Let's take a closer look at the roulette wheel, that sultry circular soul that stifles so many system seekers. At first glance it seems innocent enough, but stare at it for a while and you'll notice the intricacy of its layout.
Make no mistake, the modern roulette wheel is a masterfully engineered piece of equipment. The whole thing weighs upwards of a hundred pounds, at nearly 3 feet in diameter; that's no trike wheel.
|European Roulette Wheel ||American Roulette Wheel |
The numbers 1 through 36 are divided evenly among red and black "pockets". The pocket is the container that a ball may come to rest in. In addition to the 36 red and black pockets, there are either 1 or 2 green pockets, containing the number zero and double zero (00) on the roulette wheel. A close look also reveals that the numbers are not distributed in a random fashion.
An attempt at order has been made, but is it relevant to the statistics? If no roll is dependent on any preceding roll, then how could the relative position of the numbers affect the balls resting position? The fact that you can bet on more than the individual number, and that each pocket has added attributes for wagering on counters this line of thinking.
A balance between red and black, high and low, and odd and even is sought by the wheel makers. For every number on the wheel, directly across from it is the next highest even number. Black and red alternate, pairs of even numbers alternate with pairs of odd numbers (with 0 and 00 exceptions). This roulette wheel design is standard within the industry.
A roulette dealer (usually referred to as "croupier") spins the wheel counterclockwise and releases what is usually a plastic ball along the track that runs along the top of the wheel's cavity. As the wheel loses velocity the ball is pulled down off of the track and bounces around until it settles into a pocket. There are a million small buffers and bumps to ensure that the ball is tossed around a good bit randomly before it finds a home.