10 Facts About Roulette

  • According to the records, the first roulette wheel was not built for gambling purposes. It was instead developed by French mathematician and inventor Blaise Pascal, who was attempting to devise a machine that would stay in perpetual motion.
  • The earliest recorded reference to a roulette table at a casino comes from Jaques Lablee’s 1796 novel La Roulette, ou le Jour.
  • The original roulette wheel used in casinos had two ‘0’ pockets. The single ‘0’ pocket was introduced by the brothers François and Louis Blanc, who wished to attract gamblers to their Hamburg casino by offering superior odds.
  • According to some, François Blanc sold his soul to the Devil in return for the secrets of roulette. Proof of this is to be found in the numbering of the roulette wheel, with the sum of the pockets (1-36) adding up to 666.
  • American roulette adheres to the design of the original roulette wheels, with two ‘0’ pockets. European roulette, however, follows the design introduced by the demonically inspired François Blanc, with just one ‘0’ pocket.
  • European roulette has a far lower house edge than American roulette. The European version gives the house a 2.7% advantage whilst American roulette gives the house a 5.26% edge.
  • All roulette wheels feature three colours in their pockets. The numbers from 1-36 are in alternating red or black pockets, and the 0 pockets are green. These colours are repeated on the baize of the gaming table where bets are placed.
  • The famous Martingale strategy, which requires the gambler to double their stake every time they lose, and to continue betting on a 50/50 outcome such as ‘black’ or ‘even’ is mathematically proven to lose immense sums of money playing roulette.
  • Whilst betting on single numbers or rows of five offers the best odds in roulette, this option is rarely if ever used by experienced roulette players. These players instead focus on backing several lower probability outcomes that could potentially overlap.
  • Unlike many other popular casino games it is considered to be in bad taste to consume food or beverages while playing at roulette tables. Furthermore, roulette is the only casino table game where a tip for the croupier is considered obligatory.
  • In 2004 a London man successfully doubled his fortune by selling everything he owned and placing the money he made on red at a Las Vegas roulette table.
  • From 2007 UK residents have been able to play live roulette on television. A number of casinos now broadcast roulette over dedicated channels including on SKY, Freesat and Freeview, allowing viewers to bet on the action from their lounge rooms.

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