A popular game since the 18th century, Roulette is named for the French word meaning “Little Wheel.” This is evocative of the game, as it is played on a small wheel that spins, allowing a ball to get ‘caught’ in one of the many slots as the wheel slows its spinning. It is believed that the game itself came into being as an offshoot of famous mathematician Blaise Pascal’s search for a perpetual motion machine in the 17th century. It is a hybrid of the gaming wheel created for the Italian game Biribi which was invented in 1720. Roulette is a game has been played in its current form since 1796 in Paris, France. In the French versions of the game, the house would always have 2 slots, giving it the advantage in the otherwise game of chance that playing Roulette affords the players. Originally the numbers on the wheel were only red and black, but green was added to avoid confusion in the 1800s. Roulette stayed in France and Germany until the 19th century where it made the jump to the Americas where it underwent a couple of changes. When it started in the United States, the wheel had the numbers 0-28 plus a double 0 on it. In addition to this, there was also a slot with the American Eagle on it for the house advantage.
This didn’t last long, though, and soon the wheels just had the numbers on them once again. This was because when the ball landed on the zeros or the eagle, the casino would take everything on the table. There are three types of Roulette wheels currently in play, the single 0, the double 0, and the triple 0. The numbers are Single 0: 0-32-15-19-4-21-2-25-17-34-6-27-13-36-11-30-8-23-10-5-24-16-33-1-20-14-31-9-22-18-29-7-28-12-35-3-26 This table was designed by the French brothers Francois and Lois Blanc to secure the house’s edge in the game. The original game didn’t have the 0. Double 0: 0-28-9-26-30-11-7-20-32-17-5-22-34-15-3-24-36-13-1-00-27-10-25-29-12-8-19-31-18-6-21-33-16-4-23-35-14-2 This game was created by the Americans in order to further extend the house’s edge. Triple 0: 0-000-00-32-15-19-4-21-2-25-17-34-6-27-13-36-11-30-8-23-10-5-24-16-33-1-20-14-31-9-22-18-29-7-28-12-35-3-26 In the American version of the game, the triple 0 was put into place after the bald eagle fell out of favor. This gave the game even more of a house edge that the previous two versions. Einstein once said that the only way to win at Roulette was to take money from the wheel directly. This might be because it is a game of chance that can’t be predicted, and, as he put it “God does not play dice with the universe.”
Interesting Facts and Trivia About Roulette
1. It is mainly played by men. Only about 20% of roulette players are women.
2. There are about 20 different variations of the game.
3. It is one of the more simple casino games in terms of rules.
4. The weight of the Roulette Wheel is 65kg or a little over 143 pounds.
5. It is the most popular game of chance in Europe, surpassing even Blackjack.
6. The numbers add up to 666, and it was believed that the people that first created the game sold their soul to the devil to come up with it.
7. It was initially very popular with people that were gold diggers in the United States during the Gold Rush. These people combined the two qualities that are needed to succeed in the game: a belief in luck and patience.
- Most Roulette wheels are manufactured by John Huxley and Cammegh Abbaiti. The most well-known manufacturer is John Huxley. They are also the oldest.
- Casinos scatter the numbers on the table near the Roulette wheel to make you forget about the wheel itself. The numbers 1 and 2 could not be more further apart on the wheel, even though the table might make it seem like they are right next to each other.
- Beating Roulette is all about the wheel, not the table.
- No Roulette wheel is the same. They each have different defects that will have to be noticed to be exploited.
- The Roulette Wheel is never truly random. The only way to get a truly random result is to not use a wheel at all…use a computerized version of the wheel for a truly random result.
Roulette continues to be popular in the digital age with the advent of online casinos giving players the ability to test their luck even while they are at home. The mesmerizing look of the wheel going counterclockwise while the ball goes clockwise is still appealing to humans even after more than 4 centuries of play. If you’ve never played this game, you’re in for a classic treat. So go out there, good luck, and have fun with one of the best casino games in the world!