The classic roulette game was invented roughly 300 years ago and today, players can enjoy dozens of games inspired by it. Software developers powering online casinos have created new types of roulette, with the rules slightly tweaked to provide players with the much-needed variety. Many things have changed, but the iconic roulette wheel is the same and remains at the cornerstone of any roulette game.
Its sheer simplicity and beauty catch the eye and even players who prefer other types of gambling occasionally give it a spin. There are a few questions that players frequently ask about the roulette wheel and all of them are answered here. As soon as players understand the way numbers are distributed across the reels, the core game mechanics and the odds of winning, they can start having fun with roulette.
When was the Roulette Wheel Invented?
We know that the first games of roulette were played in the early 18th century in France. Interesting enough, the roulette wheel was invented before the game itself and its history continues to be shrouded in mystery. There are several concurrent theories, including a popular one stating that it was created by a French mathematician. In his attempt to craft a perpetual motion machine, he came up with this roulette wheel that ended up powering the most popular casino game of all times.
While its origins might be uncertain, once the roulette wheel found its way to the gambling houses in Paris, the success of the game was guaranteed. In the 1700s, people were fascinated by this new and original creation and swarmed the roulette wheel in every establishment where it was featured. From this point onward, it was only a matter of time until it became a phenomenon around Europe and the most popular casino game of those days.
Today players get to choose between American, European and French roulette and the latter carries the lowest house edge. In fact, the original roulette wheel created in France looked more like the American roulette of today, with two 0 slots. Apparently, those who designed the early wheels didn’t find it worthwhile to paint the 0 pocket differently. This led to confusion and frustration, so the new design would feature a roulette wheel with green and blue house pockets.
The New Roulette Wheels of the 19th Century
For nearly two centuries, the roulette wheel didn’t change much and the game lost much of its popularity in Europe. It was banned in several countries including Germany but remained a popular attraction in Monte Carlo where a new casino opened. On the other side of the Atlantic, roulette remained just as popular and the number of local players grew steadily.
An important moment for the roulette wheel and the game itself came when the Blanc brothers decided to remove the 00 pocket. The reason for doing this was to breathe fresh life into a game that was losing its shine, by reducing the house edge. Since the game was played mostly in Monte Carlo, it earned the name of French roulette. Meanwhile, in the United States, the roulette wheel remained the same and today when we refer to the American roulette wheel, we think about the one featuring two 0 slots.
Once again, the game entered a long period during which no changes were made to the roulette wheel. Eventually, in many casinos across Europe, the operators decided to remove the two original French bets. The resulting games are now commonly referred to as European roulette and are the most popular in both land-based and online casinos. Players choose them for the sake of better odds and simplicity, although the special French rules actually benefit players.
How Does the Roulette Wheel Work?
Depending on where people choose to play roulette, they can interact with real dealers or compete against the random number generator. The rules of the game stay the same and the odds don’t change either, at least at respectable casinos that are certified fair. RNG roulette, like any other game of chance available at online casinos, has the outcome determined exclusively by algorithms. These are impossible to predict, so the casino can’t affect the house edge and get an unfair advantage over players.
The goal is still to predict the final resting position of the ball and players choose between numbers, clusters, colors, odds and even and other types of bets. Once they press the “spin” button, the algorithms take over and the roulette wheel is set in motion. This is done purely for cosmetic reasons and to create the impression that players are actually waiting for the ball to land in a pocket. What actually happens is that the RNG determines the outcome and uses the visual interface to convey the message.
The actual roulette wheel in brick-and-mortar casinos is kept it a state of perpetual motion. This is a bit ironic, given the fact that the mathematician who invented the roulette wheel by chance was actually trying to create a perpetual motion machine. The reason for why land-based casinos do this is to keep the game as fair and transparent as possible. As long as the wheel is always in motion, the dealer and other casino personnel can’t interfere with the outcome.
Online Live Dealer Roulette
One variety of game worth considering is online live dealer roulette, currently available at the best casino sites and apps. Players who choose this type of entertainment enjoy the best of both worlds, by playing their favorite game with real croupiers from the comfort of their home. The addition of live dealer roulette represented an important milestone for online casinos who were able to provide players with the thrills of a social game. It also helped them address those concerns regarding the fairness of the RNG.
When playing European, American or any other type of roulette online, the game is conducted by real croupiers. The action is broadcasted in real-time from luxurious studios, using the latest WebCam technology. Players can see the dealers as they spin the roulette wheel, talk to them as well as their peers, just as they would in a brick-and-mortar casino. Not surprisingly, these roulette wheels are kept in a state of perpetual motion as well, for the aforementioned reasons.
There are a couple of games that use slightly different systems to get the roulette wheel spinning. Perhaps the most popular type is the one available in many casinos powered by Evolution Gaming. Live slingshot roulette, is essentially a real-time variant of the popular game that uses a fully automatic roulette wheel. These games are also films and streamed in real-time from land-based production studios and no random number generator is involved. The human dealers were simply replaced with a mechanism that drops the ball automatically into the spinning roulette wheel.
What’s the Layout of the Roulette Wheel?
A quick glance at the roulette wheel layout will highlight the main difference between the different types of roulette available. Based on the number of 0 pockets, players can differentiate between European and American roulette. The French version is essentially a European roulette with two special rules that drive the house edge down even further.
Any roulette wheel has a ball track and this is where the ball travels around until it finally stops in one of the pockets. The ball starts from maximum velocity and gradually uses its momentum, while deflectors changed its trajectory from a predictable to an erratic one. They usually have the form of tiny diamonds and they are scattered around the track to interfere with the path of the slowing ball.
American and European Roulette Wheels
The number of 0 slots doesn’t affect only the house edge, but obviously the number of pockets around the wheel. European roulette has a total of 37 slots, with 36 red and black numbers, while the zero is colored in green. The decision to stick to this color was to make it easier for players to see the dreaded slot and avoid confusion. In this regard, the American roulette is identical and the only difference is that it has the additional 00 pocket, which is also colored in green.
On the roulette wheel, the numbers are not displayed in a progressive way, so players shouldn’t expect to see consecutive numbers one next to the other. Furthermore, there is no connection between odd and even numbers and their colors, so for all intents and purposes, the number distribution on the roulette wheel is completely arbitrary. There are also differences between the way they are displayed on American and European roulette, so players need to keep this in mind when betting on clusters of neighboring numbers.
Online casinos frequently feature a popular variation of the game, which is completely different from both European and American roulette wheels. With only 13 slots and one 0 pocket, the mini roulette wheel is smaller and carries an average house edge of 3.85%. While it looks different and has a different return to player, mini roulette is played by the same rules so the learning curve is silky smooth.
Title: The Roulette Wheel
Posted On: 01/10/2018
Author: The Casino Sites