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The word “roulette” is French for “little wheel”. It is played by spinning the wheel in one direction, and spinning a ball in the opposite direction. The roulette ball will eventually fall into one of the coloured and numbered pockets. Bets made that cover a winning number, in one of the many possible ways, will receive a payout accordingly. Roulette odds are all based on probability.
Roulette was first introduced in the 17th century by Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician. He fused together popular English wheel games of the time as he sought to create a perpetual motion machine. The name “roulette” came from an existing French board game of that name.
Single and double zero house pockets were later introduced by Francois and Lois Blanc in the mid-19th century in order to compete against other casino roulette games offering traditional wheel pockets.
Legend has it that Blanc bargained with the devil to obtain the secrets of roulette, which, according to believers, is why the sum of numbers on a traditional roulette wheel (from 0 to 36) added up to 666.
Roulette gained in popularity across Europe and the US during the 19th century, and quickly became one of the world’s most popular casino games.
In roulette, players can make both “inside” and “outside” bets – these are either directly on numbers, a selection of areas containing a number, the colour of the number (red/black), and whether the number will be high/low or odd/even.
When the number ranges from 1 to 10 and 19 to 28, the odd numbers are red, and even numbers are black. In ranges from 11 to 18 and 29 to 36, odds numbers are black, even numbers are red. The 0 pocket in the wheel is always green.
Players can place bets on one number or on a range of numbers based on their proximity to one another on the wheel. These are called “inside bets”.
Alternatively, players can bet on a larger positional grouping of numbers, colours, or whether the winning number is odd or even. These are called “outside bets”.
Minimum and maximum bets differ depending on whether an inside or an outside bet is made.
Just before the ball slows to drop into one of the pockets in the wheel, the dealer will call indicate that no more bets are possible – in the online version of roulette a message will be shown on screen. This signifies that all betting on the table must stop. The balls drops and the winning number, colour and odd/even is declared. In a casino a ‘dolly’ is placed in the betting area – also known as the “layout” – on top of the winning number. Payouts will be made to all the winning players. It is strictly prohibited to touch the chips in a casino from the moment “no more bets” has been called until the final payout has been made. In the online version of roulette this process happens almost instantly and betting can begin again.
A variety of roulette games were introduced after Classic Roulette. These games include American Roulette, Advanced Roulette and European Roulette – sometimes known as French Roulette.
The European style layout has a single zero, whereas the American style layout has a double zero. European Roulette is the most well-known version of the game.