Money wheels and dice wheels
This variant is the most common in casinos in the United States. The symbols are $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20 bills — and two special symbols, a joker and the casino logo. The $1 bills pay at odds of 1 to 1, the $2 bills at 2 to 1, the $5 bills at 5 to 1, and so on. The joker and the logo pay at odds of 40 to 1 or 45 to 1, depending on local gaming regulations or the practice of the casino.
The house advantage or edge (the proportion of the stakes that the casino expects to win on average) of this game is one of the highest of most casino games. In the United States it ranges from 11.1% on the $1-bill bet to more than 24% on the joker or logo (when it pays at 40 to 1).
The symbols on the wheel represent some of the 216 possible combinations of three dice. Sometimes the same combination appears in more than one segment. Players wager on the numbers 1 through 6. If the number appears on one of the dice in the winning segment, the dealer pays at 1 to 1; on two of the dice, 2 to 1; on all three of the dice, 3 to 1.
One example of a dice wheel divided into 54 segments. Each of the triples appears four times. The following doubles each appear four times: 2, 1, 1; 2, 2, 1; 4, 3, 3; 5, 4, 4; 6, 5, 5; and 6, 6, 3. The following combinations each appear three times: 3, 2, 1; and 6, 5, 4.
In the example above, there are 54 possible outcomes for a single spin of the wheel. For a specific number:
- There are 7 possible outcomes where only one die will match the number
- There are 4 possible outcomes where only two dice will match
- There are 4 possible outcomes where all three dice will match
At odds of 1 to 1, 2 to 1 and 3 to 1 respectively for each of these types of outcome, the expected loss as a percentage of the stake wagered is:
1 – [(7/54) * 2 + (4/54) * 3 + (4/54) * 4] = 22.2%
The symbolism of the game is redolent of chuck-a-luck or sic bo, games of chance played with three dice. However, the house advantage or edge is greater than for chuck-a-luck, which itself has a higher house advantage than other casino games.
This variety is seldom seen in casinos, but frequently seen as a carnival game, or at a charity “Monte Carlo night” fund-raiser. A similar game, the “Big Nine” wheel, has five numbers on each segment, and also three special symbols, appearing on three spaces each, which pay 10:1 odds.