Here’s a close look at roulette wheel numbers.
The layout of the Roulette Wheel Numbers
Anyone unfamiliar with the roulette wheel may wrongly assume that the table numbers run sequentially around the circumference. This isn’t the case; a closer inspection will see the numbers scattered in what appears to be a random pattern – but that isn’t correct either.
Although the numbers on the wheel aren’t organised consecutively, there is still a systematic layout. However, there are different types of roulette, and this affects how the wheel looks:
American roulette is the version less commonly found and is played on a wheel which has 38 pockets. The numbers are split between red and black in the usual way, but in addition to having the green “0”, the American wheel also has a “00”. This decreases the chances of winning, as the “0” and “00” pockets represent the house edge.
This is the more popular type of roulette found in casinos and is played on a wheel which has 37 pockets. These are split evenly between black and red, with the sole exception of the single green “0”.
There is a third type of roulette: French roulette. This is played on the European wheel but has two additional rules: En Prison and La Partage. Both of these rules relate to the occasions when the ball lands in the green 0 pocket. In En Prison, the bet isn’t taken by the casino but remains on the board, with the roulette wheel being spun again. The bet is “imprisoned” – hence the name. La Partage is slightly less generous, with the croupier taking half of any even bets placed, but returning the other half to the player.
The type of roulette you play will influence the chances of winning. With the extra house pocket, American roulette has the lowest win rate. European roulette is in the middle, but with the En Prison and La Partage rules, it’s French roulette which offers the maximum chances of winning.
Sequence of Numbers
One of the reasons that the numbers aren’t ordered sequentially is that it’s confusing for players. It’s much harder to keep track of what numbers come up when they’re scattered all over the board. Players who want to bet on a particular section of numbers may be interested in how often the numbers win, but the scattered design makes it more difficult to follow.
The spread of the roulette wheel table numbers is identical on the same types of roulette wheel; it’s not up to individual manufacturers or game developers to decide on the sequence. American and European roulette wheels have a different layout to each other, but that’s the only difference. Once you have seen one American roulette wheel, all others will look identical, and the same applies to the European roulette wheel.
On both types of the roulette wheel, the numbers are split evenly between red and black and these alternate around the wheel. However, there’s more to the distribution than just red and black. The wheel has been designed to carry a balance of high, low, odd and even all around the board. In addition, high and low numbers should alternate wherever possible. This isn’t managed completely, but it’s better on the European wheel. Overall, the European roulette wheel is considered to be more balanced, but it’s no less challenging for newbies to learn!
We cover the different bet types and pay-outs in our how to play roulette guide if you would like to find out more about the rules of roulette. However, if you feel like playing, we have a large selection of roulette games for you to choose from.
The highest number on a roulette wheel is the number 36.
The colour of number 13 is black.