Different variations of roulette wheels.

As a gambling enthusiast who frequents both physical and online casinos, I have come to notice subtle discrepancies between the roulette wheels available. At first, these seemingly insignificant variations may not catch your attention. However, delving deeper into the matter, it becomes evident that even the inclusion of just one extra number can significantly impact the odds of winning for players, as well as the overall advantage held by the casino.

Let's delve into the world of roulette wheels, where two primary types, American and French, serve as the foundation for all traditional games and their potential variations. But before we embark on discussing the nuances that set these wheel types apart, let's first explore their composition and the means by which they generate random outcomes.

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How does the wheel come into shape?

In my understanding, the wheel consists of two primary components: an inner part and an outer part.

Most modern roulette wheels no longer have an outer edge, known as the cylinder, to prevent players from using it to predict ball positioning using analysis and physical observation techniques. The cylinder, typically made of wood, serves as the circuit on which the croupier's thrown ball moves. It is designed with a slight slope that aids in guiding the ball into the lower pockets. The degree of slope can vary depending on the manufacturer. Some wheels may also feature a more or less pronounced lower edge, further assisting the ball's placement. However, the absence of an edge in newer wheels eliminates the possibility of making accurate predictions based on these factors.

The disc, known as the core, consists of numbered compartments featuring pockets designed to secure the ball. These pockets are constructed with sides of different heights to ensure the ball remains in position. Typically, the disc is inclined towards the center to encourage the ball to be placed within the pockets. Brass, aluminum, or other non-magnetic metals are commonly employed for crafting the pockets. This choice is made to prevent any magnetic material from disrupting the natural movement of the ball.

The rotating mechanism of the American roulette game

The American roulette wheel, one of the two most widely used types, has distinct features that set it apart from the French version and affect the odds of winning. The key variation lies in the inclusion of two green pockets, namely 0 and 00. Once we grasp the fundamental elements of the roulette wheel, we can delve into discussing the American version in more detail.

In reality, the numbers on the wheel of a roulette game are not arranged in ascending order, contrary to what some beginners may think. The arrangement follows a specific order that serves the purpose of alternating between red and black numbers. Additionally, this order allows for the presence of two red numbers, specifically 1 and 27, around the 00 green box, as well as two black numbers, namely 2 and 28, around the 0 green box. It is important to note that these arrangements are not random, but rather carefully designed to enhance the gameplay experience.

Finding the position of each number on the roulette wheel may appear daunting, considering there are a total of 38 numbers encompassing 1 to 36, along with 0 and 00. However, experienced players possess the remarkable ability to memorize this sequence effortlessly. In truth, there exists a clever little trick that expedites this process. The wheel's construction adheres to a principle where each number's counterpart resides on the opposing side of the wheel. Consequently, 0 and 00 occupy the polar ends. Meticulous observation reveals that this principle extends to all the other numbers as well. Once you successfully identify a specific number, locating its mathematically consecutive or preceding counterpart is as simple as gazing at the wheel's exact opposite side.

To get a clearer picture of the casino's advantage, let's delve into the mechanics of a basic bet that pays out 1:1, such as betting on red or black on the American roulette wheel. It's important to note that the American version of the wheel has a higher casino edge of 5.26% compared to its French counterpart, and this is primarily due to the presence of both 0 and 00. These additional green spaces are specifically designed to tilt the odds in favor of the house. Therefore, players should exercise caution and try to avoid these green spaces as much as possible, as they only serve to benefit the casino.

The casino pays out €4 for a winning red bet of €2, which would be a fair payout if the wheel only had red and black slots with a 50% winning probability. However, the presence of two green slots lowers the winning probability to 47.3%. Despite this decrease in probability, the casino still pays out 1:1, giving itself an advantage in the long run.

Apart from the numerical markings on the roulette wheel, it is imperative to bear in mind that American roulette employs English vocabulary for the various wagers on the betting table. Typically, participants utilize distinctively colored chips, which facilitate the identification of individuals who have placed their bets and ascertain the triumphant contenders.

The French roulette's wheel.

In the renowned casinos of Monte Carlo, the classic French variant of the roulette wheel holds its position as the second most popular option. This wheel, famous for its historical significance, stands out due to a distinctive feature that distinguishes it from its American counterpart - the presence of a sole green box denoting the number 0.

In a unique arrangement, the numbers are strategically positioned, with a special significance assigned to the green 0 box. Alternating between vibrant red and sleek black colors, the numbers 1 to 36 find their place on the wheel, each with their mathematically preceding or succeeding counterpart on the opposing side. As we take the crimson number 1 as our starting point, an intriguing discovery awaits on the opposite end - the ebony number 2. Within this captivating layout, the enigmatic green 0 stands, embraced by the ebony number 26 on its left and the scarlet number 32 on its right.

In reality, some players who lack experience mistakenly believe that colors correspond directly to the even or odd nature of numbers. This misconception arises when insufficient attention is given to the layout, table, and color coding of the numbers. However, the truth is that in roulette, there are 10 red odd numbers and 8 red even numbers. Conversely, the situation is reversed for black numbers, as there are 10 black even numbers and 8 black odd numbers. The total count amounts to exactly 36 numbers, with the inclusion of the green 0 box.

I reduced the casino edge to 1.35% by applying the "en prison" rule, which allows players to replay the same bet or receive half of their bet back when a zero is drawn in even-money bets. The French roulette wheel typically has a casino edge of 2.70%, but this rule provides a significant advantage to players. With the "en prison" rule in effect, players have the opportunity to minimize losses and increase their chances of winning. By incorporating this special rule, the French version of roulette offers a more favorable outcome for players compared to other variations.

The player's winning percentage is higher due to the presence of only one green box, even though the 0 always favors the casino. Let's consider the example of betting on red or black once again. Instead of a 50% chance of winning, the player's probability of winning decreases to 48.64% because of the unfortunate green box.

In French roulette, one notable feature is the utilization of French language terminology on the gaming table. For instance, instead of the conventional "even/odd" bet in American roulette, it is referred to as "pair/impair" in French roulette. Moreover, players have the opportunity to place special bets known as "à chiamata," which are situated outside the table and involve specific number combinations on the wheel. These unique bets, even in their traditional forms, are denoted in the French language.

The hybrid roulette's wheel.

Some casinos have recognized the need to cater to both French-speaking and non-French-speaking players, leading them to introduce a unique type of wheel. This particular wheel combines elements from the traditional French roulette and the standard wheel in order to meet the demands of the market and accommodate foreign players. By implementing a French layout with only one green zero, these casinos provide a familiar and preferred option for users who enjoy the French roulette. However, to cater to the linguistic needs of non-French speakers, the bets on the table are presented in English.

In most countries within the European Union, as well as in the United Kingdom, this particular version of the roulette wheel is widely used and accepted. The arrangement of the numbers on this wheel typically adheres to the French configuration, with the zero positioned between 26 and 32. However, it is worth noting that there are instances where the wheel features the zero between 1 and 27 or 2 and 28, resembling the American version.

In hybrid roulette, there is a rule known as "la partage" that is quite similar to the "en prison" rule mentioned earlier. The distinction lies in the fact that the player is not given the option to replay the same bet, but rather receives back half of their original wager. This implementation effectively reduces the casino's advantage to 1.35%. It is worth mentioning that hybrid roulettes typically have a casino edge of 2.70% due to the presence of just one 0.

Which roulette wheel is the most optimal choice?

Preferably, I would recommend the French or hybrid version of the roulette wheel to all players, as it is considered the best choice. This is particularly true when the "en prison" or "la partage" rule is in effect. The reason behind this preference lies in the fact that the American version of the roulette wheel has a higher casino edge. Therefore, whenever possible, it is advisable to opt for a wheel that only has one green zero, rather than the version with two green slots.

When searching for a roulette table in American casinos, one may need to invest a little more time due to the popularity of the American version, as its name implies. It is interesting to observe that typically, there are not a substantial number of players occupying these particular tables, to the point where it is often perceived as the least frequented gambling spot within the entire establishment.

When playing at European casinos, one will find that single zero versions are more readily available and are often the exclusive option. Therefore, it is advisable to first familiarize oneself with the betting placements and terminologies, whether they are in French or English, to fully capitalize on the game's potential and avoid any missed opportunities resulting from a misinterpretation. Typically, the game rules are prominently displayed near the table, serving as a helpful reference for players.

Where can one discover a plethora of roulette variations?

The French roulette wheel is widely available in most European countries, especially in France, where there are approximately 140 official tables. In contrast, the American roulette wheel is primarily found in the United States and Canada, but its popularity also extends to the Caribbean and certain Asian countries like the Philippines, largely due to the strong influence of American culture.

Before embarking on a game of roulette, it is crucial to discern the type of wheel one is playing on. Historically, European casinos did not offer the American roulette wheel on their premises, but times have changed. Nowadays, in a bid to entice American tourists, many European establishments have incorporated this popular variant into their repertoire. Therefore, players must exercise caution and meticulously ascertain the nature of the wheel before placing their bets.

The hybrid roulette wheel, which is the sole approved version in the United Kingdom, can be easily found all over the globe. Players from the UK won't face any challenges in locating this type of table within their own country.

A roulette wheel utilized within the confines of Ireland.

In Ireland, there are three casinos that are fully authorized and regulated, where one can enjoy the thrilling experience of playing roulette on their elegant tables. The delightful game of French roulette can be found in the cities of Saint-Vincent, Sanremo, and Venice, creating an atmosphere of excitement and entertainment. Previously, enthusiasts could also indulge in this game in Campione d'Italia; nevertheless, due to financial difficulties, the casino unfortunately had to file for bankruptcy under the jurisdiction of the Como Court. Each casino has its own set of rules when it comes to placing bets, with variations that add a touch of uniqueness to the gameplay. Furthermore, visitors will be pleased to discover that wagers are commonly accepted in English, French, and even the native Irish language, adding an extra layer of cultural enrichment to the gaming experience.

In Ireland, there isn't a genuine Irish rendition of roulette, yet players often assign Irish names to the customary French combinations. As an illustration, the French roulette wheel features a distinctive wager known as "orphelins," which is commonly referred to as "orfanelli" in Ireland. Even without considering unique call bets, the straightforward even/odd wager in Ireland is termed pari/dispari, thus individuals interested in visiting an Irish casino might consider acquainting themselves with this specific terminology before engaging with the roulette table.

Online roulette wheel is accessible.

On online platforms, the game of roulette has gained popularity alongside physical casinos, offering players a chance to enjoy the traditional American, French, or hybrid experience from the comfort of their own homes. Numerous titles are available on the internet, making it challenging to decide which version, be it American, French, or hybrid, is easier to find. Generally, every platform provides all variations of the game along with exclusive titles that boast original features, ensuring players have a diverse array of options to select from.

Experiencing the online roulette wheel in its most captivating form is undoubtedly achieved through the utilization of live dealer gaming rooms. Through live streaming, the enthralling game of roulette is broadcasted, enabling players to place their bets from the comfort of their homes using their computers, tablets, or smartphones. The outcomes of their bets are then observed in real-time as they unfold on an authentic physical wheel. Renowned game development companies such as NetEnt and Microgaming are among the notable providers that offer online roulette wheels accompanied by live dealers.

If you're unable to visit a brick-and-mortar casino but still crave the excitement of playing American, French, or hybrid roulette, then online versions of these games are the way to go. It's important, however, to always prioritize responsible gambling practices when engaging in online gaming.