Learn All About the Roulette Wheel

It’s the heart of the game, so you need to learn about the roulette wheel.

The roulette wheel was originally conceived by Blaise Pascal in an ill-fated attempt to demonstrate perpetual motion. The wheel was later found abandoned in Pascal’s garage (probably) and reintroduced as a novel source of entertainment. And roulette was born.

We now have two main roulette wheels in circulation: the European and American wheel. The French wheel is identical to the European wheel, the only difference between these two games is the types of bets you can make.

American Or European?

The American wheel contains two house slots, 0 and 00, whilst the European and French versions only contain a single 0 slot.


The European Roulette wheel was developed by Louis and François Blanc. It was hoped that their wheel’s improved odds (due to the lack of the second house slot, the 00) would attract more customers to their casino. Even today, many savvy players favour European or French Roulette over American Roulette.

If you want more information about odds for both American and European wheels, take a look at our Roulette Odds page.

The Spinning Colours

There has been a lot of speculation as to why the roulette wheel is predominantly red and black.

We know that the 0 slot was originally red and the 00 slot was black. Since they don’t count towards the outside colour bets, they were changed to green to avoid confusion.

As for the rest of the wheel, some historians have suggested that the colours may have simply been an aesthetic choice (red and black were allegedly Blaise Pascal’s favourite colours.)

A few wackos have suggested that François Blanc got the idea of the roulette wheel from the devil, claiming that the colours were chosen as they were Lucifer’s favorites.

A less stupid explanation is that the two colours contrast each other without clashing, meaning they are easy to separate without looking hideous next to each other.

Loose Wheels

Some people have been able to make fortunes by identifying flaws in roulette wheels, meaning they favour a small group of numbers. These wonky spinners are known as ‘loose wheels.’

A lot of casinos try to keep this problem to a minimum by calibrating and testing their wheels as often as possible. Still, this doesn’t stop observant gamblers from keeping their eyes out for overly-generous roulette wheels.

Know Your Foe…Beat the Wheel!

We love it, we hate it, we keep coming back to it. The roulette wheel can be a tricky mistress, but we just can’t get enough of its circumferential charms. Still, if you hope to beat the roulette wheel, it helps to understand every glorious inch of this wonderful machine.

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