Roulette: The Facts and the Numbers

Roulette was first introduced to the casino floor more than a century ago. The game quickly became a favorite of many including a large number of European aristocrats, industrialists and writers.

Roulette is one of the easiest games to play and is found in both online and brick and mortar casinos. The game is offered in several formats including the standard layout with a wheel and dealers as well as tables with virtual wheels. Standalone games, called Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT) or “roulette machines”, are also available in some countries. Live dealer games are very popular at online casinos which also offer virtual wheels.

Roulette GameSeveral variants of roulette are also offered, but the basic game is played the same way as it has been since its inception.

Roulette has a rich history which is filled with interesting facts and trivia. Here are some that you can randomly drop the next time you are enjoying the game with fellow players.

The game has been played in its present form since 1796.

The first form of roulette was introduced in the 1600s by Blaise Pascal. Pascal was attempting to develop perpetual motion machine.

Roulette is the most popular game in French casinos.

The numbers on a roulette wheel total 666, which has led to the game being nicknamed “the devil’s game.”

The marker used by the dealer to indicate the winning number is a “dolly.”

The walls the separate numbers are called “frets.”

The roulette ball is called a “pill.”

Many gambling historians theorize that more books and systems have been offered for roulette than any other game. One of the earliest printed references to roulette was published in the gaming regulations in Quebec in 1758, which banned the game. Despite the failure of any “secret system” to beat the wheel, they continue to be developed and marketed. However there are a number of sound strategies for playing roulette. Learning them will add to your enjoyment of the game.Roulette Table

The most popular system is the Martingale. With this system you place a bet on one of the “even money” payouts; red/black or odd/even. After a loss you double your wager on the same spot until you win. The biggest liabilities in the system are having a limited bankroll and the fact that all casinos have a maximum bet limit.

European roulette wheels have a single zero; American wheels have two zeros. Double zero wheels were actually the original European standard. The single zero wheel was introduce by Francois and Louis Blanc in 1843 who offered single zero wheels in their German casino to give players an incentive to play at their casino.

In America’s Old West the roulette wheel had a zero, double zero, and American eagle slot. All were automatic house wins and players could not place bets on those hitting. This early wheels are highly sought-after by casino memorabilia collectors.

The house edge for an American wheel is 5.25%; the edge is 2.7% with a European wheel.

The worst bet on an American wheel is the five-number bet that covers 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. The house edge on that bet is 7.89%.

In Diamonds Are Forever, James Bond played roulette rather than baccarat. He won by betting on 17. The number was chosen due to actor Sean Connery winning a large bet on 17 prior to shooting the scene.

17 is the most widely bet number at roulette worldwide according to gambling authorities and statisticians.

Casinos in Monte Carlo were the earliest champions of the game. The wheels in Monte Carlo were frequented by the rich and famous from around the world, as well as by some more well off locals.

Roulette WheelRoulette wins are the stuff of legends. Charles Wells, is known as the “man who broke the bank” at Monte Carlo after winning about £60,000 in 1891, equal to £6 million in modern currency. William Darnborough won over $500,000 in Monte Carlos between 1907 and 1911. Dr. Richard Jarecki won $1.2 million playing roulette in San Remo and Monte Carlo, by looking for wheels that were off balance

In 2007 Englishman Ashley Revell sold all of the his possessions for $135,300. He traveled to Las Vegas where he bet the entire amount on Red at a roulette table at the Plaza Casino. The ball landed on red 7. After tipping the dealer $600, Revell walked away with $270,000.

Highly improbable streaks do occur at roulette. In 1959 at Puerto Rico’s San Juan Hotel, the number 10 came up 6 times in a row. In 2000, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas the number 7 hit six times in a row. The number 19 hits 7 times in a row at the Rio in Las Vegas. The odds of this happening are over 3 billion to 1.

The record for the same colour hitting is reportedly 36. This happened with the “pill” landed on red at a casino in Bristol, England.

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