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Single zero roulette is another name for European style roulette. A single zero roulette game uses a roulette wheel with just one “0” space, instead of the “0” and “00” spots on American style roulette wheels. The difference in house edge between a single zero roulette wheel and a double zero roulette wheel is considerable. The addition of a single space on the wheel has a significant impact on the casinos’ edge.
In Europe, where roulette originated, the game’s wheel has a green space labeled “0.” When American roulette wheels were redesigned to add another green slot, the “00” slot, the house edge increased from 2.7% to 5.26%. European or single zero roulette wheels have just 37 numbers that could turn out winners, the numbers 0-36. American roulette, also known as double zero roulette, has the numbers 0-36 just like the European wheel, but includes a “00” space that increases the number of potential roulette outcomes from 37 to 38.
Because single zero roulette games are called European roulette, you may assume that all roulette games in Europe have one zero space and all games in America have two. Though these types of wheels are the standard in those areas, there’s no law saying you can’t play single zero roulette in America or double zero roulette in Europe. If you want to know whether or not you’re playing a single zero or double zero game, just take a look at the roulette wheel.
Since single zero roulette is more advantageous to the play, American roulette players are on the lookout for tables in America without that extra “00” space. The best place to find European style roulette in America is a high traffic casino gambling jurisdiction. Single zero roulette games exist in places like Las Vegas, riverboat gambling halls in Louisiana, and in casinos in Atlantic City.
Single Zero Roulette Odds
Single zero roulette odds are pretty straightforward. There are 37 different possible winning numbers on a single zero wheel. That means the odds of any number winning on a single zero roulette wheel are 36 to 1. Remember that double zero roulette adds an extra space, increasing the odds to 37 to 1. Because single-number bets in roulette always pay out at 35 to 1 for any single number win, there’s no incentive to play the double zero roulette wheel that gives a bigger edge to the house.
Casinos make a profit on roulette the same way they make a profit on any casino game. All casino games have an implied house edge, a built in advantage that ensures they turn a profit. The house edge in double zero roulette is 5.26%, which means that theoretically for each $1 you bet on a double zero wheel, you will lose an average of 5.26 cents. That’s a mathematical average, so sometimes you’ll win and sometimes you’ll lose. But the built-in edge means that ultimately the casino always wins.
Roulette House Edge & Profits
Roulette, in either a double zero or single zero version, is a negative expectation game, meaning that the rules are designed in such a way that the casino will always turn a profit. Not every casino game is a negative expectation game. For example, blackjack (with the right rules and played with perfect strategy), offers a house edge of just 0.5%, and that can be easily overcome by card counting tactics, making blackjack a positive expectation game.
Casino gamblers in the know, looking for games that offer them the best chances of beating the house, tend toward games like video poker, craps, and blackjack. The truth is that both craps and blackjack may offer a small house edge but both games have betting options that hand the casino an even bigger advantage. There are usually fewer decisions in roulette, fewer spins of the wheel, in an hour than there are outcomes in either craps or blackjack. Fewer decisions means fewer chances to lose money. Single zero roulette wheels give the house a 2.6% edge, only slightly higher than the best craps bets.
These averages are informed guesses, but 80 bets per hour in blackjack is not unheard of, and there can be even more at short-handed tables. Craps tables see about 100 outcomes per hour, depending again on the number of bettors. Roulette wheels are a lot slower paced, with about 60 to 70 decisions per hour at a maximum. A roulette wheel being played by a full table returns one decision about every other minute, so you’re getting only about 30 spins per hour.
If you’re playing blackjack at $5 per hand and you’re seeing 50 hands an hour, you will have spent $250 in your first hour of play. Don’t play with perfect strategy, and you can expect 2% losses. That means it costs our blackjack player about $5 an hour to play. If that same player bets the same amount on single zero roulette, he’ll only see about 30 roulette decisions per hour. That’s $150 in wagers on roulette with a 2.7% edge to the house. That makes his hour of roulette play cost about $4.05 an hour. Single zero roulette may not offer an edge quite as low as blackjack or craps, but it is close enough that a few free beers along the way make the games about even in terms of wagers.
Single Zero Roulette Betting
Roulette games in Europe have a few rules not normally seen in America, besides the single zero wheel. A common rule is called ‘en prison,’ which lets you leave losing even money bets on the betting surface instead of losing it right away. If the next spin causes that bet to win, you win your wager back. Lose on the second spin and your original wager is lost. The ‘en prison’ rule lowers the casino’s edge even more, so that single zero roulette with ‘en prison’ rules intact give the house an advantage of just 1.35%, even better than blackjack played without perfect strategy.
Even though all forms of roulette are negative expectation games, there are ways to make your roulette gaming likely more profitable. When you can, play single zero roulette games with ‘en prison’ rules. Enjoy free drinks and other comps from the casino. And watch your bankroll to make sure you’re not losing more than you can afford.