Roulette House Egde Explained

We’ve all heard it – that the house always wins. To the novice, it sounds like however experienced you are, however much strategy you bring to the game, the house has the higher odds. This isn’t entirely true. Players win big all the time. This is partly because they understand the house edge. But what is the house edge, and why is it so important? How is it calculated and how does it affect the odds of winning in roulette? What are the different types of roulette and what are their house edges? What are the various bets you can place and how does the house edge affect their odds and payout? Keep reading to find out.

What is house edge and why is it important?

To understand the house edge, you need to understand one basic rule about the casino business – it has to make money. At the same time, it has to keep gamers playing, so they have to win. Mathematical experts work out the odds so that the casino retains a percentage of all bets You may want to read our article on Understanding house edge.

The roulette edge, for example, is about 5%. That means that for every dollar you bet, you get to keep about 95 cents of the winnings. This doesn’t mean that if you bet a dollar you get back 95 cents. Rather, it is an average number. You will either lose the whole dollar or get back more money for your dollar. The 5% applies to the average of all the roulette bets that are placed.

Understanding the house edge in roulette is important for two reasons. The first is that it helps you calculate your bankroll. You have to decide how much you want to bet upfront, and take into account how much of that you could lose.

The other reason you should understand the house edge is that it helps you decide how long you’ll keep betting. The more bets you place, the likelier you are to come out on the losing end. 

How house edge is calculated in roulette ?

Roulette odds are an average. They take into account all the bets placed within a certain period. Say a casino receives roulette bets worth a million dollars on a Friday night. The edge is calculated so that the house gets to keep $50,000 and the players walk away with a roulette payout of $950,000. 

In big casinos, players can place up to 100 bets and may generate a profit. If you go up to 1,000 bets for example, there is a very good chance that you will incur losses, and they will continue as long as you keep placing bets. 

It is important to note that the edge is a calculation of the loss against the total wager. It is the average loss against all bets placed. So if, for example, you started with a roulette bet of $5,000, and by the end of the night you’ve bet $20,000, the average loss will be calculated against the total amount of bets that you placed.

How does the house edge affect your odds of coming out on top? Simply put, the higher the house edge, the more you lose. American roulette has an edge of about 5%, while the European version is 2.7%, blackjack has an edge of about 2%, baccarat has a house edge of about 1% and craps has an edge of 14%. 

Understanding the roulette odds helps you choose a game depending on how much you’re prepared to lose. The rule of thumb is, the lower the house edge, the higher the return to player (RTP). 

how it affects the odds of winning

Without making it too technical, house edge roulette is calculated based on the law of large numbers. If you place one roulette bet, you may win or you may lose. If you place one hundred bets, you win some and lose some. The more bets you place, the closer you get to the house edge. 

Does it make sense to place more or fewer bets? It depends on what’s happening. If you win big the first time you place a bet, there is a good chance that is your high point, and from there your bank roll will gradually decline. If you lose in the initial rounds, there is a good chance that if you place more bets you could win. 

Remember, the house edge isn’t made for any one player. It takes into account all the bets placed in the casino during that period.

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Different types of roulette and their house edge

A basic roulette table has 36 squares as well as one or two zero squares. You can bet on any of these or you can choose a combination. 18 of the squares are colored red and 18 are black. 

You can bet on the winning spin being red, black, odd or even. You can also place a bet on the winning spin falling between 1 to 18 or 19 to 36 or falling within a certain section of the table. 

To determine the winning number, a white ball is spun within the wheel. You win if it lands on what you bet on. That is easy enough to understand, but it gets a little more complicated when you get into the different layouts of the game. 

There are six types of roulette that you can play, and the difference between them is the layout of the table. To increase your chances of coming out ahead, a good understanding of roulette betting strategy is necessary.

European roulette

This is the most common type of roulette both online and in brick-and-mortar casinos. It has 36 squares and one zero square, making a total of 37. At a glance, the player has odds of 35/1, but in reality, the odds are 36/1 when you factor in the zero slot. 

A player can place their bet on the zero square, but if the white ball lands on it every other number is a loss. 

The house edge in European roulette is 2.7%.

American roulette

Like most things American, the layout for this type of roulette is bigger than the European version. 

It has an additional zero slot called a double-zero. However, while the layout may be bigger, it isn’t necessarily better for the player. 

The odds are no longer 36/1. They are 37/1, which may seem to be a small difference but it is a significant drawback, especially for those who want to bet big. 

The house edge for this type of roulette is 5.26%. 

French roulette

This version has only one zero slot, but it has an advantage because if the white ball lands on the zero, the player does not necessarily lose. 

The rules may change depending on where you play. In some places, for example, if the ball lands on zero the player only loses half of their bet. This is called the La Partage rule. 

In some cases, the En Prison rule is applied, which means that if a player loses when placing a 2/1 bet, their bet carries forward to the next spin. If they win this additional round they win the bet, but if they lose then their original bet is lost. 

Triple zero roulette

The name speaks for itself – the table has three zero slots. This makes it harder to win than American roulette. This version of the game was created to assist charities but it has become popular over the years. 

The edge for this type of roulette is 7.69%.

Double ball roulette

This is based on the European version. It involves the use of a second ball and it has the same edge. 

Multi-wheel roulette

This version is quite popular in online casinos. Rather than one ball and one wheel, it can have up to 8 wheels. A player can activate the number of wheels they want. 

You can play on every wheel, but you have to multiply your bet by the number of wheels you choose. Say you choose to play on four wheels and you want to place a bet of $50, your total bet amount is $200. 

The game has a house edge of 2.7%.

Various bets and how it affects their odds and payouts

There are two types of bets that you can place for this casino game. Outside bets have a better chance of winning because these bets cover larger sections of the table, such as all red squares. To balance this out, the payouts are a little less generous. 

The opposite applies to inside bets. Inside bets include single number bets, as well as corner, line, five, street and split bets. As they have lower odds, the payouts are better. 

New players often ask if there is any way they can improve their odds in a game of roulette. Contrary to what you may read on some blogs, there is no way to improve your chances of winning. It is all a game of chance. What you need to decide is how big a chance you are willing to take. 

If you are keen on winning even small amounts, stick to placing outside bets. 


Understanding the house edge in roulette is important because it helps you choose what type of roulette you want to play, how much to spend and how long to keep playing. For online players, it is important to choose a reliable, trustworthy website that has a solid reputation. 

Resorts Casino comes highly recommended. Apart from roulette, you can also play baccarat, poker, blackjack and a variety of other games. New players get a bonus of up to $1,000, customer support and access to exclusive titles. The website has several withdrawal options and players can download an iOS or Android app for easy gaming on their mobile device.

Author: Lauren