Roulette Explained Part 1 – The Wheel
The Roulette wheel is one of the most iconic symbols of the casino and has been around since the late 18th Century. However, you may be surprised to find out that its origins actually had nothing whatsoever to do with the game that millions of players from around the world play on a daily basis.Where does it come from? Who invented it?
It was 17th Century French inventor, mathematician, physicist, and writer Blaise Pascal who actually is responsible for creating the wheel. But it wasn’t a popular piece of gambling equipment that Pascal was looking to create the inventor was actually looking to produce a special machine that would ultimately stay in a state of perpetual motion. This would mean that the wheel could spin and spin forever without any source of energy or outside influence. Unfortunately this indefinite motion is still yet to be achieved scientifically even though it can exist in some capacity in nature. But thanks to the work of Pascal his influence and his work would eventually be picked up years later and developed into the game of roulette.
During the mid-19th Century both Francois and Lois Blanc came up with the idea of placing a single green zero pocket on to the European board and gifted it to King Charles III of Monaco (that made him alot of money in casino taxes). The wheel then went on to have huge success in the sovereign state which is now recognised globally as one of the gambling capitals of the world, and probably the global home of roulette.
There are two version of the wheel, the European and the American. The European is the most commonly recognised and consists of numbers 1-36 split into red and black, with the 37th slot being the zero pocket as already discussed. The American wheel, however, has an additional double zero pocket as well as the other 37 slots making it slightly larger in size and which increases the house edge substantially. Whereas the house edge on a European Wheel is 2.6%, on American it clocks on at 5.2%: double.Read out page on why roulette wheels have a zero for more detailed information on this.
You place your bet on the table on which numbers or colours you think will be spun in and then dealer will spin the wheel in one direction and then spin the ball in the opposite direction around the outside track area. As the ball slows down it will roll towards the wheel and bounce around the wheel until finally resting on one of the numbered slots. Where the ball ends up is completely unknown but dependent on its final resting place will affect your bet for better or for worse.