There’s more to consider when booking a trip across the pond than what clothes to pack. If you’re an avid gambler (and who isn’t), then you’re going to want to study up on the peculiarities and differences that separate European casinos from those in America. Now, we’re not suggesting that every game is different. Slot machines are universally simple to play, and keno is always keno. For fans of blackjack and roulette, though, there are some seemingly insignificant rule changes that can have a major impact on your results. Just like dialects of languages, differences were bound to come about from two separate casino locales. Most casino games originated in Europe, so it could be said that the rules on that side of the Atlantic are the originals. We’ll let you decide which you prefer. In any case, let’s take a closer look at the casino games that are played differently in Europe and America.


Perhaps the most noticeable difference between American and European casino games, roulette wheels offer much better odds in one place than the other. Originally, the game of roulette was played in Europe with both 0 and 00 spaces, much the way it is still played in America. Somewhere along the way, various brick and mortar casinos in Europe forcefully eliminated the dreaded 00 slot from the wheel, creating a veritable roulette paradise. While a single green slot may not seem like much, it provides a huge advantage to American casinos in the form of a larger house edge. Let’s consider the math. On an American roulette wheel, two out of 38 slots are green, meaning that any of the near 50/50 bets, such as red or black, have a house edge of roughly 5.26 percent. By eliminating the second green slot, the European version of roulette effectively decreases the house edge to just 2.70 percent.

Right about now, you’re probably wondering what the silver lining of the American roulette wheel is. Drumroll, please. There’s not one. The rules of European and American roulette are identical, meaning that the only thing differentiating the two games is a much higher house edge. While European roulette is a solid choice for gamblers looking to beat the odds and make a little cash, American roulette is known primarily as a game for fans or enthusiasts. There’s a reason that practically every casino outside of the U.S. leans on the European wheel. Players have no good reason to give up so much to the house with nothing in return.


If roulette is a rip off in America, then blackjack is a rip off in Europe. Once again, the difference in rules between the two locales seems miniscule, but it can have a huge impact on your success. Let’s start with American rules. After dealing the cards, the dealer immediately checks to see if he or she has blackjack before the players make their moves. In the European version of blackjack, sometimes referred to as Atlantic City blackjack, the dealer only reveals his or her hole card after the players have made their moves. In other words, European players are free to split their hands or double down based on their cards, while the dealer may be holding a blackjack the entire time. This uncertainty can greatly increase losses if played incorrectly, giving the house a greater advantage than you’ll find in Las Vegas.

Other differences between the two blackjack variants include the option to surrender. European blackjack doesn’t allow surrender, but American blackjack allows it at any moment during the hand. This strategic move can allow players to salvage half their bet when the round’s outcome looks bleak. Additionally, European blackjack restricts doubling down to hands with a combined total of nine, 10 or 11. On the other side of the pond, players can double down on any hand total.

With all this in mind, American blackjack is more player-friendly and flexible. By checking for a blackjack before the game progresses, the rules prevent players from raising the stakes when there’s no possibility of winning the round. The advantages aren’t quite as cut and dry as those in roulette, where the European rules are unarguably favorable for players, but players with an option should lean toward American blackjack tables whenever possible.

Now that you know the differences between casino games on different continents, you’re ready to pack your bags and head on vacation. If a visit to Sin City is in your future, we suggest bypassing those double zeroed roulette wheels and heading for the blackjack tables. Remember to brush up on your basic strategy before you go, and you’ll be in line for some of the best odds in the house. If you’re headed to a European destination, skip over the blackjack tables and head for the roulette wheel. Unlike blackjack, roulette doesn’t require any studying or preparation. Just choose one of the many near 50/50 bets spaced across the table and get ready to celebrate.

If you’re not quite ready to catch a flight just yet, why not put your skills to the test from the comforts of your own home at Silver Oak Casino. We’ve got an expansive gaming library featuring the most popular titles from around the world. Take your pick between American Roulette, European Roulette and French Roulette, which returns half of your outside bet when the ball lands on the single green slot, making it the most favorable of all roulette games. When it comes to blackjack, Silver Oak offers both the traditional American game and European blackjack. If you’re in the mood for something a little more nostalgic, pontoon is also on the menu.

Whatever game you decide to play, remember to have a great time and enjoy the ride. While all games feature a house edge that makes them statistically difficult to conquer, there’s no better way to celebrate overcoming the odds than with a tidy addition to your bankroll. Step inside Silver Oak Casino, and get ready to walk away a winner!


Simon is an overactive gambler and the Staff Writer here at Silver Oak. He loves casino bonuses, online slots, and using the em dash too often. Currently, he rests his typing hands in Vancouver, Canada.