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The Roulette Wheel - An Explanation

The roulette wheel is the movable 'bowl' portion of the roulette table that is divided into red and black numbered pockets (compartments). The wheel is an extremely sensitive mechanism, usually perfectly balanced and constructed with the best possible accuracy so that the numbers come up totally by chance in order for the validity and the honesty of the game to be reassured, and in order to avoid even the smallest suspicion or doubt that a player or the casino itself can be favored.
The European Roulette Wheel
The European Roulette Wheel

Any disturbance that may occur during a game that will affect the wheel, can probably affect the game's transaction. For greater protection, some casinos place transparent plastic enclosure round the wheel.

The wheels are also usually tested for their absolute accuracy. Approximately thirty thousand balls are shot before the wheels are turned over to the casinos. This is so that it can be ascertained that there isn't the slightest inclination or tension that will favor specific numbers. So, in theory, they arrive to the casinos absolutely balanced.

There are two basic versions of the game of roulette, and with that, two different types of roulette wheels - The American roulette wheel and the European roulette wheel.

The American Roulette Wheel
The American Roulette Wheel

These two types of roulette wheels have two characteristic differences between them. The first difference is that the American roulette wheel has 38 numbers, while the European has 37 (from 0 to 36). The extra number found on the American roulette wheel is the double zero ("00").

The second difference is located in the different order that the numbers have on each type of wheel's perimeter. Aside from these, and if we exclude that the American roulette table is smaller than the one of the European, these two types have no other major differences.

Photo of the Standard Roulette Table Layout
Photo of the Standard Roulette Table Layout