Roulette Zero and the Bankers Edge
Contrary to the popular assumption that the double zero was discovered in America, history tells us that, the original roulette wheel that was used in France around 1800 is the same as the one used in modern times that has both Zeros. What changed, is the creation of the new-style wheel which had one Zero by the Frenchmen Francois and Lois Blanc. The game quickly gained popularity; both wheels existed in France and Europe till the 20th century.
The French Roulette as was described at the end of the Victorian era had both the Zero and the double Zero. The Zero was red in color and was counted as Manque and Pair. The Double Zero was black in color and was counted as “Impair” and “Passe”. If the ball fell into any of these numbers, all the money went to the bank, and if the bet was evenly matched, that is, when the ball stopped at Pair, Impair, Passe, Rogue, Noir or Manque, instead of any party winning, the stake came to a halt until the wheel was spun again. On the next spin, the bet is either lost, and if there is another match, the bet goes back to the gambler at zero profit.
As you may have noticed, the two extra numbers give the bank an added advantage, or rather an edge over the player over an extended period of time. This is because the ball has a chance of falling into one of the zeros two times in every 38 balls. This gives the bank a 1/38 profit (2.5%). However, if you take a closer look, you will realize that the odds above have been biased in the bank’s favour. For example, the stake of a single number has odds of 35 to 1. However, since there are 38 sections that the ball may fall into, the correct odds are 37 to 1. Over a prolonged time frame, the bank gains an edge of 2/37 or more than 5% of the money that has been staked on certain numbers or cluster of numbers.