Apr 10th 2007
Roulette is a French word meaning "small wheel". There are several interesting legends about roulette origin. Some historians sustain that roulette was a product of French genius and that it was first invented in 1655 by the French scientist Blaise Pascal, mathematician, physicist, scientist, philosopher, inventor and writer, while he was trying to find perpetual motion. He engineered a device in a form of a big wheel for his experiments. One of his friends had a good idea to use this device for gambling.
Other historians claim however that a French monk invented it in order to help break some of the monotony of daily monastery life. Still others say it originated in an old Chinese game whose object was to arrange 37 statuettes of animals in a "magic square" of 666.
In the American casinos you will find two types of roulette tables. One has one betting layout and the roulette wheel placed at one end and this is the standard table. The second table you may come across is called the double-end table and even how the name suggests, it has two betting layouts and the roulette wheel is placed between them.
Usually at a standard roulette table you will find two dealers also called croupiers. A double-end table with two layouts is operated by either three or four croupiers. The croupier is the casino employee that has full responsibility for and control of the flow of play at the roulette table. Positioned at the end of the table, the croupier (or dealer) spins the wheel, calls the numbers, and is basically in charge of the roulette table proceedings. The croupier is also called by the casino employees the "wheel roller".
After the croupier announces "place your bets" all the players involved in the game can start placing their bets on the spaces of the layout according to what number/numbers or color they want. After almost all the bets are filled the croupier will spin the wheel counterclockwise and throw the ball inside in such a ways so the ball will spin counterclockwise.
Since roulette is not a fast game like craps, players have all the time to decide on what to bet. They can continue placing bets while the ball is in motion, but as the balls slows down the croupier will announce that no more bets are allowed. Since that moment on all the players must stop betting because the bets placed after his announce will be declared not valid and you will also get ugly looks from the dealer and the fellow players.
American Roulette is played using a wheel that consists of thirty-eight slots, each with its own number. The numbers on the American roulette wheel are 1 to 36, 0, and 00. The numbers alternate pairs of odd numbers with pairs of even numbers. The numbers also alternate between black and red. The numbers are arranged this way so that the odds of landing on high, odd, low or even numbers are evenly distributed. Both the 0 and 00 slots are green in color. A dealer (also known as a croupier) spins the wheel in one direction and then rolls a small ball in the other direction. The ball then drops into one of the slots as it begins to slow down.
French roulette is much related to American roulette. The only difference that should really be taken into account is that on the french wheel are only 36 numbers and only one single green zero. Also, because of the single zero, French roulette comes with better odds.