Roulette House Edge Explained

Roulette House Edge

/ 7 min

While UK players gamble in roulette as a game of chance, the casino is practically guaranteed profits from the roulette house edge.

Let’s go over the basics of the games and explain how the roulette house advantage works!

House Advantage Roulette

House Advantage Roulette

Roulette is among the casino table games with the lowest casino advantage.

UK online casinos are transparent with this info and usually display it in the game’s description.

How does the house advantage work?

  • Casino games’ edges are expressed as a fraction of players’ losses over time.
  • Thus, the casino takes its share from all UK players’ bets, ensuring consistent profits.
  • Despite occasionally paying out significant wins, the balance sheet will always be positive..

The casino advantage for roulette is directly related to the green-pocketed number 0, in place to prevent gamblers from consistently winning even-money bets.

What if there was no zero?

  • UK players could bet on Red/Black and the other even-money bets at perfectly round 50% odds – it’s one of the reasons red and black roulette strategies work.
  • That, in turn, would allow guaranteed profits from the Martingale roulette strategy.
  • In order to profit, casinos add an element of disruption to even-money bets – the number zero.
  • With any added zero, as in double-zero or triple-zero, the casino edge increases.

How to Calculate the Roulette House Advantage

How to Calculate the Roulette House Advantage

See the example below if you want to learn how to calculate the roulette house advantage.

Let’s say you place a £1 bet on each number on the game wheel.

You will have placed £37 worth of bets: £18 on black spots, £18 on red spots, and £1 on green zero.

Because all of them are straight-up bets, the casino gives you 35/1 odds, meaning you stand to win £35 for each wager, plus get your £1 stake back.

Increase the number of hands you play, and the difference will get more prominent.

The basic formula to calculate the casino’s edge

  • You divide your initial bet of £1 by the number of spots.
  • You get something equivalent to 1/37, or 0.27.
  • Then you multiply the result by 100 and obtain a mean edge of 2.70%.

The Roulette House Edge Depending on Variations

There are multiple game variations, for which the edge differs. Let’s examine some of the more popular variations and see which promises UK players the best odds.

European Roulette House Edge

European Roulette House Edge

Many new UK players think they have a 50/50 chance to win, since you have equal numbers in Red/Black, High/Low, Even/Odd pairs.

That’s best achieved by the European variant.

The European roulette house advantage is the smallest compared to all the other variations, because it only features one green zero on the wheel.

Without the zero, you’d be facing odds of 18/36 for even-money bets. However, when the zero pocket is added, odds shift to 18/37.

UK players thus have 2.70% less chances of winning any even-money wager.

But the same goes for various other betting odds, especially straight-ups.

French Roulette Rules

French Roulette Rules

The French variant is pretty similar to its European counterpart in terms of house edge. Roulette, however, when played the French way, adds some unique rules which can cut the casino advantage in half.

One of them is the La Partage rule

The rule holds for even-money wagers and states that you may get half of your stake back if the ball lands on zero.

In this case, the house advantage drops from 2.70% to 1.35%, the lowest in the game.

The other one is En Prison

En Prison literally translates to ‘in prison’. Your even-money wager is metaphorically held hostage until the next spin should the ball land on zero.

La Partage and En Prison explained

  • Suppose you bet £100 on Red.
  • The spin’s result is zero.
  • The dealer then asks you if you want half of your stake back (La Partage).
  • Suppose you deny their proposition.
  • In that case, your £100 is marked as En Prison.
  • Land-based casinos and live casinos may differ in how they mark your bet.
  • However, should the result of the next spin be a Red number, you get all your stake back.

Points Scored

American Roulette House Edge

American Roulette House Edge

The American roulette house edge is higher than its European counterpart.

While most rules are the same, the number ordering is different.

Moreover, the extra double-zero pocket on the wheel raises the casino advantage for this variant to 5.26%.

Even-money bets odds

With two more numbers on the wheel, the odds for even-money bets shift.

In the European version, you stand a chance of 48.6% to win an even-money bet.

Comparatively, with American variants, your winning percentage falls to 47.4%.

Betting on dozens

The same slight difference can be observed when you bet on dozens.

This is one of the UK players’ favourites when betting on top roulette casinos, because choosing the right dozen of numbers returns a guaranteed 2/1 payout.

If you play European variations, your chances to hit the correct dozen are 32.43%.

In the American double-zero variation, your chances drop to 31.58%.

Zero House Edge Roulette

A zero-house advantage game is a pretty rare find.

In fact, it would simply be absurd for casinos to feature a no-zero-roulette, because the number zero (or double-zero in the American version) is where they get their profits from!

Triple Zero Roulette House Advantage

Triple Zero Roulette House Advantage

As explained before, more zero fields entail a greater casino advantage.

Consequently, the triple-zero-roulette house advantage is the highest among all variations.

Triple-zero-roulette odds

When placing even-money bets in this variation, your chances drop because there are more numbers overall on the wheel.

With this kind of wager, your winning numbers are always 18 out of 39. Thus, your chances also fall to 46.15%.

Choose another variant as your main game!

In triple-zero-roulette, the odds are stacked against you. It can go from bad to worse if you don’t understand the logic behind casino advantage and place multiple bets.

Even the American wheel would be a better option.

Find all the reasons you need to go for a single-zero variant from our European roulette guide.

Mini-Roulette House Advantage

Mini-roulette is the game’s miniature version.

Instead of 36 numbers plus the zero or double-zero, this wheel consists of 12 spots plus a green zero.

It’s not what it seems

  • Inexperienced UK players might believe that less numbers means better odds.
  • That’s not entirely true.
  • The mini-roulette house advantage is 3.85%, which is lower than the American variant.
  • But, again, if you want the best odds, you’re best served by the European wheel.

Roulette House Edge vs Other Games

Casino game type Casino advantage
European Roulette 2.70%
American Roulette 5.26%
Baccarat 1.06 – 1.24%
Blackjack ~0.50 – 2%
Sic-Bo 2.78%

As a general rule of thumb, with each new bet you place, you get closer to the average casino edge.

The random distribution of results makes it essential to cash out when you’re ahead!

House Advantages Visualised

House Advantages Visualised

To make things even simpler, check out the graph below for a visual representation of the most widely-played casino game types and their associated casino edge.

How to Find the Best House Edge Roulette

  • Avoid roulettes with double-zero and triple-zero spots.
  • If you are a new player, start with a European wheel to get the hang of the game.
  • Play on a top European roulette casino site for verified casino authenticity and fair odds.
  • Look for French variants or other games allowing French call bets.
  • Applying all these steps will reduce the edge to approximately 1.5-2.7%.
  • Don’t forget to apply consistent bankroll management.
  • Place small bets, and never go all-in. Beginners should review our betting strategies.
  • Remember that you’re better off placing even-money bets rather than straight-ups.

F.A.Q

Why does roulette favour the house?

In all cases, the casino gives out a 35:1 payout; however, with the addition of one, two, or three zero spots, those odds shift towards the casino. The chances of losing your bet are raised since there are 37 or 38 spots on the wheel, from which only one will bring you a win.

How does the house always win in roulette?

They have a statistical advantage over you due to the number 0. Suppose you place a chip on a specific colour, red or black. The house wins your stake when the ball lands on a different colour. However, the house also wins due to that 2.7% edge that they take from any bet. 

What is the roulette house edge?

Depending on the version you play, the edge changes.  For European roulettes, the edge is 2.70%, while American versions imply a 5.26% casino advantage. Other game versions include mini-roulette, with a built-in 3.85% edge.

How do you calculate house edge in roulette?

To calculate the edge, you must divide the single bet by the number of spots on the wheel and then multiply that number by 100.

As a player, is it possible to get an edge in roulette?

There are various ways to get an edge, but none of them work in the long run. Your best bet is to play it for fun and stop thinking about beating the game.

What game has the lowest casino advantage?

Blackjack is known for its 0.5% casino edge when played with a perfectly sound strategy, and 1.5% in the rest. The European roulette wheel is not so far, clocking at 2.7%.
Francisc Csiki
Author Francisc Csiki Author & Editor at CasinoAlpha
Adina Minculescu
Author Adina Minculescu Senior Author & Editor at CasinoAlpha

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