Understanding the Roulette House Edge

Like any other successful business, casinos also require profits and house edge is one of the sources of their income.  House edge or house advantage can be defined as predetermined percentage of odds that every casino game provides in favor of the establishment providing such services.  In some games the house edge may be quite small while some are clearly loaded in the favor of casinos.  Even the games which have insignificant house edge have the ability to slowly consume money from their players.

Some games like craps on the other hand has a huge range of house edge ranging from measly one percent to more than fifteen percent.  Roulette meanwhile can be considered as one of the low house edge casino games.  Depending upon the type of roulette you are indulging in, house edge can vary there too!  There are many roulette systems which can be used to take advantage in the game, but in the end it is the casino which remains in the profit.

House Edge in French or European Roulette

If we compare the house edge between French or American roulette then it is certainly less in the former.  This can be attributed to the fact that the French roulette wheel comes with only one zero slot.  This means that there are 37 possible numbers on which a player can bet upon.   While betting on one of these numbers, a player has odds of 35 to 1.  Or in other words we can say that probability of winning by betting on a single number stands 1/37.  If a player wins the bet on one number than the casino pays him 35 units plus the betting amount he had placed.  The house edge in French roulette normally stands at 2.70 percent.

House Edge in American Roulette

For a beginner, American version of roulette can appear just like that of the French or European one.  It has the same name, same set of number and bet choices.  The only difference lies in the roulette wheel used in the American Roulette.  This wheel comes with 0 and 00 slots instead of single zero in European roulette.    This helps in creating a house edge of 5.26 percent in favour of the casino!  If you opt for a Sucker bet involving five numbers which are 00, 0, 1, 2 and 3 then the probability of hitting a win comes at 5/38.  The odds for the casinos now stand at 6/1 and odds against the player stand at 33/5. In simple words this means that house edge for casino in this bet stands at 7.89 percent.

House Edge in the Roulette Side Bets

The bets in the game of roulette can be divided in two main groups consisting of outside and inside bets.  The names of these bets are derived from the position of these bets on the roulette table.  In comparison, the outer bets have higher chances of getting a hit but the payout is small.  While the inside bets have less probability of getting hit but provide much bigger pay offs.  The odds and payouts of some of these bets in European and American Roulette provide the following percentage to the players.

  • Betting on any of the numbers has a payout of 35 to 1; odds of 2.70 percent in European and odds of 2.60 in American Roulette.
  • Betting on a two number combination has a payout of 17 to 1; odds of 5.40 percent in European and odds of 5.30 in American Roulette.
  • Betting on a three number combination has a payout of 11 to 1; odds of 8.10 percent in European and odds of 7.90 in American Roulette.
  • Betting on a four number combination has a payout of 8 to 1; odds of 10.8 percent in European and odds of 10.50 in American Roulette.
  • Betting on a column has a payout of 2 to 1; odds of 32.40 percent in European and odds of 31.60 in American Roulette.
  • Betting on dozen has a payout of 2 to 1; odds of 32.40 percent in European and odds of 31.60 in American Roulette.
  • Betting on Even/Odd has a payout of 1 to 1; odds of 48.60 percent in European and odds of 47.40 in American Roulette.
  • Betting on Red/Black has a payout of 1 to 1; odds of 48.60 percent in European and odds of 47.40 in American Roulette.
  • Betting on Low/High has a payout of 1 to 1; odds of 48.60 percent in European and odds of 47.40 in American Roulette.