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Last Updated: February 8, 2017

Money Wheel

Introduction

The Money Wheel was launched at the Jackpot Casino in Red Deer, Alberta, in June 2011. It is a variation of Big Six, which is the game with the large vertical wheel, usually found near the entrance of casinos and usually dealt by an attractive female dealer. What makes the Money Wheel different is 56 stops instead of 54, and some of them are multipliers. The house edge is also much lower than Big Six, as my analysis below will show.

Rules

  1. The player may bet on $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, or $40.
  2. All bets are paid on a to one basis according to the odds of the bet itself. For example, a bet on $5 would pay 5 to 1.
  3. Four positions on the wheel will multiply any win, known as a Lucky Lucky. Two Lucky Lucky spots multiply the next win by 2x, one 3x, and one 5x. If Lucky Lucky sounds familiar, it is because Lucky Lucky is also a blackjack side bet, both invented by the owner of the Jackpot Casino.
  4. If the wheel stops in any Lucky Lucky, then all bets will remain in place. No new bets will be allowed. The outcome of the next spin will determine the winning wager, as usual, but the odds will be multiplied by 2, 3, or 5, depending on which Lucky Lucky the wheel stopped in the previous spin.
  5. In the event the wheel stops in a Lucky Lucky twice in a row, then all wagers will lose.
  6. The following table shows how the wheel is apportioned.

Let's look at an example. The player bet $20 on the $5 spot. The wheel lands in the 3x Lucky Lucky. The next spin it lands in $5. The player would win $20×$5×3=$300.

Money Wheel Distribution

Stop Number on Wheel
$1 23
$2 15
$5 7
$10 4
$20 2
$40 1
2x Multiplier 2
3x Multiplier 1
5x Multiplier 1

Analysis

The following table shows the possible outcomes for the $1 bet. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 6.12%.

$1 Bet Analysis

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
5x Lucky Lucky win 5 23 0.007334 0.036671
3x Lucky Lucky win 3 23 0.007334 0.022003
2x Lucky Lucky win 2 46 0.014668 0.029337
Standard win 1 1288 0.410714 0.410714
Loss -1 1756 0.559949 -0.559949
Total 3136 1.000000 -0.061224

The following table shows the possible outcomes for the $2 bet. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 6.25%.

$2 Bet Analysis

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
5x Lucky Lucky win 10 15 0.004783 0.047832
3x Lucky Lucky win 6 15 0.004783 0.028699
2x Lucky Lucky win 4 30 0.009566 0.038265
Standard win 2 840 0.267857 0.535714
Loss -1 2236 0.713010 -0.713010
Total 3136 1.000000 -0.062500

The following table shows the possible outcomes for the $5 bet. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 10.71%.

$5 Bet Analysis

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
5x Lucky Lucky win 25 7 0.002232 0.055804
3x Lucky Lucky win 15 7 0.002232 0.033482
2x Lucky Lucky win 10 14 0.004464 0.044643
Standard win 5 392 0.125000 0.625000
Loss -1 2716 0.866071 -0.866071
Total 3136 1.000000 -0.107143

The following table shows the possible outcomes for the $10 bet. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 5.61%.

$10 Bet Analysis

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
5x Lucky Lucky win 50 4 0.001276 0.063776
3x Lucky Lucky win 30 4 0.001276 0.038265
2x Lucky Lucky win 20 8 0.002551 0.051020
Standard win 10 224 0.071429 0.714286
Loss -1 2896 0.923469 -0.923469
Total 3136 1.000000 -0.056122

The following table shows the possible outcomes for the $20 bet. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 9.44%.

$20 Bet Analysis

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
5x Lucky Lucky win 100 2 0.000638 0.063776
3x Lucky Lucky win 60 2 0.000638 0.038265
2x Lucky Lucky win 40 4 0.001276 0.051020
Standard win 20 112 0.035714 0.714286
Loss -1 3016 0.961735 -0.961735
Total 3136 1.000000 -0.094388

The following table shows the possible outcomes for the $40 bet. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 11.35%.

$40 Bet Analysis

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
5x Lucky Lucky win 200 1 0.000319 0.063776
3x Lucky Lucky win 120 1 0.000319 0.038265
2x Lucky Lucky win 80 2 0.000638 0.051020
Standard win 40 56 0.017857 0.714286
Loss -1 3076 0.980867 -0.980867
Total 3136 1.000000 -0.113520

Strategy

The lowest house edge is on the $10 at 5.61%. My advice is to bet on that only.

Comparison to Big Six

The following table compares the Money Wheel to four versions of Big Six, also known as the Wheel of Fortune. As you can see, the average house edge is much lower on the Money Wheel compared to American Big Six. You would have to go to Australia to get a better average bet on a vertical wheel. The best single bet anywhere, including Australia, is the $10 at 5.61% house edge on the Money Wheel.

Money Wheel to Big Six Comparison

Bet Money Wheel Big Six
Las Vegas
Big Six
Atlantic City
Macau Australia
$1 6.12% 11.11% 11.11% 7.69% 7.69%
$2 6.25% 16.67% 16.67%
$3 7.69% 7.69%
$5 10.71% 22.22% 22.22% 7.69% 7.69%
$10 5.61% 18.52% 18.52% 15.38%
$11 7.69%
$20 9.44% 22.22% 22.22% 19.23%
$23 7.69%
$40 11.35% 24.07%
$45 14.81% 11.54%
$47 7.69%
Average 8.25% 19.14% 17.59% 11.54% 7.69%

Written by: Michael Shackleford

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