The roulette wheel is one of the key components to understanding the game, next to the roulette table. It is also the fuel that keeps powering the game. The wheels are normally close to three feet in diameter, and nearly 100 pounds. There are many models out on the market today, but this is the most common among all casinos. I find the wheel to be art in itself; the different designs you might come across can be remarkable.
The wheel is made of a stationary 32-inch bowl containing a wheel head, which is a precisely balanced rotating 24-inch center section. The wheel head contains separate pockets identifying each of the numbers. When the ball is spun around the bowl, it circulates the head a couple of time before dropping into one of the pockets, making out the winning number. There are 37 pockets on a European wheel compared to 38 on an American because of the extra double zero. I have given you a couple of pictures to show you the difference between the American roulette wheel and the European.
The roulette wheel is often easily misinterpreted when it comes to its layout. Your first glimpse of the wheel might tell you that the numbers are placed at random, but that isn't so. The numbers are strategically laid out to ensure a certain mathematical balance; the high and low as well as the odd and even are alternately placed as far as possible. So, you have 1 opposite 2, 3 opposite 4, and so on. The colors also have a certain order; they are alternated so that one color is always separated by another. Because zero has its own special effect on the game, it also has its own color - green. The numbers and colors used on the wheel are the same as the ones used on the table, to make relating one to the other easier; thus, making the game of roulette a little less complicated.
The roulette wheel, in my experience, provides a little more than identifying the winning number; it is also a source of entertainment for the players. I find it fun to watch and listen as the ball bounces around and to wait in suspension to see if I have made the right bet. Mind you, the spinning of the ball can certainly cause your head to spin, especially when you've had a few drinks. Nonetheless, roulette can be a fun game to play; the colorful layout and the attractive wheel keeps drawing people every day.
ęCopyright Ted Knuden 2023.
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