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Roulette: Tradeoffs

5 Jan 2023

By Royal Flushes
CINDY: Roulette has been a casino game or a casino-like game for 400 years since Blaise Pascal invented it. We all know that Pascal was looking to discover a perpetual motion machine. He didn’t get to do that; no one has yet.

ABBY: Maybe such spinning devices were used for centuries before Pascal. What about if you count all the wheels and shields used in ancient times to discover the will of the gods. We used bones that ultimately became craps in modern days.

CINDY: We do know that roulette cost many nobles their riches. Players couldn’t stop playing the game.

ABBY: Roulette is a fun game. You are trying to out-think randomness. That can’t be done but sometimes we have good luck, right? Some good luck and we can take some money home. I guess the nobles thought that too. What would be the tradeoffs for nobles? Having to play next to a peasant?

CINDY: I doubt the peasants and the nobles played in the same spaces. I figure the peasants were in the barns playing their version of the game.

ABBY: But we do have tradeoffs when it comes to roulette. Just the game itself can be frustrating. You have only one chance in 38 – or 37 in the French game – to hit your number. Yes, you can bet more than one number at a time but you are increasing your risk by doing that.

CINDY: You can bet the proposition bets. We do that. I find that a better way to play.

ABBY: But the house still has the same advantage over the player.

CINDY: Other players can be a burden sometimes. On crowded tables, you have very aggressive players looking to place their bets and they can be real pains as they knock over other players’ chips. We also get some screamers but unlike craps most roulette players tend to be betting their own particular numbers, although some numbers can be shared by two or a few more players.

ABBY: And there are those players who do not follow the instructions of the dealers. They try to bet late, just after the dealer calls out “No more bets!” or they start betting before the dealer can pay off the winning players. When you get a table full of those types of players, the game can be a bit of a trial.

CINDY: Thankfully, there are usually a few open tables, even mid-week in the bigger casinos, so you can move to another table if the players are irritating you.

ABBY: Arguments between players will occasionally happen if an aggressive player knocks chips off another’s pile. If the dealer doesn’t catch this, as might happen, you can maybe see a casino floor fight. I saw one of those once.

CINDY: I was there, remember. Thankfully, we are not really a part of the straight-on-a-number type of player. That can be frustrating. It can also make players bet more than they anticipated when they came to the table.

ABBY: And finally, you do get the moaners. There are some roulette players who have seen too many movies where the protagonist wins bundles. That rarely happens. You’ll get these players who will accuse the casino of cheating so that the casino can beat that player out of a couple of hundreds of dollars.

CINDY: Overall, roulette is a great game and that’s why it has lasted so long.

ABBY: Next week we’ll tackle baccarat and mini-baccarat.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at

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