Roulette wheel → How does this mechanical system work?

Manufacture of the roulette wheel, the ball + all you did not know!

The roulette wheel is the main factor that determines the outcome of the game, but of course for everything to work it is necessary to have a roulette cloth that supports all the colours and numbers of the roulette wheel, the ball, and of course the persons who will spin the wheel and play.

The game consists of two components, the spinning roulette wheel placed in a bowl and a ball, which spins around the bowl’s edge. The ball falls into the spinning wheel in one of its pockets. 

The game has 38 outcomes and players can bet on different aspects of the outcome such as the colour, number, odd/even, high/low number and more.

When the dealer spins the wheel in one direction and the ball in the opposite direction, a player has to predict the number the ball will rest on finally. Wagers are placed on a number of groups or individual numbers. 

If the ball rests on the number you have wagered on, the dealer will mark the winning number and pays the winning bets.

In this article, we are going to analyze and learn some amazing things that you probably did not know about the roulette wheel, step by step we are going to see all of them, so let’s start from the beginning!

roulette cloth

About roulette wheel 

The roulette wheel has numbers starting from 1 up to 36 which are coloured in black and red alternately. The American roulette wheel has 0 and 00 that are green in colour, while the European wheel has only one 0. 

The roulette wheel is mostly made of wood, like maple, cherry, oak or mahogany, and sometimes all four materials are used. The basic casino roulette wheel is made in the size of 80 centimetres in diameter.

There are a number of different types of roulette tables that are made as needed for social clubs or for home use that is made of various materials such as plastic, metal and others.

In most cases, the bowl is made up of wood while the rotator that is also the main part of the roulette wheel is made of metal.

The rotator is also the most important part because it allows the bowl to spin.

More modern versions of casino roulette are now spinning automatically.

Breakdown of roulette wheel  ( turret, ball, spindle, ball track, 0 tiles)

The roulette wheel is made up of the following parts:

  • Turret (it is used to hide the height adjuster)
  • Ball track (have the intention to randomize the spin of the weel)
  • Spindle (mechanism for spinning the wheel, invented by Blaise Pascal)
  • Tiles (American roulette has two zero tiles, while European has only one)
  • Ball (in past was common that balls are made from ivory, nowadays they are used of phenolic and acetal)

Roulette cloth and gameplay 

Roulette cloth is ideal for providing professional feel to the game.  If you want to create your own instant roulette surface or make a Roulette table on your own, a Roulette cloth is an important and basic requirement. It can serve as a good alternative to the expensive roulette table. 

The surface is smooth to play and the cloth can be stored away easily when not in use. Made of 100% felt, the cloth allows easy gliding of cards and protects the surface of the table from chips when they are thrown. 

Good quality felt is needed for roulette and it is green in colour measuring 140 cm x 90 cm. Placing the cloth on a table will provide an instant Roulette table. The numbers on the mat include 0 and 00, so it can be used in European and American Roulette.

Roulette ball 

Roulette ball was initially made of wood or ivory. However, at present, the ball is made of synthetic materials such as phenolic, nylon, acetal and Teflon. The ball behaves differently based on the material that is made of. So, you need to identify the different types of balls, if you are playing the game professionally. 

roulette balls sizes, types and materials
Sizes and most used materials for roulette balls (left: Teflon, right: Ivorine)

The balls differ in size too. The sizes used in general include 3/8, 5.8. ¾, ½ and 7/16 inches. However, ¾ and 5/8 are the common sizes used in present-day casinos. And the balls are made of ivorine or Teflon.

You can identify ivorine balls by its pale-yellow colour, while Teflon has a flat white colour. Most players prefer Teflon balls, as these are easy to predict and have less bounce than the ivorine balls.

See on which numbers do the roulette ball most often end up!

Very interesting facts…

Roulette game has several interesting facts and facets which will surprise and delight you. Here are a few of them.

  • The roulette wheel has numbers starting from 0 up to the highest number that is 36. The even numbers are black and odd numbers are red in the 1 to 10 range and reversed in the ranges from 11 up to 18 and from 29 up to 36.
  •  A croupier or dealer spins the wheel in a particular direction and the ball in the other direction. The ball moves on a circular and tilted track that runs on the wheel’s outer edge.
  • The roulette cylinder was first introduced way back during the 17th century. Blaise Pascal, an inventor, philosopher and physicist had invented the game when he was trying to create the machine in perpetual motion. The Roulette game as we play it today was introduced in the 18th century in the 1760s in France when Lois Blanc and Francois designed the wheel using Zero for the King of Monaco, Charles III. 
  • The American version of Roulette has 38 numbers (pockets), which includes numbers 0 to 36 and 00 as the additional number. Of these, 18 pockets are black and 18 are red in colour while the 00 and 0 slots are green in colour.
  • European Roulette has 37 numbers which start from 0 up to 36. The numbers are coloured in red and black with the 0 as a single slot.
  • A very interesting fact is that when we add up all the numbers on a roulette wheel we get the sum of 666! This is why this game is also known as the “Devils Game”.
  • The most famous roulette wheel manufacturers are Casino Equipment, B.C. Wills & Co, Caro, King Roulettes, Cammegh, Huxley, and some others.

Roulette odds 

The odds in Roulette are based on the type of bet you wager. For bets of a single number, the odds are highest and the odds are lowest for outside bets such as red/black or odd/even numbers. 

European roulette has better odds than the American roulette table. Strategies like Martingale and Double O Seven are used by players to improve odds with the former featuring payout bets of even odds like red/black, and the latter requires spreading your wager in a specific way, but players should not rely on them.

The odds of winning at roulette are 36:1, which is very low.

Play roulette at home 

Playing Roulette at home is best done when you have miniature roulette equipment, which you can buy in many sites online. There are sets that suit all budgets.

The odds are not as good as what you find in the online casinos or the land-based in the smaller sets, but you can find something similar in the full-sized versions.

You can also find DIY options online that give you step by step instructions to set up the entire game on your own and make roulette wheel by yourself.

If you are interested in playing roulette at home you can check out our roulette casinos page with the full guide about online roulette.