When you think of the casino table game known as “roulette”
you may be envisioning one of two possible versions of the
game. There is the “double zero” version so familiar to players
in the United States, South America, and the Caribbean; and
there is the “single zero” which appears in locations like
Monte Carlo and all other casino locations too.
Why the difference? Interestingly, Roulette first appeared
in Europe of the 1700s where it was strictly an entertainment
of royalty and nobles. Soon, however, the excitement caught on
and the game began to appear in many locations. By the 1800s it
had crossed the Atlantic Ocean and was making its way up the
Mississippi River within the massive passenger carrying steam
ships. From there it began to head into the rapidly developing
American West. This is the point in the game’s history where it
split into two different versions.
The reasons for the changes to the game at this time have to
do with two issues – cheating and the house advantage. The
major changes implemented in the United States, and soon
spreading everywhere else, were to remove the wheel from its
built-in format and convert it into a free standing unit and
also change the house odds.
Today all “brick and mortar” casinos have roulette wheels
that can be physically removed from the tables in order to
prevent any sort of mechanical manipulation or cheating on the
part of the “house” or casino. The other change was in the
addition of set of double zeroes to the wheel. This allowed the
casinos to increase their own odds by making any bet a 1 in 38
chance instead of a 1 in 37 venture.
What does this actually translate to? Well, in any of the
single zero wheel casinos, the house edge is 2.70%, while
anywhere utilizing the double zero wheels is going to enjoy a
5.26% house edge. This means that the average dollar amount any
player is going to lose on any of their bets is much higher on
the double zero wheels due to the mathematical statistics
created by the addition of the double wheel slot. This has not
lessened player’s interest in the game, however.
Throughout the centuries roulette has earned a singular
reputation or prestige. Its connections to such luxurious
settings as Monte Carlo, and its affiliation to exciting
fictional characters like James Bond have only enhanced the
popularity of the “King of Casino Games”. Today there are both
online and traditional casino versions available for players
around the world.