Your Guide To The Numbers Of The Roulette Wheel

17th September 2021

roulette wheel

Roulette has been soaring in popularity ever since the 1800s! If you’ve ever entered a casino, you will have seen a roulette table and wheel. No casino is complete without the game. If you’re planning on hosting a casino night at home (include a link to this month’s casino night blog), don’t leave out the roulette wheel! It’s a great game to get everybody involved, as the basics are pretty easy to learn. 

So, If you’re a roulette newbie and want to know how the wheel works, here is a complete guide to getting you started! 

The Basics

For a brief explanation, the roulette wheel has 37 or 38 pockets, depending on whether it’s a European or American wheel. The pockets are numbered 0-36, the European version having one 0, but the American having two 0’s. 

Players place chips on a number on the roulette table, the dealer spins the wheel and then drops the ball on the outside ring. The wheel eventually slows down, and the ball falls into one of the numbered pockets, deciding the winner! Sounds simple? Well, it does get a bit more complicated.

These are the main elements of the roulette wheel:


These are also known as slots. They are the 37 or 38 numbered parts of the wheel, where the ball eventually lands. The pockets are always either black or red, except for 0, which is green.


This is the mechanism that makes the wheel turn. The rotor is designed to eliminate bias and is the only moving part of the roulette wheel.


These are obstacles designed to alter the path the ball takes. They ensure that the results are unbiased and random, therefore a crucial part of the roulette wheel.

Ball Track

This is the part of the wheel that the ball travels on. Traditionally, the ball track is wooden, with a thin layer of resin preventing wear and tear.


The base is the outer part of the roulette wheel. It’s made from metal or wood, and its primary purpose is to protect the wheel.


European Roulette Wheel: What You Need to Know

This is the most popular type of roulette wheel worldwide. The European roulette wheel has 37 pockets, numbered 0-36, with only one zero pocket. 

The casino average of a European roulette wheel is 2.7%, meaning each player has a 1/37 chance to win for all single number bets. Remember, there is no possible way a player can influence the game! 


American Roulette Wheel: What You Need To Know

The American roulette wheel has the highest casino average, peaking at 5.26%; down to the extra zero on the board. This average is 2.56% higher than on a European roulette wheel. The extra zero takes the total number of pockets on an American wheel to 38.


The Design Process Behind The Roulette Wheel

At first glance, it may seem the number layout is entirely random, but this is not the case! Years of planning and development have led to the roulette wheel we know today; here are some reasons behind the layout. All of these points lead to a roulette wheel that is random and unbiased!

To Cause Confusion

For roulette beginners, the wheel is hard to understand; this is on purpose. Experienced players often know the number layout like the back of their hands. This mental image of the wheel makes it easier to make a judgement when betting.

Alternating Colours On The Wheel

Adjacent numbers on the board must be different colours. This is true for both variants, European and American. There are no two pockets of the same colour next to each other; this is an absolute must.

Odd And Even Number Distribution

Odd and even numbers should be evenly distributed, meaning no more than two even or odd numbers are ever next to each other.

Low (1-18) and High (19-36) Numbers Alternate

Low and high numbers should alternate as much as possible. On the European roulette wheel, the only exception to this is 5 and 10. 

On the American roulette wheel, there are many times when low numbers are adjacent, with high numbers. This is why the American version of the roulette wheel is considered not as perfectly balanced as the European.


The Sequence of The Game

First things first, the players all purchase one or more stacks of chips from the dealer. Each player needs chips of a different colour; this is to avoid confusion over bets. Each chip usually equals the table minimum, but players can choose to pay more for their stack.

Next up, the players place one or more chips on a chosen number on the roulette table. Then the dealer spins the wheel, putting the ball on the wheel and waits for it to slow down. Finally, the wheel comes to a halt in a pocket. If somebody placed chips on the corresponding number, they won the round!

Players can make more specific bets; they can choose to bet on adjacent numbers, all of the red numbers, or all of the black numbers. 

The value of the chip depends on what the player paid for the stack. Suppose somebody pays more than the table minimum. In that case, the dealer will place a special maker, called a lamer, on the roulette wheel.


Think this all sounds pretty fun? You’re right, so go check out your local casino! Or if you want to bring the game to you and your mates, kit out your man cave with a roulette table; the fun is endless. Remember, money doesn’t have to be involved if you want a bit of fun with the lads! 


Contact us today for more information about our roulette table and wheel or some advice about creating an impressive home casino. The Man Cave Project are here to make your lads night in one to remember.