The game of roulette is loved by all and sundry because it is one of the more boisterous games of all. The biggest and noisiest crowds in a casino are usually found around the roulette tables. And at the center of all the noise and fun is the roulette wheel. The rotation of the wheel makes some and breaks some. Hence, it is important to understand how it works.
The roulette wheel is a beautiful piece of precision mechanical engineering and each one is manufactured to the very highest standards to give a perfectly balanced wheel and smooth rotation. Roulette wheels are made from the highest quality mahogany woods.
The Sectors of a European wheel
There are essentially two types of roulette wheels that are used in casinos worldwide. There is the European roulette wheel where you have 37 slots. The numbers 1 to 36 occupy the first 36 slots and the extra slot is for the number 0. Then there is the American roulette wheel that has 38 slots. The one extra slot is for the number 00. This one slot actually makes a huge difference to the house edge that the game has. While the European roulette wheel has a house edge of 2.7% it shoots up to 5.26% in the American roulette wheel.
The single zero wheel was introduced by Francois and Louis Blanc in 1843. This introduction was done in Homburg, a German spa and casino town. This was done to ensure that they could compete with the casinos that offered the single and double zero wheels. It is when these two gentlemen moved to Monte Carlo that the single zero roulette wheel became absolutely popular. Monte Carlo soon became the playground of the rich and the famous.
The earliest American roulette wheels had one additional slot for the American Eagle. This symbol of American liberty brought the casino an extra edge. However, the eagle was dispensed with soon and the present day American roulette wheels came into existence. The wheels with the eagle are now scarcely available and are considered collectors’ items.
Today both the single and double zero roulette wheels are in existence. The former is used in Europe and elsewhere while the latter is used in the USA, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.