Roulette rules and strategies are familiar to many gamblers, but the details of the roulette table design are known to a significantly fewer number of people. However the roulette wheel is exactly the thing that makes the game what it is. This is the reason that makes us discuss in detail all of its components. This information is important for the players and very interesting, but it can also be considered to be the basics: the next article will deal with the physical system for playing roulette, requiring knowledge of the roulette wheel construction from gamblers.
Basic Components of the Roulette Wheel
A typical roulette, currently used at casinos, consists of more than 300 different fragments, adjusted to each other with a pinpoint accuracy. This accuracy is an obligatory factor, since any physical deformation will affect the ball movement that should be avoided: outcomes have to be determined absolutely randomly. It is interesting to note that the roulette wheel was invented in the 18th century, and since that time its design has not changed. Numbers and colors have remained unchanged.
The main component of the roulette wheel is a bowl. The bowl is traditionally made of fine wood. It has a diameter of approximately 90 cm. It is carefully sanded and varnished. The bowl should be perfectly polished to ensure the equable movement of the lower base and flat surface. Currently, there are also bowls, manufactured of plastic. They are cheaper and it is easier to manufacture them, but reputable casinos use only wooden roulette wheels. Plastic wheels not only look worse but the condensation can be formed on their bowls.
The invisible lower part of the bowl, which is incorporated into the fixed roulette table, is made of several layers of wood and its processing is more complex than the processing of the upper part of the bowl. This is necessary to ensure that the wood will not be warped under the influence of moisture or temperature changes that may result in the abnormal wheel speed.
The bowl is a fixed component of the roulette wheel. In the middle there is a spindle that supports the rotating wheelhead. There is a turret above the spindle. In addition to decorative functions, it also has a practical significance: there is an invagination for an extra ball on its top.
The upper part of the bowl is slightly curved that prevents the ball from flying off. In the upper part of the bowl there is a ball track that holds the rotating ball. The lower ball track is located below. This is a slope that provides space for deflectors.
Deflectors are small diamond-shaped obstacles on the lower ball track made of metal. They also have many other names: diamonds, pins, slats, stops, and disruptors. They are equably and symmetrically located around the wheel, forming vertical and horizontal barriers one by one. Most modern roulette wheels have 8 deflectors. Some older wheels have 16 deflectors. These little obstacles are designed to make the movement of the ball more unpredictable. When you spin the ball, it should pass through the lower ball track and deflectors to enter the rotor and fall into a numbered pocket.
The rotor is the heart of the roulette wheel. It has a diameter of roughly 50 cm and weighs 30-50 kg, which allows it to rotate for a long period of time with a considerable speed. The rotor is attached in the middle of the bowl to the spindle with the help of a bearing, which allows it to rotate freely.
PocketsThirty seven pockets are evenly distributed on the rotor. They are separated by metal barriers called separators and located between them.
The pockets are alternately painted in red and black. There are also one or two green pockets. They are called zero. Pockets are numbered with a white paint. At first glance it seems that the numbers are written in a chaotic way, but in fact they are arranged in accordance with the strict order. It is believed that the standard arrangement of numbers is designed on the basis of calculations of the famous mathematician Blaise Pascal, who lived in the 17th century in France.
According to its construction, the pockets are one of the most variable parts. We are talking about their design. Nowadays more and more wheels have separate pockets whose outer part does not have separators. They have only a color and number, and the inner part is the pocket itself.
The pockets of the first roulettes were pretty deep, but the edges are becoming smaller and smaller. So, the most modern wheels use a low-profile design of the pockets.
The roulette ball typically has a diameter of 18-21 mm and weighs 6 grams. Traditionally, the balls used to be made of ivory: when the roulette was invented, it was one of the most valuable materials. That is why it was so perfect for a luxurious and elegant casino atmosphere. Modern casinos often use balls manufactures of plastic or Teflon. They have practically replaced ivory balls for several reasons:
- Firstly, ivory is not used on moral grounds;
- Secondly, plastic balls move more unpredictably, bouncing off the reflectors and separators;
- Thirdly, plastic balls wear out the roulette wheel less intensively.
The croupier always spins the ball clockwise, and the wheel is spun counterclockwise. In order to prevent any manipulation with the balls, including those that are performed by fraudulent employees, they are stored at casinos in the special safes.
Lifetime of Roulette Wheels
If light plastic balls are used, the roulette wheel can be used on average 10 to 20 years. Most casinos regularly replace rotors of the roulette wheels. Depending on the location in a casino, some wheels operate more than others. Therefore, they become worn out more rapidly. Therefore, only the regular replacements of balls can provide an even wear on all wheels.
In addition, the rotors are replaced for other purposes. Casinos can not afford to provide gamblers with the opportunity to obtain high profits and try to avoid this at all costs. Therefore, first of all, their owners pay attention to quality and accuracy of adjustment of all fragments of the roulette wheel. In this regard, most casinos use the strategy that allows making more complicated to search for the defects of the wheel. They regularly, even daily, replace rotors of different roulettes. Roulette manufacturers make special rotors of the same design that can be used interchangeably for different wheels.
It goes without saying that each roulette wheel is constantly being monitored on both sides:
- By independent experts,
- By employees of the casino whose owners are surely interested in proper operations of their equipment, so they control themselves.
Arrangement of Numbers
As mentioned above, the arrangement of numbers on the wheel initially seems to be chaotic, but it is not true. On the contrary, it is based on a complex system, which aims to ensure a random distribution of all numbers by eliminating any potential biases. Let's look at the rules of number arrangement of the two basic types of roulette: American and European.
The following sequence of numbers is observed in European roulette, starting from zero clockwise: 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25, 17, 34, 6, 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33, 1, 20, 14, 31, 9, 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26.
How the numbers are distributed? It is impossible to miss the first pattern: just taking a look at the wheel, we can see that the red and black colors are always arranged one by one. You cannot notice two black or red pockets next to each other. On any roulette wheel red and black numbers are always constant:
- Red numbers: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 30, 32, 34, 36;
- Black numbers: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 31, 33, 35.
Odd and even numbers are not always located alternately: on the wheel there are 13 sites, where two even or two odd numbers are located next to each other. Three odd or even numbers in a row cannot be found.
Then, everyone knows that the sum of all roulette numbers is equal to 666. However a few people know that if you divide the wheel into two equal parts by a fictitious line from 0 to 5-10, the sum of the numbers on each half of the wheel will be equal to 333. In addition, each half of the wheel will have:
- Nine numbers from each pair (red/black, odd/even);
- Six numbers from each dozen (1-12, 13-24, and 25-36);
- Three numbers from each half-dozen (1-6, 7-12, 13-18, etc.).
In addition, there is the following distribution of numbers:
- A half of the wheel that is located from the right side of zero has nine low black numbers (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17) and nine red high numbers (19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 30, 32, 34, 36);
- A half of the wheel that is located from the right side of zero has nine high black numbers (20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 31, 33, 35) and nine red low numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18).
The arrangement of numbers in American roulette slightly differs from the European version. It has the following sequence of numbers, starting from zero clockwise:
0, 28, 9, 26, 30, 11,7, 20, 32, 17, 5, 22, 34, 15, 3, 24, 36, 13, 1, 00, 27, 10, 25, 29, 12, 8, 19, 31, 18, 6, 21, 33, 16, 4, 23, 35, 14, 2.
Red and black numbers are similar to those present in European roulette, but the patterns of their arrangement slightly differ:
- 0 and 00 are located in front of each other;
- Red and black pockets are arranged one by one;
- Red pockets are located opposite the black ones;
- Two even numbers are followed by two odd numbers;
- Odd numbers are located opposite the next even ones (21 is located opposite 22, 7 is present opposite 8, and so on);
- If you take any three numbers located near each other, the sum of terminal numbers will be equal to 37 or 39.
We have discussed everything related to the roulette wheel construction. We are not going to cover the rest that is related to roulette (table layout, sets of chips, electronic scoreboards) in this article.