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Examining the House Edge in Roulette

You may already know that the house edge in roulette is either 5.26% for the American roulette wheel or 2.7% for the European roulette wheel. Those numbers may sound high but have you ever compared them to a game like blackjack that has a house edge of less than 2%? You might be surprised to learn that roulette is not such a bad bet after all.

Let’s say you play roulette for an hour and then play blackjack for an hour. If you play roulette then you might have 60 spins per hour but if you are playing at a wheel with a lot of players you might only get 30 or 40 spins per hour. You are going to get a lot more hands of blackjack in that hour. In fact, the fewest amount of hands you would get is 60 while you might easily get up to 200 per hour. Let’s get specific with the difference. Let’s say you play $200 with just the European wheel which has a 2.7% house edge. You will lose just over $5 in that hour. If you play blackjack and get 100 hands in an hour you are going to lose the same $5 per hour. But what if you get in 200 hands? You are going to lose twice as much on average playing blackjack as you would lose playing roulette.

The house edge in blackjack is less than the house edge in roulette but for players who play any length of time they may be better off playing roulette because they will lose less money in the long run. And they may also have the chance to win a big payoff of 35-1, something that won’t happen in blackjack.

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