A Brief History of Roulette

Roulette has offered glamour, mystery, and excitement to casino-goers since the 17th Century. It is one of the most popular table games in the world and is known for its fast pace, high payouts and surprisingly deep strategy. Its rules are simple enough for beginners to understand but offer a great deal of depth for serious betters.

The game’s objective is to correctly guess which slot on the roulette wheel the ball will land in when the dealer spins the wheel and drops it into a compartment of the table. Players place their chips on a special betting mat with precise locations indicating which bet they are making. The dealer then announces “no more bets” before spinning the wheel and rolling a ball into one of the compartments. Once the bets are placed and the ball lands, winning bets are paid out and the table is cleared for a new round.

Bets can be made on single numbers, black or red, odd or even, two to one chances on dozens, columns, or neighbours, and 35-1 odds on individual numbers. Players must know when to stop, however, as it is a game of chance and luck.

Despite its popularity worldwide, the game is less popular in the United States. It draws smaller crowds than table games like blackjack, video poker and baccarat, though it is still one of the most prominent tables at European casinos.

The earliest documented roulette wheels were invented by French mathematician Blaise Pascal in the late 17th Century. The wheel consisted of a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape with a set of metal separators or frets around its perimeter. Thirty-six of these compartments were coloured alternately red and black and numbered 1 to 36. American wheels have an extra green division labelled 00.

While there are a number of fanciful stories about the history of roulette, it is clear that the game was popularised in France where gambling was legal. It was eventually banned in Europe and the United States for a time, but it gained traction again in Monte Carlo, where it continues to draw large crowds today. Erik Kristopher Myers’ Roulette is a gripping film, and a solid indicator that he has the potential to be a successful director in the mainstream.