European roulette is not simply the tuxedo-wearing cousin of the American roulette. There are some major differences that divide the two versions of roulette. Since the 18th century, roulette has been a popular game surrounded by fun and mystery.
You may know that the famous French mathematician Blaise Pascal invented the wheel as perpetual motion device. The design of a well-crafted wooden wheel spinning on an axis is, in itself, mesmerizing. When the croupier spins the metal ball along the groove atop the wheel, all eyes fix on where it could stop.
The game was first created with only one zero and 36 numbers either black or red. As the game became a standard in the casinos, the house advantage was improved by adding a double zero (00). This version travelled around the world and is still the one used in America. However, the European eventually reclaimed their single zero model and the better odds as well.
In addition to the single zero on the wheel, there are a few rules that are played in various European casinos that add even more drama to roulette. "La Partage" is a rule that means the player loses half of the bet when the roulette ball lands on zero. This only affects outside bets and it cuts the house advantage in half to 1.35%.
Another rule to note in European roulette is the "En Prison" rule. If the ball lands on zero then your bet is placed in "prison" and you have the next spin to see if you can hit your number. If the next spin hits the number, your money is returned with no winnings. Again, this applies to outside bets and is only in casinos that specify.
European roulette offers some interesting advantages over the America counterpart. If only for the improved advantage over the house, the European version is a better bet.