10 Top Roulette Facts
Online roulette is easy, right? You place your bets, wait for the croupier to spin the wheel, then collect your winnings if your lucky number comes up.
But you might not know some of the colourful stories behind the game and some of the crazy people the game has affected over the years.
Here we compile some of the most interesting facts about every SA player's favourite casino gambling game. And when you've digested this little lot, check out our top reviews to find a site that's good for you.
1 - Roulette Was Invented in France
Derived from a French term meaning "little wheel", roulette is believed to have originated from a 17th century mathematics expert living in France called Blaise Pascal. He came up with the idea of a roulette wheel while exploring perpetual motion. An early description of the game appears in a late 18th century book called La Roulette, Ou Le Jour by Jacques Lablee, which detailed a wheel being played in the Palais Royal.
2 - ...Or It Could Have Been England...
Despite a version of roulette being played in France that looks very similar to the game still played today, Pascal's wheel was based in part on an English game called Roly-Poly. A further alternative theory on roulette's origins is that the game was played by a bored monk living in a French monastery.
3 - Roulette Didn't Always Have Numbers
An early form of the game was called 'Even-Odd' and merely featured 40 sections divided into Even and Odds (marked by the letters 'E' and 'O'). The game was banned in the late 18th century. More recently, a Californian casino introduced a form of roulette with playing cards on the wheel in place of traditional slots.
4 - The Double Zero Wasn't an American Addition
While American Roulette wheels, as you'll find in Las Vegas casinos today, have the extra 00 slot, it actually originated in Europe before roulette had made its journey across the Atlantic. Lablee's book describes the double-zero format and the European-style 'single zero' variation was only introduced (first in Germany, then in Monte Carlo) as competition for established Parisian casinos.
5 - The Ritz Gang Who Struck For £l1.3 Million
In 2004, a gang was accused of using a laser scanner from a cell phone to calculate where the ball was going to land on the roulette wheel. The gang took away �1.3 million (R22,515,697) before being caught. After a 9-month investigation by police, the gang was allowed to keep their winnings after it was found no actual attempt was made to tamper with the wheel itself.
6 - Systems Are For Dummies
There have been many betting systems to play roulette over the years but almost all (in the long-term, at least) are fatally flawed. Many systems require huge bankrolls to handle any downswings and most casinos will stop you betting if you are too much in the red.
Among the most popular, the Martingale system requires you to double your bet in the event of a losing bet, and keep doubling it until you win. You then bank any winnings and revert to your original small stakes.
While flawed, systems can be fun to try out at the many play-money tables you will find among our top reviewed sites.
7 - The Man Who Bet His Life On Roulette
In 2004 a British businessman called Ashley Revell sold all his worldly possessions and put it all on Red. Having doubled his $135,500 bet (R1,456,131) to walk away with $271,000 (R2,912,230). Revell used the winnings to set up his own online poker firm.
8 - American Roulette Has The Worst House Edge
While a second green slot (00) offers players the chance to hit another big single-number bet, by having it on the wheel it actually increases the casino's house edge to 5.26 percent. This is almost double the house edge seen on a European, single-zero wheel, which carries a 2.7 percent edge.
9 - Some Online Variations Are Unique to Roulette
American and European Roulette may not have changed much in big land-based casinos, but online the picture is very different. With Internet roulette players can find wild and wacky variations of the classic game. Premier Roulette Diamond Edition has not two, but four colours, for added betting mayhem, while Spingo is a strange mix of lotto and roulette that feature a roulette wheel and numbered balls that players can place wagers on.
10 - We Find the Best SA Roulette Sites
And finally, the roulette fact you really want: at OnlineRoulette.co.za we find the very best online roulette gaming websites just for you. If you are into real-money roulette action on your PC, Mac or smartphone we compare and review dozens of rooms to find the best games, the tightest security, and the most generous bonus offers around.