There is not much to know when it comes to roulette wheels. If you read about the game of roulette you will find that there are essentially two types of roulette wheels – the European roulette wheel and the American roulette wheel. There is slight difference between the wheels but the game is essentially the same. Due to this slight difference between the wheels the house edge differs in the American and the European casinos.
The present day American roulette wheel is the one that was first used in the Paris casinos. This wheel contains 38 slots. There are slots for each of the numbers 1 to 36 and the two extra slots are for the numbers 0 and 00. The Paris casinos used this type of the wheel when red and black were respectively used to denote the numbers 0 and 00. The colors were later changed to green. When this wheel was introduced in the US there used to be another slot for the American Eagle. This eagle later vanished and the wheel had slots for 0 and 00. This is the wheel that is still used in the US, Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada. Only a few roulette wheels with the American Eagle are still available and collectors always look to buy them.
The present day European roulette wheel was introduced in 1843 in Homburg, a German casino and spa town. François and Louis Blanc introduced this wheel to compete with the casinos of the area. The Blanc brothers are considered the pioneers of modern roulette. It is said that they had a pact with the devil when they introduced modern roulette. It is a coincidence that the sum of all the numbers on the roulette wheel is 666, the number of the devil. When Germany banned gambling the Blanc brothers set up their base in Monte Carlo in Monaco. This is where the game of roulette became as popular as it is now. Monte Carlo became the haven for the rich and famous gamblers and roulette became a global gambling game. This wheel is still used in Europe.
This extra 00 in the American roulette wheel ensures that the house edge is more in the American casinos. The house edge is 5.26% in American roulette wheels compared to 2.63% in the European roulette wheels.
This is the essential difference between the American roulette wheel and the European roulette wheel.