Roulette Information

Roulette is a casino game named after a French diminutive for "little wheel". In the game, players may choose to place bets on either a single number or a range of numbers, the colors red or black, or whether the number is odd or even. To determine the winning number and color, a croupier spins a wheel in one direction, then spins a ball in the opposite direction around a tilted circular track running around the circumference of the wheel. The ball eventually loses momentum and falls on to the wheel and into one of 37 or 38 colored and numbered pockets on the wheel.

The first form of roulette was devised in 18th century France. Blaise Pascal introduced a primitive form of roulette in the 17th century in his search for a perpetual motion machine. The roulette wheel is believed to be a fusion of the English wheel games Roly-Poly, Reiner, Ace of Hearts, and E.O., the Italian board games of Hoca and Biribi, and "Roulette" from an already existing French board game of that name.

The game has been played in its present form since as early as 1796 in Paris. An early description of the roulette game in its current form is found in a French novel La Roulette, ou le Jour by Jaques Lablee, which describes a roulette wheel in the Palais Royal in Paris in 1796. The description included the house pockets, "There are exactly two slots reserved for the bank, whence it derives its sole mathematical advantage." It then goes on to describe the layout with, "...two betting spaces containing the bank's two numbers, zero and double zero." The book was published in 1801. An even earlier reference to a game of this name was published in regulations for New France in 1758, which banned the games of "dice, hoca, faro, and roulette."

Wikipedia, Roulette, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roulette (as of Apr 9, 2010)

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