This article discusses everything you need to know about buying your own professional Roulette wheel. If you don’t carefully consider the advice, you can end up buying a wheel that’s nothing like real wheels in today’s casinos, except that it “looks” much the same. Different wheels can produce very different spins.
The full size roulette wheel
The full size of a roulette wheel you would find in casinos is 80cm straight across the middle. This measures from the very outer parts. It is 32 inches.
The roulette wheel brands you can buy
The most common wheel designs are John Huxley, Cammegh and Abbiati. There are many other brands, but these are the most common. Unless you are using the wheel just for fun, don’t buy the cheap ABS plastic wheels you’ll find on Ebay. Buy one of the real designs and brands used in casinos.
Should you buy an older design?
You can still find wheels that are over a century old, but they are very different to modern wheels. I’m assuming you are looking for a wheel to practice your roulette system, or perhaps test a roulette computer. And you aren’t going to benefit by testing on a wheel that’s very different to what you’ll play against. I suggest purchasing a design that’s no more than 5 years old. Modern casinos still have wheels that are even 30 years old, but they are rare. They only exist today because most casinos regularly maintain their wheels. In fact many casinos have their own in-house wheel refurbishing service.
Should you buy any wheel design?
To any inexperienced player, all roulette wheels would look much the same. But on closer inspection, you will notice different metal deflectors (diamonds), types of pockets, different angles of particular components and so on. Seemingly subtle differences can make a roulette wheel easy to predict, or near impossible to predict. Things to look for include:
1. Size and shape of diamonds: these are the metal deflectors the ball usually hits. From a distance, the diamonds may appear to be the same on different wheels. But have a closer look. Smaller diamonds with irregular shapes tend to produce the most random spins. But it is actually the combination of other wheel features, and the diamonds, that determine the predictability of spins.
2. Height and shape of pocket separators: these are the pieces of metal between pockets. Some have straight edges, while some kind of the “V” shape, which is designed to deflect the ball in one of two directions. Also the shapes of the pockets themselves make a big difference to how the ball will bounce.
Every small part of modern roulette wheels is purposefully designed. Again have a very close look and try to understand what the ball will do at each point. You may begin to appreciate the effort taken to carefully design the wheels for maximum unpredictability. But you may also begin to understand what would inevitably make spins more predictable. Almost always, a particular feature is a double-edged sword, meaning it may make the spin less predictable in some cases, but more predictable in others.
Should you buy a used or ex-casino wheel?
Generally Roulette wheel manufacturers are not permitted to sell wheels to the public. There are exceptions if you know someone in the company, although it is sometimes even illegal to own a roulette wheel. But in most parts of the world, it is perfectly legal provided you don’t use it to run an illegal casino.
For most people, the only option to own a real casino wheel is to buy an ex- casino wheel.
There are a number of reasons why a casino will replace a particular wheel. Sometimes it becomes obsolete and replaced with a new model. Or perhaps it fails a roulette wheel bias test, and needs to be replaced because players are exploiting it. At least these are the two main reasons.
Your reason for purchasing the wheel will determine whether or not a particular wheel will be suitable. For example, if you want a wheel just to play with friends for fun, just about any wheel will do. If you want a wheel to test bias analysis, you will probably find that most used wheels do have a bias. But if you want to test the roulette computer, then it is okay for a wheel to have a bias because most roulette computers do not bother with assessment for bias. Wheel bias is a condition where particular winning numbers occur more frequently than others. Usually the edge you can get from a biased wheel is only a few percent, whereas the edge from a roulette computer can be well over 100%.
The main problem with buying a used roulette wheel
It is not a problem if a wheel has various bumps and dense around the edges. These are purely cosmetic and do not affect the operation of the wheel. The main problem with used roulette wheels is the ball track becomes worn and cracked. The ball track is made from a kind of epoxy resin. On all wheels, eventually it cracks and is very difficult to repair. The effect of this is the ball tends to fall off the ball track at particular points more than others. This leads to dominant diamonds, which is the condition where the ball hits particular diamonds more than others. And ultimately it makes the roulette spins much more predictable.
Just about every roulette wheel has dominant diamonds. However, on a very well maintained wheel in good condition, it occurs because the wheel is not placed on level surface. Even a 1 mm difference in height between sides of the roulette wheel will cause the dominant diamond effect.
This can be corrected by more accurately levelling the wheel, although it is very difficult even with precision equipment. This is why almost every roulette wheel has significant dominant diamonds. The difference is with a used wheel with a badly worn ball track cannot be corrected by more carefully levelling the wheel.
There is not much difference between a dominant diamond on a used wheel, and a dominant diamond on a brand-new wheel in perfect condition. But the significant difference is the ball will not roll smoothly on the used wheel’s ball track.
You will notice that on a new wheel, the ball rolls very smoothly and gradually decelerates. But on an older wheel, even in casinos today, the ball may be released very quickly only to suddenly decelerate. This is a sign of a worn ball track. Another way of knowing if the ball track is worn is the ball may not roll more than 12 revolutions before falling, if the ball track is worn.
Where can you buy real roulette wheels?
First I suggest contacting the wheel manufacturers and asking if they will sell you a new wheel. If they don’t, ask about used stock. Another option is eBay. Don’t be fooled by imitation wheels that look like the originals. There are many cheaper wheels that are manufactured in China, although they are considerably easier to beat than the wheels used in modern casinos.
Again consider what you intend to use the wheel for. If you are a professional player and testing a system, consider the system you are using. If you are using a roulette computer, then it is important that the ball track is in good condition. In fact a worn ball track can make roulette computer predictions less accurate. The ball may hit particular diamonds more than others, but the ball deceleration rate will be erratic and unpredictable. If you intend to test a roulette computer, then I advise a relatively new wheel with a ball track that is in good condition.
If you intend to test a system that involves predicting the winning number before ball release, then just about any real roulette wheel would usually be acceptable. The exception is if you’re method a prediction utilities physical defects, such as roulette wheel bias techniques do.