. Specifically, it’s the odds you’re battling against when you play. We can use the example of flipping a coin as a contrast to the house edge in roulette.
Flipping a coin is a 50/50 proposition. The result will either be heads or tails. If you’re betting against a friend and you put in the same amount of money, it’s a bet with no edge. In other words, neither of you has a statistical advantage and the payouts are even.
If, however, you bet on coinflip and heads pay 1:1, but tails pay 0.8:1, there’s a discrepancy here. Even though the odds are 50/50, the payouts don’t reflect that fact. In this situation, you’d say that the person in control of the game has an edge.
It’s the same in roulette. Even though you have a fair shot at winning, the payouts and odds don’t match. They’re close, but there is a slight discrepancy which means the house (i.e. the casino) has an advantage. This advantage is small, but it’s one you can’t ignore.
Understanding the Roulette Edge
The house edge on roulette tables will differ depending on the variant you’re playing. We now know that house edge refers to the advantage a casino has. We also know it’s created by a discrepancy between the odds of something happening and the payout.
When it comes to the roulette house edge, the discrepancy occurs when you look at how many numbers there are in play vs their payouts. The best way to explain this is by looking at the payouts for a single number. Doing this not only answers the question of what the house edge is in roulette but shows the differences between the main variants.
How to Calculate the House Edge in Roulette
There are 37 numbers on a European Roulette board ranging from 0 to 36. The payout for a single number is 35:1. Thus, you can see there’s a slight discrepancy between the true odds and the payout. This creates a small edge for the casino.
Play American Roulette and the addition of a double zero (00) means there are 38 numbers in play. However, the payout for a single number is still 35:1.
So, from this, you can see that the discrepancy is slightly larger which, in turn, means the house edge in American Roulette is greater.
How Does the House Edge Differ in Different Roulette Variations?
The previous section shows you a simple way of calculating the roulette house edge. You can do this for every possible outcome and use the numbers to get an overall score. What you’ll find is the fundamental point we’ve made remains the same: the European roulette house edge is less than the American Roulette house edge.
Specifically, the house edge on roulette tables with different layouts are:
- European Roulette house edge = 2.7%
- American Roulette house edge = 5.26%
- French Roulette house edge = 2.7
How to Win the House Edge in Roulette?
You can’t change the roulette house edge. However, understanding that the addition of just one extra number doubles the casino’s advantage can help you make better decisions. Specifically, you theoretically have a better chance of winning in the long run if you play European or French Roulette compared to American Roulette.
This doesn’t mean you can’t play American Roulette and win more in a single session or even a handful of sessions. However, if you played both games for eternity, the house edge dictates that you’ll have better overall results on tables with fewer numbers. So, if you want to use the roulette house edge to your advantage, play European and French games here at Clubhouse Casino.