If you were to list classic casino games, roulette would likely be one of the first to come to mind. The game as it is known today has been making the rounds since the 18th century when it became official in French casinos, quickly spreading across the world and replacing other similar games. Since the advent of online gambling, roulette has only grown in popularity, although the intrigue and excitement of the traditional table and ball is enough to keep players coming back.
You Might Call It a Sacrilegious Experience
Established in 18th century France, the term “roulette” quickly became a casino staple synonymous with big risks and life-altering rewards. In French, the word roulette translates to “Little Wheel”, but the game is also commonly known as “The Devil’s Game”, a name bestowed in reference to the fact that the numbers on the board add up to a total of 666. Curious souls throughout history have pondered the connection between this nickname and certain religious traditions, particularly as the game does have origins in religious male communities, but these other explanations are little more than hearsay.
The Game Has Aged Well
The modern version of roulette which is known and loved by casino patrons the world over has origins in several ancient nations around the world. It is thought to have been inspired by ancient board games played by monks in China, the spinning of a chariot’s wheel in Ancient Rome, and even archaic spinning-top games played by Ancient Grecian soldiers. In the many years since, roulette has transitioned into the digital realm with the development of mobile versions, serving only to further increase its popularity. In fact, since the first online roulette options were established in the mid-1990s, countless tech-based versions have been created for fun-seekers and serious players alike.
The Odds Are (Almost) in Your Favour
Of all the games on offer at the average casino, roulette offers some of the best odds for players, particularly those with enough knowledge to make a wise bet. Bets categorized by red or black and even or odd create a particularly good chance of success at approximately 50% on either side, and winning bets are paid out accordingly. On the other hand, those who feel brave or lucky enough to roll the dice on a single number face far less favorable odds of 37 to 1. Since the game arrived in the United States in the early nineteenth century and gained an extra zero, the house has been at a stronger advantage, but there are still plenty of chances to win with a smart bet.
There’s Plenty on the Table
Roulette is no game for the risk-averse, but for those who are willing to place big bets, there can be big rewards. A winning colour choice at the roulette table will double your money, a promise which has worked out extraordinarily well for several heavyweight players over the years. Meanwhile, those with the knack for the game have been known to walk away with many multiples of their original fortune after betting on a single number. One such win went to retail billionaire Philip Green, a confident player who secured approximately two million pounds in winnings after betting tens of thousands of pounds on a single spin. Of course, it’s not impossible for an amateur to do the same, as long as they have a rare combination of statistical knowledge and strategy, an excess of confidence, and a pile of money to burn.
Strategists Will Try Almost Anything
Throughout history, players have invested much time and energy into strategies and systems with the potential to predict successful roulette games. Ranging from the most popular betting strategies throughout history, like the Martingale and Parole betting systems, to the most underhanded computer-assisted techniques, like Norman Packard’s toe-operated computer, there have been many semi-successful attempts at beating the system. Then there are those who rely on the simplistic strategy of copying pop culture and bet on the number 17, a selection favoured by James Bond, or 22, which has featured in several Hollywood films. Ultimately, every person who has attempted to make a career out of fooling the game has been discovered, which is to say the average player would be better off placing bets based purely on logic.
The Setting Is Surprisingly Expensive
In the average casino, a roulette table may not look particularly special, but throughout history, both the table and the ball have come with a hefty price tag attached. This was especially true in decades past when the ball was made from the ivory of elephant tusks, but since this practice was outlawed, the use of materials like acetal, Teflon, and nylon has become common. Given the value of the setting, rules against bringing food and drink into the vicinity are fairly standard, making online roulette a great alternative for those who get peckish during play.
Roulette is a fascinating game with a rich and varied history and a source of immense excitement, and there is some compelling evidence to suggest that players could create the ultimate strategy, but like most casino antics, it comes down to luck in the end. The best you can do is to keep your wits about you and your drinks away from the table (or your phone screen) and enjoy the thrills.