The Roulette Wheel... A Closer Look

December 2, 2019


The roulette wheel is a marvel of engineering and logic and has been of great interest to gamblers for a number of years now. Behind it's simple design lies a complex arrangement of numbers and characteristics, placed in just the right way to ensure the random element of the game.

The wheel is basically a large bowl with slanted walls falling to separate compartments, which are just large enough to hold the marble once it comes to rest. These compartments, or pockets, are colored alternately red and black, with the zero-pocket colored green. While the number arrangement around the roulette wheel is the main predictor of randomness in Las Vegas, playing online is a little different. Where the ball lands in an online roulette wheel is wholly dependent upon a piece of software called a Random Number Generator (RNG). An online casino's RNG is quite similar to an RNG chip found inside a slot machine. It produces thousands of random numbers each second, and those random numbers are extracted when an event occurs (such as a roulette wheel being spun) and then mapped to an end result (the ball landing on 14), via a set of rules that correspond to the odds for a game. This way you get randomness and appropriate odds, exactly what you need for a proper game.

Many questions regarding roulette revolve around the differences between an American roulette wheel, and a European roulette wheel. The only difference worthy of note is the fact that an American wheel has two zero pockets, one marked 0 and one marked 00. This difference represents a significant difference in the house edge between the two types of wheels. On a European roulette wheel the house edge is approx. 2.70% - much lower than the American wheel at 5.26%.

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