Without that iconic black-and-red pocketed wheel, Roulette would be nothing. Whether you’re playing at your local brick-and-mortar location or grabbing a game of online Roulette in your downtime, the wheel remains the focal point of the game. Join us as we tell you a little bit more about the Roulette wheel, and dive into how exactly it works.
The workings of the wheel
The Roulette wheel is divided into three main sections. First, you’ll find the ball track on the outside of the wheel. To get the game started, the ball is thrown into this track and the wheel is then spun. As the ball gradually loses energy, it then moves into the base track — which is almost like a holding bay — before the ball finally enters the pockets.
The pockets are alternating black and white sections where the numbers are written – essentially what you’ve placed your bets on. Here, the ball will bounce around and play with your heartstrings, before eventually settling into a single pocket, and therefore revealing the winning number.
When the ball is making its way around the base track, you’ll notice that there are small divots of interference, often referred to as ‘pins’, ‘bumpers’, or ‘diamonds’. These are included in the wheel to ensure the randomness of the outcome, and make it even harder for players to predict where the ball will finally settle.
Europe vs USA
Whilst the craftsmanship will remain relatively the same wherever you play, there are two main types of the Roulette wheel that you may encounter: European and American.
The European Roulette wheel is the most popular option, used in the majority of places around the world. What’s more, it’s also considered to be the fairer version of the two wheels. This variation contains 37 numbered pockets, which alternate between red and black. You may also hear it being referred to as the ‘single zero’ wheel, as the pockets are filled with numbers one to 36, and a zero. The zero pockets will stand out from the rest as it’s usually green.
The layout of the numbers is seemingly random, and as alternated as possible. The pattern is usually as follows: 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25, 17, 34, 6, 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33, 1, 20, 14, 31, 9, 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26.
The American Roulette wheel is primarily found in casinos across the United States and Canada, although it’s also used in the Bahamas, Caribbean Islands, and some regions in Asia. This version of the wheel contains 38 numbered pockets, also alternating between red and black. What makes this wheel really stand out from its European counterpart is the inclusion of two green pockets: both the single and double zero, therefore earning it the nickname of ‘double-zero wheel’.
Again, the layout of these numbers is designed to appear random, and goes as follows: 0, 28, 9, 26, 30, 11, 7, 20, 32, 17, 5, 22, 34, 15, 3, 24, 36, 13, 1, 00, 27, 10, 25, 29, 12, 8, 19, 31, 18, 6, 21, 33, 16, 4, 23, 35, 14, 2.
When playing online, you will often have the choice of which wheel you’d prefer to play. Although, much like playing in-person, the European style is preferred amongst online casino players.