THE “LITTLE WHEEL” BECAME A BIG DEAL
The timeless casino classic that keeps players spinning with action
By Frank Scoblete
One of the most popular games in the casino is an oldie but still a goodie. That would be roulette, or as it was originally called, the “little wheel.”
The game was created in the 1600s by Blaise Pascal, a scientist, mathematician and philosopher. Blaise was someone who wanted to create what might still amount to the uncreatable—a perpetual- motion machine. He couldn’t do it; no one before him could do it and, as far as I know, no one after him has done it either.
What is a perpetual-motion machine? It is a never-ending self-generating power source that does not need to burn or eat up fuel in any way. It just goes on and on and on forever.
Yes, Blaise joined a seemingly never-ending list of people who have tried and failed to create something that can last forever. Yet, he did create something that has lasted a long, long time— indeed, which may last a still longer and longer period of time as time marches on—a casino game that has been a favorite of players ever since Blaise created it: the “little wheel.” Roulette.
Go into just about any casino in the world and it will have one, two or many roulette games going along as if they were actual perpetual-motion machines.
Yes, indeed, the aristocrats of bygone days can attest to the fact that roulette hit their fancies and their pockets too. Many of these aristocrats attempted to ﬁgure out ways to beat the game and none of them could do it—legally, that is.
True, some enterprising players ﬁgured out ways to take advantage of “little wheels” that were not perfectly balanced. These individuals won money—from some money to much money to outstanding amounts of money. These individuals were few and far between among the millions who have played the game.
So, what exactly is the game of roulette?
Today, we have three games out there hungering for the players’ money.
The double-zero game made up of 38 numbers; 1-36 plus a zero (0) and a double-zero (00). A bet on a single number wins the player 35 to one (that’s $35 for one dollar wagered). The house edge on this game is 5.26 percent, which is an expected loss of $5.26 per $100 wagered.
“Sadly, we are beginning to see the triple-zero game increasing as the double-zero game decreases. The casino gains its edge at roulette by not paying back the true worth of a bet when the player wins. Now on the triple-zero game the payback should be 38 to one but it is only 35 to one. Yes, a horrible return, worse than some of the worst slot machines jingling in the slot aisles.”
The single-zero game made up of 37 numbers; 1-36 plus a zero (0). A bet on a single number wins the player 35 to one (that’s $35 for one dollar wagered). The house edge on this game is 2.70 percent, which is an expected loss of $2.70 per $100 wagered.
The triple-zero game made up of 39 numbers; 1-36 plus three zeroes (0, 00, 000). A bet on a single number wins the player 35 to one (that’s $35 for one dollar wagered). The house edge on this game is, to say the least, awful at 7.69 percent—an expected loss of $7.69 per $100 wagered.
Sadly, we are beginning to see the triple-zero game increasing as the double-zero game decreases. The casino gains its edge at roulette by not paying back the true worth of a bet when the player wins.
If you bet on a single number at double-zero roulette (known as the American game), the odds of hitting a number are 37 to one but the casinos’ payout for doing this is only 35 to one. For the single-zero game (the French or European game) the odds are 36 to one. But the casinos’ payout is also only 35 to one.
Now on the triple-zero game the payback should be 38 to one but it is only 35 to one. Yes, a horrible return, worse than some of the worst slot machines jingling in the slot aisles.
It could be—I am just speculating here—that this triple-zero game might be the game to undo the seemingly forever energy of Pascal’s roulette wheel.
[Something to think about: It might be that with such a high house edge, the triple-zero wheel might slowly end the predominance of roulette on the casino ﬂoor. After all, the popularity list of casino games goes like this: 1. slots, 2. blackjack, 3. craps & roulette, 4. other games that come and go. Maybe roulette will be “on the go” when the triple-zero roulette becomes the norm? It just might be.]
All the best in and out of the casinos!
Frank Scoblete’s website is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books, libraries and bookstores.