The game of American roulette is played by releasing a ball onto a spinning wheel, fitted with pockets or slots. The ball comes to stop on a numbered slot when the wheel stops turning. Whoever placed a bet on this number will then win the game.
Structure of the American Roulette Wheel
There are 38 numbers on an American roulette wheel, including a single-zero, a double-zero, and numbers from one to 36. American roulette wheel differs from its European counterparts because it has the double-zero.
The numbers that mark the American roulette wheel are not arranged randomly or in increasing order. Rather, the manufacturers have decided to order them in such a fashion that there is an equal probability of the ball landing on red, black, low, high, and odd and even numbers.
Arrangement of the American Roulette Wheel
On American Roulette wheels, the black and red numbers are arranged so that they face each other, in an alternating pattern. Even numbers and odd numbers get alternated, too, but are positioned in identical pairs that face each other, rather than singles. The odd numbers on the American Roulette wheel are put next to the subsequent even number, in increasing order. Finally, on the roulette wheel the numbers are found in pairs, with a single number between them. Add up the pairs and you'll come out with 37 or 39 for the most part. The sum of all 38 numbers is 666.
As a way to prevent confusion, the single and double zeroes are positioned beside green pockets on the American Roulette wheel.
Betting on the American Roulette Wheel
If you play the American Roulette wheel, you're able to make 11 kinds of bets. The table you play on is arranged according to the layout of the wheel itself; it has all 38 numbers organized into three-number rows and 12-number columns. It's called an inside bet when you make a bet inside these rows or columns. The final five kinds of bets you can place are known as outside bets. They can be black or red, low or high, even or odd, or can be a set of numbers in a column (referred to as a Column) or range of 12 numbers (referred to as a Dozen).
The Payoffs and House Advantage in American Roulette Wheel
The house typically has an advantage of 5.26% in American roulette wheel. This percentage is nearly twice that of its European counterpart (2.7%). All of your bets have a favor of 5.26% for the casino, with one exception: a five-number bet. This kind of bet will increase the house's advantage to 7.89%.
The Rules of American Roulette Wheel
A special rule applies to American roulette wheel games. It's known as "Surrender," or sometimes "La Partage." It cuts the house advantage almost in half, to 2.63%.
It's only in even-money bets that La Partage is applied. The rule says that if the ball falls upon zero on the wheel, there is an option for the player to concede half of what he or she betted, rather than losing everything. Another such rule is known as En Prison. This rule, however, is only observed in European casinos. It gives players the extra choice of keeping their bets where they are for the following spin, rather than giving away half.