One of the first things you’ll notice when playing roulette is the roulette wheel. The wheel is a mechanical device shaped like a bowl and contains 37 or 38 segments called pockets. These pockets are colored, alternating between red and black. The zeros in the roulette wheel are colored green to avoid confusion.
The Roulette Wheel History
Many believe that the roulette wheel was invented by Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician and scientist in 17th century France. The first roulette wheel was originally set with two zeros but in 1842, two Frenchmen by the name of Francois and Louis Blanc introduced the single-zero roulette wheel. In America, especially during the California Gold Rush, the gamblers rejected the single-zero format and returned the roulette wheel to its original double-zero format. Since then, the double-zero became standardized in all American roulette wheels and the single-zero became a trademark of European roulette.
Types of Roulette Wheels
There are two types of roulette wheels that you can find used in casinos all over the world. The first and most common type is the European wheel. This wheel contains only one zero and 36 whole numbers. When you play with a European wheel, the house advantage is 2.7%. This means that for every $100 bet you make, the casino makes $2.70 in profit.
The other type of roulette wheel is the American version. It contains 38 numbers, including the 0, 00, and 1 through 36. When you play with an American wheel, the house advantage is 5.26% nearly twice that of European roulette. Therefore, whenever you place a bet of $100 in American roulette, the house makes a profit of $5.26.
The Roulette Wheel Layout
The first thing you notice about the roulette wheel layout is the alternating red/black colors. The numbers in the roulette wheel are arranged in such a way as to afford just the right amount of randomness to the game. So usually, the zeros are faced opposite each other against green pockets. The rest of the 36 numbers are divided into a set of 18 numbers which are then alternated along the spaces between the 0 and the 00. Two odd numbers alternate with two even numbers which are then separated by another number. The basic system followed in the roulette wheel layout is that the numbers are arranged in pairs.
When you sum up all the numbers in the roulette wheel, you come up with a total of 666. And when you add all the 18 odd numbers, you get 342.