The Roulette Wheel: Its History and Explanation

The casino game roulette has a very simple set of rules, best summed up by these three steps: bet, spin, then win or lose. The player first has to place his bets using chips exclusive to the game. Once the dealer ended the betting process, the wheel is then spun, and a ball is rolled near its rim while it’s still spinning. This ball will then determine the winning bet by landing on a pocket with a number and color corresponding to one on the betting board. This is how a single round in roulette takes place.Some people call one round of roulette a “spin” for a reason. This owes to the fact that the central element of every roulette game is neither the table nor the dealer nor the way it is played but that fancy roulette wheel that determines what the winning bet should be. Indeed, it is a lot easier to imagine the possibility of playing the game without other elements besides the wheel.Roulette in fact started from nothing more than a wheel. This wheel however can be said as something special as it is an invention of the renowned Dr. Blaise Pascal in the 17th ccentury. The contraption is supposed to assume the more glorified role of a perpetual motion machine, an apparatus that can keep on moving without the use of an external energy source. However, like all perpetual motion machines invented at the time, it apparently did not succeed in its goals. Nonetheless, it eventually became a casino novelty decades later, starting the game we now know as roulette.Those new to gambling may find the roulette wheel a bit puzzling. To their benefit, this paragraph will serve as a quick explanation of this roulette table centerpiece. It is a wheel with 37 or 38 numbered colored pockets, each representing a specific single bet. A downward slope starting from the rim which in turn is high enough for the ball not to spill out of makes sure that the ball goes down one of these slots. Now the ball is not dropped directly onto the slope, but is rather rolled in a special track near the rim, thus not quickly ending the thrill of a spin.How the numbered colored slots are laid out on the wheel depends on what version of roulette is played. In the 38-number American roulette, the two green zero slots are placed opposite of each other, which is the same arrangement with every consecutive pair, i. e. red 1 and black 2. The 37-number European roulette wheel meanwhile has a setup that’s purely random except for the color arrangement. French roulette uses the same layout, which is perhaps one of the reasons why it is often confused with the European version.The roulette wheel has gone beyond being a presumably failed physics experiment to a device with the casino game roulette created around it. We have known and loved this gambling sport, which will never be possible had someone not thought of giving the wheel a second life.