Designer: Francois Blanc
Year of publication: 1842
Very short review: Roulette is a casino gambling activity, not a game.
There are many versions of commercially available sets of Roulette, so it would be hard for me to comment on those. Therefore, this review is for the "game" as it is played at the casinos.
The game comes with:
- a big table containing the many betting areas. Notice that there is a French roulette (sometimes also called English roulette), for which the table looks like this:
and an American roulette that looks like this:
- the Roulette wheel with all numbers from 0 to 36 (the American roulette also shows a spot for 00) disposed in a very specific way;
- a metallic ball that turns on the wheel;
- chips in different colours to identify the players and their bets;
- a helpful dealer to rake in the losing bets and pay the wins
Each round plays exactly the same:
- the dealer announces that all bets of the preceding round have been paid and that new bets for the next round are now possible;
- the players simultaneously place their chips on the betting areas;
- the dealer moves the wheel in one direction;
- the dealer takes the metallic ball and spins it in the opposite direction of the wheel;
- the dealer announces "No more bets" with a sweeping hand over the table as the ball loses momentum;
- the ball comes to a rest after hitting some of the obstacles on the wheel;
- the dealer announces the winning number and places a marker on it;
- all losing bets are taken out and the dealer proceeds to pay the winning bets.
Game end and scoring
There's no "game end" per se, the patrons can join any time and can leave any time as well. The "scoring" is basically a matter of how much profit or how much loss you make during your time at the table.
I am lucky to live in Montreal, the most French-like city in North America. So much French that our casino here even has the French roulette tables (officially called English roulette by the Société des Casinos du Québec), which I prefer.
The Roulette is one of the most honest games in a casino and one where the least "knowledge" is necessary. Yes, blackjack players will tell you that with perfect memory, nerves of steel and years of training they can beat the house but when I go to the casino, I go to have a good time and relax, not to work, so Roulette is my game.
It's a bit hard for me to give a meaningful rating for Roulette because on one hand it's partly a "1" ("it defies description of a game") but on the other hand, it's a "10" ("I always want to play").
Roulette is totally luck-driven, the "choices" that you make (which numbers or groups of numbers to bet on) are not meaningful at all, you are at the mercy of the wheel, so whether you win or lose is totally independent of any merit (or lack of) on your part.
One of the main risks with playing Roulette (or any other gambling activity) is becoming addicted to the activity and not knowing when to stop. Thousands of people have lost all their money at the betting tables, so much that here in Montreal the Société des Casinos du Québec (the official body controlling the casinos in the province of Quebec) has set up a program called "SOS Jeux" to help those people with a gambling addiction.
As long as gambling stays a pastime and not an obsession, going to the casino and having fun for a night at a Roulette table is a very interesting way to push your luck.
I disagree with your bets have nothing to do with the game. Would if I bet $5 on black and $5 on red every bet? Will I win? No. Will I lose? Yes, over time because the zero's will cause a lose.
Plus you can choose how many numbers to cover, changing both your odds of winning and the pay out you would receive.