Among the most popular casino games of all time, Roulette is the only one where players do not have cards to play with. And we’re not talking about Russian Roulette, either! Roulette – perhaps the most social of all casino games due to its slower pace and human interaction – has been around for quite some time. Furthermore, it is a game that world-class mathematicians have tried to solve for the last 200 years. In this article we won’t be offering any statistical solutions in order to discover the optimal betting sequence. Instead we’ll study the history of this fascinating game called Roulette, or Little Wheel.
The earliest evidence of a form of Roulette can be found in 17th century France. It is puzzling to note that France appears to be the source of the most popular casino games (Poker and Blackjack, for instance). Although the exact source of Roulette is debatable – either an unknown monk in a French monastery, or the mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Christian philosopher Blaise Pascal – there is no doubt that the game has been inspired by someone with a knack for statistics. These historical facts narrow the possibility of origin to Western Europe where Renaissance inspired human minds came to admire science as opposed to faith.
Nevertheless, let us move forward to the game itself and see how Roulette is played. First and foremost, the European wheel consists of numbers between 0 and 36 whereas American roulette has 38 numbers (0-36 and 00). The dealer, also known as a croupier, spins the wheel to wither left or right, and then spins a ball inside the wheel in the opposite direction. The slots are also either red or black coloured, except the green zero slot. The ball will obviously end up in one of these slots.
Now, let’s talk about the betting options, which are hugely diverse and dynamic. Before the wheel is put to spin, players place different bets with their chips on a specific bet table. The bets can be on numbers, colours or their combinations. And that’s where the game gets exciting. Bets can be placed either for the ‘inside’ or ‘outside’ bet options. Here’s a list of all the bet options:
- Low/High – Bet on either low numbers 0-18 or high 19-36
- Red/Black – Bet on either colour
- Even/Odd – Bet on odd or even number
- Dozen – Bet on a dozen numbers
- Column – Bet on a number which will be in the column (vertical) of 12 numbers
- Snake – Special bet on numbers 1,5,9,12,14,16,19,23,27,30,32 and 34 (not all casinos offer)
- 6 numbers – 5:1win ratio
- 5 numbers – 6:1win ratio
- 4 numbers – 8:1win ratio
- 3 numbers – 11:1win ratio
- 2 numbers – 17:1win ratio
- 1 number – biggest win with 35:1 ratio
Remember that American Roulette has two zero slots (0 and 00) whereas European Roulette has only one. Also, here’s a fun fact for conspiracy theory fans: The combined roulette wheel numerical values equal 666, the number of the beast.
The emergence of online casinos is changing the dynamics of Roulette, which is popular partly due the social interactions amongst players. It remains to be seen whether this online transformation is successful.