Big Six is a simple game, and thus is very popular with newcomers to Las Vegas. All you do is make your bet (or pay for your turn), and spin a wheel that is vertically mounted on an axle. If the wheel stops on a prize, you win; otherwise, well, you lose. Sometimes the casino will call this game "Big Wheel," or, in honor of the famous TV game show, it may be promoted as "Wheel of Fortune."

You may also find a variation of the game, called "Money "Wheel," in which the prizes are bills of different values. "Dice Wheel" is "Big Six" with a limitation of winning payouts to six segments of the wheel decorated to look like the face of a die.

Most people have played this game at carnivals. In Las Vegas, the stakes can go much higher. Look for this casino game near the door of the casino, standing up like a ferris wheel. Though the game mechanism is simple, it is often highly decorated with attention-getting lights and sound effects.

Big Six wheels have 54 different segments or possible stopping points on the edge of the wheel, each marked in denominations of payouts. In Las Vegas it is most common to see denominations of money around the wheel (from $1 up to $20), together with two spots that pay $40 on a $1 bet. A joker usually goes there, or perhaps the casino logo (to remind us who really wins at this game).

There is a table by the Bix Six wheel, where players deposit their wagers on their selected denominations. The croupier spins the wheel, and if it lands on the denomination bet upon by the player, the player wins. Otherwise, the player loses. The payouts vary by denomination, as provided in the table that follows.

Big Six was apparently invented to provide gambling recreation for people who enjoy cheering and yelling in a casino but find the application of any skill or thought to the process a bit taxing. The relatively high house edge on Big Six makes it one of the casino’s best money makers. There is no way by applying skill or altering bets so as to reduce the house advantage. It is simply built into the game.

The -15.53% figure at the bottom right corner of the table is the weighted average edge for all bets on the wheel.

Bet Spaces Probability Pays Edge
1 24 0.4444 1 -11,11%
2 15 0.2778 2 -16.67%
5 7 0.1296 5 -22.22%
10 4 0.0741 10 -18.52%
20 2 0.0370 20 -22.22%
Joker 1 0.0185 40 -24.07%
Casino 1 0.0185 40 -24.07%
Totals 54 1.0000   -15.53%

Other payout schedules are possible, which will naturally change the chances of winning and the calculations of the edge. One variation is to have 23 slots for the $1 bet, raising the edge to -14.81%, and adding it to the spaces for the $5 bet, reducing that edge to a more reasonable -11.11%.

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