Useless Facts for Roulette Nerds

Roulette is a blast. You put a few chips onto the felt, the roulette wheel spins, and sometimes magic happens.

Let's do some damage!
Let’s do some damage, shall we?

But there’s a lot about this seemingly simple game you might not know. First, it’s often called the “devil’s game,” because all the numbers on a roulette wheel add up to 666.

The nerdy fun really starts when you get into the names of the parts of a roulette wheel. There’s the static bowl (the part that does move) and the wheelhead (the part that does). The average roulette bowl is 32 inches in diameter. Yes, there will be a test.

Here’s a keeper: The little bumps (frequently diamond-shaped) that run along the ball track, and which give the spinning ball a bit more jump and randomness, are called “frets” or “canoes.”

The indentations where the ball lands are called ball “pockets,” illustrated below.

The most popular number played in roulette is 17.

There’s a lot more to know about roulette! Our best tip is to look for a European-style roulette wheel, with one green space rather than two (the American version). This simple difference in a wheel can mean a pretty big sway in terms of odds. The house advantage for European roulette is 2.7% while the edge for American roulette is 5.3%.

And you can take that to the banque. Because roulette is French. Oh, nevermind.