Why Aren’t Roulette Numbers in Order?

Find out why the numbers on our roulette wheels appear as they do.
8th February 2024

Why Roulette Numbers Aren’t in Order

If you’ve ever taken a look at a roulette table, then you’ve probably wondered why the pockets on the wheel are numbered in the way they are. You may think that it would be easier if they appeared in numerical order.

While that may be true, it wouldn’t be very fun, would it?

There is a method to the structure of a roulette wheel - so, before placing your wagers on some of our best online roulette games, find out why the numbers appear as they do on the wheels in casinos below…

European Roulette Wheels

Most of the wheels in our online and live casino use the European format, with 37 numbered pockets on the wheel, ranging from 0-36.

The numbers are ordered as follows, starting with the 0 pocket and moving clockwise: 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25, 17, 34, 6, 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33, 1, 20, 14, 31, 9, 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26.

The first type of wagers you have in games like EU Roulette are the inside bets, which involves betting on the individual numbers on the table. This includes straight up, split, street, corner and line wagers, and when you play the likes of Lightning Roulette, you may have boosted payouts on straight up bets.

The second type is the outside bets, featuring red or black, high or low, and odd or even. You can also bet on which column will have the winning number, and which third the winning number will be in.

American Roulette Wheels

When you play American Roulette, you will notice an extra pocket on the wheel. This is the 00 pocket, and is green just like the regular 0. Previously, these pockets were coloured red and black respectively, but this naturally caused confusion, and they’ve been coloured green since the 1800s.

You have 38 pockets in total in American roulette, with numbers 0-36 featured as well as the 00. They are ordered slightly differently to the European version, starting as follows in a clockwise direction: 0, 28, 9, 26, 30, 11, 7, 20, 32, 17, 5, 22, 34, 15, 3, 24, 36, 13, 1, 00, 27, 10, 25, 29, 12, 8, 19, 31, 18, 6, 21, 33, 16, 4, 23, 35, 14, 2.

The betting area on these tables is the same as when you play European roulette, so you can place all of the wagers that we’ve listed.

Keep a close eye on the white ball and the numbers you've placed a bet on...

Why Are Roulette Wheels Not in a Specific Order?

So, you now know more about the layouts of the tables and the types of bets you can place on them - but that still doesn’t explain why the numbers appear in the order that they do. There are a few key reasons for this, which we’ll get to now…

Colour Variation on the Wheel

Take a good look at the roulette wheel, and you’ll notice that the numbers alternate between red and black, with the green 0 or 00 pockets in the centre. With this layout, it guarantees that the same number of coloured pockets are on each side of the wheel if you divide it in half, so if you place a bet on red or black, you have a chance of winning no matter which side the ball lands on.

Alternating High/Low and Odd/Even Numbers

This is one key difference between the American and European roulette wheels. While you can see sections on the American roulette wheels which have groups of high or low, or odd or even numbers, this isn’t the case on the European version.

If you’re playing European roulette, then this is much like the reason behind alternating between red and black pockets - if you split the wheel in half, you will find high black numbers on one side, with low black numbers on the other, and vice versa. The only exception to this is the 5 and 10, which are alongside each other opposite the 0. You also won’t find two even or two odd numbers back-to-back on these wheels, just to increase the randomness that little bit more.

The pattern you’ll find when you play at American online roulette tables is slightly different. In these games, you can have either two odd or even numbers next to each other, or you may have two high or low numbers in adjacent positions. As sets of numbers can be grouped together, it may be trickier to land winning bets on high/low and odd/even.

Harder to Memorise, and More Interesting to Play

Don’t worry if you’re feeling slightly confused by the layouts of the wheels. If online and live roulette wheels were simply ordered from 0-36 they wouldn’t be as interesting, would they? This especially applies if you’re new to roulette - as you watch the white ball bounce around the wheel, you’ll be left wondering where it’s going to land at first, so you can truly feel the thrill of backing a winning number.

As you get more used to playing these games, you will start to get more of a feel of which section the ball is going to end up in. If you enjoy placing Neighbour wagers then you’ll know what we mean here - these bets cover five numbers in adjacent positions on the wheel, meaning you can cover an area of it.

With the numbers scattered across different positions on the wheel, they are more difficult to memorise than if they were shown in numerical order. We think that makes the game of roulette much more interesting.

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