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Roulette Basics: Why Do Roulette Wheels Have the Zero Slot?

Roulette Basics: Why Do Roulette Wheels Have the Zero Slot?

From beginners to experienced players and high rollers, Roulette is a casino classic that’s enjoyed by all types of casino players. The game comes with easy-to-understand rules and has a variety of different wagering options to choose from.

Over the years, the casino gaming world has seen the introduction of several different Roulette variations. While the main objective of all these Roulette games is basically the same, they tend to differ in terms of table layout and the number of zeros on the wheel. But why is it so? And why do Roulette wheels have the zero pocket in the first place? Continue reading to find out!

The different types of Roulette wheels

Before explaining to you why Roulette wheels contain the zero slot, let’s have a look at some basics. Below we’ve listed some popular Roulette variations and their associated wheel layout.

American Roulette with two zeros

American Roulette is one of the oldest Roulette variants out there. This Roulette variation is played on a Roulette wheel that features 38 pockets. The first 36 slots of the American Roulette wheel carry numbers from 1 through 36. Half of the number pockets are coloured red while half of them have black colour. The other two slots on the American Roulette wheel carry a single zero (0) and a double zero (00). Both these zero slots are coloured green.

With some exceptions, all wagers on the American Roulette wheel have the same casino advantage. Also, if the single and double zero slots weren’t present on the American wheel, all the wagers would’ve been break-even bets. Here’s how that works:

All single-number wagers on the American Roulette wheel pay at 35:1 odds. So, if you wager your Roulette chips worth £1 on a single number and if that number shows up, you’ll receive a £35 payout in potential winnings. But as there are 38 numbers on an American wheel, the actual Roulette odds here are 37:1. The difference between the theoretical odds and the actual payout is known as house advantage. In American Roulette, the house advantage stands at 5.26%.

European Roulette with a single zero

European Roulette is the most widely played Roulette variation at both land-based venues and online casinos. The Roulette wheel for this variation features 37 pockets – numbers from 1 through 36 and a single zero. The payouts in European Roulette are the same as the American version. But as this Roulette game features just a single zero slot, the house edge gets reduced to 2.70%.

Several popular live and online Roulette variations make use of the European Roulette wheel. Some of them include Lightning Roulette, Double Ball Roulette, Instant Roulette and 3D Roulette. It’s worth noting that using a Roulette strategy in these Roulette variations or other online casino games won’t change the odds, though it may increase the entertainment level.

Why does the Roulette wheel contain the zero slot?

The original Roulette wheel invented in the late 17th century lacked the zero slot. But in the mid-1800s, French brothers Francois and Lois Blanc came up with the idea of adding the zero slot to the Roulette wheel. The change was made for King Charles III of Monaco.

The new wheel with the single ‘0’ slot became an instant hit among the Monegasques. Also, it generated massive income for the country. This, in turn, fuelled the growth of Monaco’s up-scale gambling culture that’s highly famous on the planet.

In other words, the zero slot is what gives the gambling venue its house edge. To give you an example, let’s say you’ve placed a wager on the red colour on a Roulette wheel with no zero. Your potential chances of winning are 50/50 here. But with the addition of the single zero slot, the odds get reduced to 47.4%.

Okay, you now know why the single zero slot exists on the Roulette wheel. But what’s the case with the American Roulette wheel with two zero slots? Well, when the French immigrants took Roulette to the US in the 1800s, they decided to make some tweaks to the game. As such, they invented their own Roulette wheel with an additional zero slot. And this increased the house edge even more.

Now that you know why the Roulette wheel features zero slot/slots, it’s time to enjoy some Roulette gaming action. With us, you can try your hands at several exciting online and live Roulette games. And if you’re looking for a Roulette betting system guide or Roulette tournament tips, we’ve got you covered.