Despite being one of the most popular game shows of all time, Wheel of Fortune was not as inspirational to software developers as one might expect. The game made a TV debut in 1975 and has been on the air ever since, reaching new generations of viewers and gaining worldwide following; still, not a lot of gaming providers have replicated the formula and modified it for the online gambling purposes. For the time being, the “Wheel”, in its original form, is much more likely to be associated with G-rated family entertainment than online gambling.
Be as it may, the simplified version of the Wheel of Fortune can sometimes be found integrated into video slots as a bonus game (Rival’s Wheel of Cash or Bally’s Cash Spin, Dragon Spin, and Cash Wizard…), awarding cash prizes or additional rounds. Certain online developers employ the Wheel as a part of their promotional program, but the live dealer Wheel of Fortune are relatively rare. Some land-based casinos in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and the UK offer the electronic version of the Big Six Wheel, where the players submit the bets and spin the Wheel via a digital platform.
Dream Catcher: A unique game with the simplest rules and a big portion of fun!
Australian, Asien and American Variations of the Wheel
Wheel of Fortune – usually referred to as “the Wheel” – is also known as the Money Wheel, the Big Six, the Cash Wheel, Spin & Win, and Lucky Wheel. The concept is the same, regardless of the name, although there are certain differences in the number of slots, house edge, and betting options. The distinctions in house edge (horrible high), wheel division, and payout ratio can be illustrated with the following variants:
- Atlantic City – 54 pockets, 45:1 max payout, 22.22% max house edge
- Australia – 52 pockets, 47:1 max payout, 7.69% house edge (on all bets)
- Charles Town – 54 pockets, 40:1 max payout, 24.07% max house edge
- Macau – 52 pockets, 45:1 max payout, 19.23% max house edge
- Las Vegas – 54 pockets, 40:1 max payout, 24.07% max house edge (differs from Charles Town by the number of $1 and $5 positions – 24 and 7 slots, as opposed to 23 and 8 slots in Charles Town variant).
Wheel of Fortune Live Variations according to the developer
At the moment, three live Wheel of Fortune versions dominate the online market – Dream Catcher by Evolution, Wheel of Fortune by BetGames, and Spin a Win by Playtech.
Dream Catcher – Evolution Gaming
Probably the most popular version between the three, Dream Catcher is a live dealer operated game that can be found in a vast number of online casinos powered by Evolution Gaming. One of the main appeals of this variant is the casual and easy-going attitude of the presenters, whose primary goal is to entertain, which is pretty understandable since the game itself is simple and can become monotonous pretty quickly. The hosts are therefore doing their best to interact with the players and keep them engaged.
Those who enjoy the social aspect of the live casino gambling will be particularly appreciative of the Live Chat feature, that will enable you to chat with the dealer or other players. And, if it’s entertainment you seek, be sure to play the game around Halloween since all the presenters will be wearing costumes!
Rules and payout table of Dream Catcher
The Wheel in Dream Catcher has 54 sections, 52 of which are actually numbers in (1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 40), while the other two pockets are x2 and x7 multipliers. The numbers have different occurrence rate, which determines the payout – in other words, more frequent numbers come with the higher probability rate and lower payouts rates. To initiate the bet session, the player must place the bet on one of the segments, either manually or by using the AutoPlay feature.
The payout values correspond to the number on the Wheel – for example, number 5 comes with the 5:1 payout rate. Once the multiplier lands, the host will re-spin the Wheel and the player’s winning bet will be increased by both the multiplier and the follow-up number.
Spin a Win – Playtech
The Playtech competitor is similar to Evolution’s Dream Catcher but does not have the same number of betting options. The total number of pockets (not including the x2 and x7 multipliers) is 51, and they are distributed across the wheel in the following manner:
- Number 1 – occupies the total of 23 pockets and pays 1:1
- Number 2 – occupies the total of 15 pockets and pays 2:1
- Number 5 – occupies the total of 7 pockets and pays 2:1
- Number 10 – occupies the total of 3 pockets and pays 10:1
- Number 20 – occupies the total of 2 pockets and pays 20:1
- Number 40 – occupies 1 pocket and pays 40:1
When the Wheel stops on one of the multipliers, the players’ bets will remain on their original positions and the dealer will spin the Wheel for the second time, adding the value of the multiplier to the number that lands in the follow-up spin – just like in the Dream Catcher variant. For example, if the Wheel lands on x7 and the follow up number is 5, the total payout value will be x35 (7×5).
Spin a Win Side bets
Spin a Win also offers side bets, which enable the players to wager on odd numbers (0.75:1 payout), even numbers (1.25:1), or multipliers (25:1). The side bets are optional, and the players can either combine them with the base game bets or wager only on x5, x7, odd or even.
Where to play Spin a Win
Wheel of Fortune – BetGames TV
Wheel of Fortune by BetGames TV (nominated for the Best Multi-Channel Supplier award in 2017), is a simplified variance of the game, featuring 19 sockets with numbers from 1 to 19. There are three betting categories – numbers, colors, and Odds/Evens.
Wheel of Fortune bets and gameplay
Numbers – the players can bet on a specific number (which comes with the highest payout rate of 18:1), a range of numbers (1 – 6, 7 – 12, and 13 – 18), or high/low options (values higher than 9.5 or lower than 9.5). Each of the three ranges carries the same payout rate of 3:1, while the high/low bet is slightly lower – 2:1.
Players who decide to bet on the color will have the following options:
- The Cup Pocket
Since all the colors have the equal number of fields (six each), the odds are the same and winning bet will generate 3:1 payout. The Cup Pocket, as the unique Wheel segment, generates 18:1 payout, which is the same as the specific number bet.
With odd/evens, you will be able to mix and match, betting on the number and the color at the same time:
- Any even number – 2:1
- Any odd number – 2:1
- Any even number in the grey section – 6:1
- Any odd number in the grey section – 6:1
- Any even number in the red section – 6:1
- Any odd number in the red section – 6:1
- Any even number in the black section – 6:1
- Any odd number in the black section – 6:1
Wheel of Fortune Strategy and tips to win
This might sound contradictory, but even the games of chance respond to certain strategies, be it the fund management or taking the laws of probability into consideration. According to a number of veteran players, the optimal strategy is playing safe and rationally managing your balance – as boring as this may sound. Wheel of Fortune is, in many aspects, similar to the game of roulette, and betting on the numbers with the highest frequency rate is the safest way to accumulate smaller but more reliable winnings.
In this case, it is extremely easy to determine the safest choice, since a single number can appear on the Wheel more than once. Therefore, consistently placing the bets on 1, 2, or 5 is a much better strategy than going for the high-risk bets such as 20 or 40. The same goes for the odd/even, high/low or color bets. The frequency rate of a certain Wheel segment is the best indicator of the player’s odds, so unless you are an adrenaline junkie, bets like 40, 20, multiplier side bets, specific number bets, or The Cup bet should either be avoided or reduced to the bare minimum.
The tables that display previous results are also a useful tool and you can use it to analyze the game and find the patterns – just like in roulette’s hot/cold number tracker or roadmaps in baccarat. In Dream Catcher, for example, the spreadsheet with the winning numbers is located at the bottom of the screen, to the right. It will take no more than a glance to spot the numbers with the higher hit frequency and adjust your bets accordingly.
One more thing to be mindful of is the budget – the game of chance cannot be curbed by the player’s specific set of skills; remember, you are relying on probability and odds rather than your ability to predict the results by using advanced counting methods. With this in mind, the bets should always be in line with your budget. The limits in the Wheel of Fortune variations can go up to $1,000 – $2,500, so it’s best that you never place a bet that you can’t afford to lose…
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