Top Six Weird Roulette Facts and Stories
In this article, we have collected especially for you the six most bizarre, interesting and downright weird roulette facts and stories as a tribute to this fantastic casino game. If you are a roulette lover, you definitely have to read them all.
Roulette, an all-time classic
The game of roulette is one of the all-time casino classics and the favourite of many gamblers. Whether it is played online or in a land-based casino, the game manages to captivate millions of people, just like it did to generations before. It is therefore not surprising that there are so many great roulette stories and legends. The game has been at the very centre of many TV shows, films and novels – just think about James Bond for example! We have compiled a small list in which we will share some strange, funny and interesting roulette facts with you. If you are a roulette lover, you should definitely read on as we are sure that you will be surprised by at least one of them!
1. Roulette is known as the game of the devil
Roulette is one of the most popular casino games of all times. The game was said to be invented by French mathematician and inventor Blaise Pascal, who reportedly first came up with a roulette-like game in the 17th Century. The name ‘roulette’ is a French word which means ‘little wheel’ – which is of course quite fitting for the game. Pascal had to come up with a special wheel to make the game work the way he intended. In the end he designed the roulette wheel as we know it today, with on it the numbers 1 to 36, plus the number 0.
Add up the numbers
But did you ever try to add up all those numbers on the roulette wheel? Just try it out – you will be surprised by the outcome! If you add up all the numbers (1+2+3+4 etc. until you have added 36) you will end up with the number 666. Yes, you are right! That is the devil’s number! So is roulette really a secret work of Satan made to corrupt people? Many Christian gamblers or otherwise religious or superstitious players refuse to play the game of roulette because of this reason.
A fun game to play
We personally still think that roulette is a great, fun game to play. We do however urge people playing to roulette to gamble responsibly and to never spend money which they do not have or cannot afford to lose. As with all casino games, the house has an advantage over the player, so do keep this in mind before you start to play.
2. You have better chances of winning at European and French roulette than American roulette
This facts can easily be checked by looking at the pockets on the roulette wheel and by doing the math. European and French roulette have a wheel with 37 pockets (1 to 36, as well as the 0). American roulette on the other hand has a wheel with 38 pockets (1 to 36, plus the 0 and 00). As the payouts are exactly the same no matter the version of roulette you play, you will quickly notice that your chances of winning are a tiny bit lower with American roulette than European and French roulette.
For those who know a bit about the history of roulette this does not come as a surprise. When the game of roulette was introduced in North America by the French, some Louisiana gambling den owners decided to tweak the game by adding an extra pocket with the double zero. The only reason for this was to increase their own earnings! You are of course free to decide which roulette game you want to play, but if you look at it from a purely mathematical point of view you are advised to stay clear of American roulette if French or European roulette is offered.
3. European and French roulette are not the same thing
This is a common misconception among beginning roulette players. When you look at the roulette wheel, you may think that both versions are the same. Both European and French roulette have a wheel with 37 pockets (1 to 36, plus the 0). France is a country in Europe. So that makes French roulette just another name for European roulette, isn’t it?
Two new rules
Well, nope, that is not really the case. Even though the two games are highly similar, there is a slight difference in the rules. French roulette has two extra rules which are not included in European roulette. These two rules are called ‘la partage’ and ‘en prison’. The la partage rule means that when you lose any outside wager you make because the roulette ball landed on number 0, you will get half your bet back. En prison means that if you make an outside bet and the winning number is again 0, you get the opportunity to keep your bet on the same spot. If on the next spin you win, you get your bet fully back. If you however lose, the house will take it. Because of these two rules French roulette has slightly better statistical odds than European roulette.
Most common roulette version
European roulette is however the most common variant which you will most often find at online and land-based casinos. If you do find French roulette, take a look as well at the roulette table. The layout of the fields is slightly different than European roulette as outside bets can be found on both sides of the numbers, instead of just on the left side when looking at an European roulette table.
4. A gambler who put 100,000 dollar on a single roulette number after bragging to his friends managed to win the bet
We all know this situation. You have a night out in the casino with your pals and the serious talks you had is slowly turning into banter. One of your friends might suddenly start to brag how talented he is playing his favourite casino game, at which all others around him will for sure call him out by saying “proof it or we don’t believe you”.
Punta del Este
Something like this must have happened to Brazilian businessman Pedro Grendene Bartelle when he visited the coastal resort of Punta del Este in Uruguay in 2017 with some of his friends. Pedro accepted a bluff of his friends and suddenly made a bet of 100,000 dollar on number 32 on the roulette table, being absolutely convinced that he would win. And guess what? The roulette ball indeed fell on number 32!
Under loud cheers of his friends and to the disbelief of the entire casino Pedro went home with 3.5 million dollar, as a single number receives a 35 to 1 payout. We do have to say that no matter how great this single bet was it probably did not make a huge difference to Pedro’s bankroll. The uncle of Pedro Grendane Bartelle was the inventor of the famous Havaianas brand of flip flops and is the richest man of Brazil, so his extended family surely had enough money even before the casino win!
5. Betting on multiple fields at the same time is not always a smart idea
If you look at a game of roulette in a casino, you will probably see most gamblers making multiple wagers on different numbers or outside bets. For example, a player might put a 5 EUR wager on number six, and another five euro on a street bet. Is this the proper way to bet? The opinions about this are strongly divided and it does of course come down to your personal preferences. What is sure is that you cannot control the game as it all rolls down to sheer luck, with the casino always having the house edge. Because of this there is no real difference if placing a solitary bet or placing multiple ones at the same time.
There are however some gamblers who never make multiple bets as they compare it with betting on horses. Some gamblers makes a bet on two or even three horses in the same race instead of just one, thinking that this will increase their chances of winning. While this is of course true, it also decreases your net winnings if one of them manages to win. Simply put, a sole bet is more effective if your goal is to get a big amount returned to you as profit. Think of the pros and cons of betting on multiple fields when playing roulette and make up your own mind what you think works best for you!
6. Some gamblers try to cheat by secretly using a stopwatch while playing roulette
There is a special ‘tactic’ which some gamblers like to use when they play roulette. The tactic, some would actually call it cheating instead, is named “wheel clocking” and refers to the time it takes from the moment the ball is launched in the roulette wheel until the moment when it drops in one of the wheel’s pockets.
Time the little ball
The goal is to time exactly how long it takes before the roulette ball finally drops on a certain number. If you time this several times on a stopwatch and find out that the croupier launches the ball each time at roughly the same speed, you can use this information to your advantage. Let’s say you times three times the speed of the game, and each time the ball takes 18 seconds from the moment it is released by the croupier until the moment when it drops down in the wheel. With this in your mind, you can now work out your betting pattern. The only thing which you need to know as well is what the exact spot on the wheel is where the ball is being launched by the croupier.
Let’s assume we play European roulette and the croupier launches the ball at the height of number 0. A full 18 seconds later the ball drops on number 19 after spinning around the wheel a couple of times. Number 19 is exactly three pockets after the 0 on an European roulette wheel. If the croupier from this moment on launches the ball at the exact same speed in a consistent manner, it should each time fall more or less four pockets away from the location where it is being launched. If you see that the next time the croupier launches the ball around the height of number 15 on the wheel, you can then predict that the ball will again end up three numbers further away, this time on number 21 red. As there are a couple of seconds between launching the ball and the croupier announcing the end of all betting (by saying “rien ne va plus” in French – which means something like “nothing goes anymore”) you can quickly put some chips on number 21. Just remember that you have to think and calculate quickly for this to work out!
Not forbidden, but be careful!
Even though this tactic is not explicitly forbidden according to the game rules, a casino can ask you to leave the table or even ban you from the casino if the catch you depending on their own house rules. So be careful and think twice before you try it out! The question whether or not this tactic even works is also up to debate, as opinions on this vary wildly.
Win big at roulette
Got into mood to play roulette after reading the above six stories? Want to try for yourself if you can manage to beat the house and take some money home? Check out our roulette page for more information about the game. Take a look as well at our list of recommended online casinos. These reputable casinos have all been independently reviewed by our staff. In these reviews, you can find the advantages and disadvantages of each casino, so you can make up your own mind which online casino is the best fit for you. If you sign up as a new member, you will even receive a great welcome bonus!