Double Ball Roulette
The time-honored casino game of Roulette has changed little since its beginnings in seventeenth-century France. The invention of the game is attributed to mathematician Blaise Pascal, who is actually better known for his contributions to philosophy than to gambling. Apart from the introduction of the single-zero European style of Roulette in the 1800s, the wheel, and the game have stayed about the same–until recently.
Double Ball Roulette, available at a growing number of gaming establishments, is a new variation of the old table game in which the players themselves get to deliver TWO balls into the wheel spin. Instead of a dealer spinning the ball, the player essentially presses a button to shoot two balls out with a compressed air gun. The balls travel at the same speed, so the second ball is traveling right behind the first one and theoretically, they do not collide. Dealers in live games will, as usual, keep a few extra balls on hand and switch them out when one player is winning consistently. The excitement of Double Ball Roulette comes from the player involvement, the presence of two balls on the wheel, and the chance of winning big–even though the payouts on most bets are lower.
The traditional Roulette rules still pertain in Double Ball Roulette. There are single-zero and double-zero variations, players can still bet on 50/50 options like red/black and odd/even, or a group of twelve numbers or a line of three. And, of course, for the biggest payoffs players can bet on individual numbers.
Of course, the presence of two balls changes the math. On a two-number bet, if both balls land on the numbers, the payout is 34 to 1, compared to 35 to 1 in regular Roulette. In Double Ball Roulette, a single number payout is 17 to 1, again compared to 35 to 1 in traditional Roulette.
On an inside bet, the player obviously has two chances to win, so the payouts are lower–about half what they are in traditional Roulette.
On the outside bets, BOTH balls must win–but the payouts are higher. For example, for a bet on red to win, both balls must land on red.
Double Ball Jackpot
An intriguing possibility is the Double Ball Jackpot, where the player bets that both balls will land on the same number, known as the Double Ball Jackpot, which pays a tantalizing 1,200 to 1.
A winning bet on one red/one black pays 1 to 1. Winning bets on red/black, even/odd and low/high pay 3 to 1. A winning split bet on two adjacent numbers pays 8 to 1.
How to Play
Apart from the player instead of the dealer getting to shoot the two balls onto the wheel with an air gun, live-action Double Ball Roulette is played on the same equipment and follows the same procedures as normal Roulette. After all, bets are placed, the dealer hands the compressed air device to one player, who presses the button to release the two balls. Whether betting is still permitted during a “long spin” is up to the casino.
Odds and House Edge
Roulette is a fun game and the presence of two balls and the player involvement changes it up. The house edge is a little greater, but that's life in the casino. Double Ball Roulette was developed to enhance the gaming experience–and that remote possibility of a Double Ball Jackpot is definitely compelling.
Where to Play
A variety of U.S. patents both for physical and virtual/video multiple ball Roulette-style games have been granted.
One inventor cited two books that are useful as references for information about Roulette: “Winning Tips for Casino Games” by John Grochowski and “Beating the Wheel: Winning Strategies at Roulette” by Russel T. Barnhart.
Double Ball Roulette is played at the Tropicana and Binion's in Las Vegas, among others, and in Internet casinos.