The Layout of Roulette Wheel Numbers - foxybingo

The Layout of Roulette Wheel Numbers

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Everyone knows how to play Roulette - even if they've never set foot in a casino. The basics are simple: spin the wheel and guess where the ball is going to land - there's not really any other casino game that is easier to understand. 

However, have you ever taken a proper look at the roulette wheel? Or have you always just assumed that the numbers rise in ascending value?

Take a peek, and you might be surprised what you see. A crazy mish-mash of numbers that jump all over the place - surely there's no logic to the layout?! 

The roulette wheel numbers might look as if someone has just thrown everything up in the air, but there's a logic behind the layout. Here's a closer look at both the American and European roulette wheels and an explanation of how they're lined up.

A Tale of Two Wheels

American wheel? European wheel? If you’re scratching your head and wondering what this is all about, let us explain.

There are three different types of roulette - American, European and French. The latter two are played on the European wheel, while the former is played on an American wheel. 

And there are some very fundamental differences between the two that can affect your chances of winning, so it's helpful to know how to identify them.

The European roulette wheel is numbered from 1-36, with an extra pocket for the zero. This makes 37 roulette numbers in total, with just one zero pocket. It is an important distinction as it's not possible to win when the ball lands in the zero pocket. 

In contrast, the American roulette wheel has 38 pockets made up from 1-36 numbers and two green zero pockets. This means there is a lower chance of winning on an American roulette wheel, as the house edge will be higher. 

Whichever wheel you are playing on, 36 is the highest number on a roulette wheel.

The good news is that the majority of online roulette is played on the European wheel, giving you the best possible chance of scoring a win.

Wheel Layout

It's not just that the American wheel has an extra zero pocket; there are many differences in the distribution of the numbers too. The European wheel is widely regarded as being more balanced, another reason why players generally prefer it.

American roulette wheel

As already mentioned, there are 38 pockets on the American wheel, with two of these being taken up by the 0 and 00. The remainder of the numbers are split between red and black, with the colours occupying alternating pockets around the wheel.

The two green pockets are split and sit opposite each other on the wheel. In the same way, each consecutive number is placed on the opposite side of the board. For example, the number 1 sits to the right of the 00 while the number 2 sits to the right of the 0.

Running counterclockwise, this provides the following layout for the American roulette wheel:

0, 2, 14, 35, 23, 4, 16, 33, 21, 6, 18, 31, 19, 8, 12, 29, 25, 10, 27, 00, 1, 13, 36, 24, 3, 15, 34, 22, 5, 17, 32, 20, 7, 11, 30, 26, 9, 28.

The distribution may look bizarre, but if you inspect the pattern closely, you can clearly see that each number alternates between different sides of the wheel.

European roulette wheel

As there is just a single green zero pocket in European roulette, there is no split across the wheel. The numbers are still divided evenly between red and black, and these are alternated all the way around the wheel, back to the 0 pocket.

The layout for the European roulette wheel is as follows (running counterclockwise):

0, 26, 3, 35, 12, 28, 7, 29, 18, 22, 9, 31, 14, 20, 1, 33, 16, 24, 5, 10, 23, 8, 30, 11, 36, 13, 27, 6, 34, 17, 25, 2, 21, 4, 19, 15, and 32

There is a lot more to the layout of the European roulette wheel than just splitting consecutive numbers, and that’s what we’re going to look at next.

Secrets of the Roulette Layout

You now know how many numbers there are on a roulette wheel, but there are some secret patterns that may not be obvious.

As we’ve already seen above, the American roulette wheel isn’t as randomly scattered as it might first seem, but the European roulette wheel also has a method in the distribution.

Odds and evens should be evenly spread out around the wheel, with no more than two of any odd or even numbers clustered together. This is because odds/evens is one of the popular roulette bets, and having a large clump could make a difference to the betting.

Low/high is another common bet, so it's preferable to have the low and high numbers split right around the board. This is one of the reasons why the European roulette wheel is considered to be more balanced than the American wheel. On the American wheel, the low and high numbers don't alternate particularly well. However, on the European wheel, the high and low numbers alternate other than the numbers 5 and 10, both low and lying next to each other. 

You can split the European wheel in half - on the left-hand side, you'll find all the high red numbers and black low numbers, and on the right-hand side, there are all the high black numbers and the red low numbers. A beautiful balance!

There's no official reason why the numbers are distributed in these ways rather than just being a simple ascending 0-36. But many believe that it's to disorient players and make it harder to spot trends and patterns or specific number blocks that are frequent winners. However, now you know the secrets of the roulette wheel, it's much easier to keep track of where the numbers are - we can't promise it will help you win, but it certainly can't hurt!