For those not already aware, there are two official kinds of Roulette; American Roulette and European Roulette. And for those also not aware, there is a pretty big difference between the two distinct types of the game. The difference is a small one, but a very significant one, and anyone wanting to play Roulette should know this difference, since it grants and enormous advantage to the player.
So what is this difference? Simply that the American Roulette wheel has an extra zero pocket. It seems small, but has enormous, far-reaching consequences. Since the zero pockets represent the house edge, an added zero pocket means that the house will always win more, and the player less. The house edge in American Roulette is 5.26%, which is almost double that of the 2.70% in the European version of the game. So, if it’s a choice, a person should always choose the European version, given that the chances of winning are higher.
But how did this difference in the two Roulette wheels come about? Let’s take a look.
Early French Roulette
The story of the Roulette wheel is an interesting one, to say the least. It turns out that the original idea for the wheel came from a Frenchman named Blaise Pascal, who was not, in fact, attempting to design a wheel for gambling. Pascal was instead trying to create a perpetual motion machine, which by the laws of physics, is completely impossible. It didn’t stop Pascal from trying, however, although his mission ultimately failed.
So, with a device looking like a Roulette wheel, Pascal tried to find some use for his then useless invention. His wheel turned into a Roulette wheel, and the man on a quest to defy physics instead landed up inventing one of the most popular casino games in the world.
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Roulette flourished in France, and other parts of Europe, for many years, quickly becoming a hit at casinos. It was not until the French revolution, however, that the wheel found it’s way to the United States. The French fleeing the ravages of the revolution found their way to Louisiana, and brought with them the game that had been so popular back home.
But, as it turns out, casino owners in the United States did not think much of the fancy French game. Why? Because the house edge was so low, granting a less than appealing stream of income to the casino. The solution to the problem was an obvious one; simply add an extra zero pocket, giving a bigger house edge.
And, it is not known by many, there are even early Roulette wheels that have two zero pockets, plus a pocket emblazoned with an American eagle, essentially acting as a third zero pocket. This version of the wheel did not catch on, however, and it is the double zero American Roulette wheel that eventually became standard.
Freedom Of Choice
Today, of course, with things like online casinos existing, a person is free to play on the Roulette wheel they prefer. There is obviously no advantage to choosing the American Roulette version with two zero pockets, giving rise to the prediction that the European Roulette wheel will soon become the standard. As it stands, however, the American Roulette wheel is still popular in many online and real world casinos.
For those up to snuff with the odds of Roulette, however, the single zero Roulette wheel is the obvious choice. When next playing Roulette, be sure to count the zero pockets, and choose the wheel with the least zero pockets. It’s simply a matter of good gaming, and a player with money in their pocket is a happy player.