Have you ever looked at a spinning wheel in a casino and wondered how it works? While this is arguably the simplest type of gambling game, we need to dig deeper into the subject to find out what mechanism is used and how this affects your chances of winning.
A Growing Variety of Wheel-Based Games
The first point to cover here is that there isn’t a single casino wheel game you can play. Roulette is the classic example of this way of playing but even this game is now divided into various versions. The clearest difference is between European and American versions, with the game we’re most familiar with in the US having a double zero pocket.
Another approach is used for the daily free spins on a giant wheel for members of the Paddy Power casino. This is a wheel that every member can spin each day for free, so it’s a sort of loyalty bonus rather than a betting game where you place a wager. When it comes to rest, the prize marked is awarded and this can range from free spins on slots to scratchcards and more.
A look in a live games lobby reveals that the variety of games with wheels is growing. As well as numerous roulette variants, we can find the likes of Sweet Bonanza, Crazy Time, and Mega Party. While the rules vary in each case, they each have a big wheel with prize segments on it at their heart.
The Spin a Win game by Playtech is a good example of this genre as it has a wheel split into 54 segments that show different prize amounts which can be increased by multipliers. Crazy Time by Evolution adds more complexity by including segments with bonus games such as one based on the Japanese game of pachinko, meaning that players are transported there if the wheel stops on one of those names.
Real Wheels and Random Number Generators
One of the first things you’ll notice is that these games are split between two different types of presentation. While some games use a real, physical wheel, others have a computer-generated wheel on the screen. How does this affect your chances of winning?
If we start with digital wheels, they use a sophisticated piece of software known as a random number generator, or RNG, to ensure an unpredictable outcome on each occasion. This is the same type of software used in many other types of games and gets tested extensively to ensure that it’s totally random.
The online games that feature a physical wheel – such as those live dealer games mentioned – work like the Wheel of Fortune TV show or Big Six games in Las Vegas, by giving a random outcome. As with the virtual wheels, the key is in creating a balanced wheel that ensures that every player has a chance of winning a big prize but that they’re unlikely to win big on every spin.
All of these games featuring wheels look simple and that’s clearly a big part of their appeal. However, once we study them closer, we find that a lot of work goes into making them random, fair and attractive to players.