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American Roulette - Learn the Wheel

If roulette in France is like a cool society beauty, in America she is a brash young lady indeed.

The framework is basically the same, but some of the elegance and charm is missing and the privilege of playing costs more.

The framework is basically the same, but some of the elegance and charm is missing and the privilege of playing costs more.

To start with, the traditional American wheel has an extra compartment marked 00, the double zero. This allows the bank to take a much bigger percentage.

Wheels with a single zero are becoming more widespread in America, and money spent on gas to enable the compulsive gambler to find one is a good investment.

The double zero had led to the other numbers being positioned around the wheel in a different order. In two respects, a consistent pattern, broken only by the zero and double zero, can be seen in this arrangement.

A number on the wheel always has opposite to it a number consecutive to itself.

For instance, the 1 which is next to the double zero in a clockwise direction is directly opposite 2, the 13 next to it is opposite 14, and the number 36, is opposite 35.

Also, the next red number to 1 in a clockwise direction is 36: the sum of this pair is 37. The sum of the next pair of red numbers, 3 and 3, is also 37.

This convention applies to all pairs of red and black numbers all round the wheel except that the two numbers preceding the zero, red 9 and black 28, form a pair making 37, and the two numbers preceding double zero, black 10, and red 27, form a similar pair.

This does not mean that the distribution of numbers on the American wheel is mathematically 'fairer' than on the French wheel, and indeed no popular systems are based on this arrangement.

Each number has the same color as it has on the French wheel, so there are eight odd and ten even black numbers and ten odd and eight even red.

The French language isn't retained in America. The croupier will probably be called a wheel roller and he will call 'no more bets' rather than 'rien ne va plus'.

The layout of the staking table is slightly different, but the bets and odds are nearly the same The comparisons with the French bets are as follows:

En plein is known as 'straight'. Both zero and double zero can be backed. Odds are 35-1, but the bank's advantage because of the extra number ?(double zero) is 5-26 percent approximately.

A cheval is a 'split'. Odds are 17-1, and the bank's percentage is 5-26.

Transversale pleine is a 'street'. Odds are 11-1; bank's percentage is 5-26.

En carre is a 'square'. Odds are 8-1, bank's percentage is 5-26.

Transversale simple is a 'line' bet. Odds are 5-1; bank's percentage is 5.26. All such bets in France are on six numbers, but in America, the double zero allows an extra bet, a five-number line bet on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. The odds paid on this bet are 6-1; correct odds are 33-5, and the advantage to the bank on this bet is nearly 7.90 percent.

Colonne is a 'column'. Odds are 2-1; bank's percentage is 5-26.

Douzaine is a 'dozen'. Odds are 2-1, bank's percentage is 5-26.

This leaves the even-money bets: even, odd, black, red, high, or low. The American casino proprietor, however, unlike this European counterpart, will take all money staked on these bets if the zero or double zero wins, thereby ensuring that his advantage never drops below 5-26 percent.


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