The game has fascinated casino patrons for close to three hundred years now. Although no one seems to know all of the details, regarding its origins and development, several forms of the game are probably as old as the "wheel" itself. There are accounts of ancient Romans, tipping their chariots on their sides and spinning one of the wheels for games of amusement. The word roulette is French and means "little wheel". Several early versions of the roulette appeared in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. It is believed that the noted French scientist and mathematician, Blaise Pascal, invented the mechanism in 1657, while experimenting with perpetual motion devices.
The first account we have of a spinning ball and rotating horizontal wheel being used as a gaming device was in a game called "roly-poly," in 1720. The Gaming Acts of 1739 and 1740 banned roly-poly, as well as many other games of chance, in England. An innovative Beau Nash, the Master of Ceremonies at Bath, England, evaded these laws by introducing "EO. The "EO", or even-odd, was a simplified version of the game, however, it was also outlawed in 1745. During the next fifty years, the game evolved into the one we would recognize today. This modern roulette system appeared in Paris' casinos around 1796.
Nevertheless, how to play roulette? Players, usually up to eight, play against the house, represented by the croupier, also called the dealer, who spins the roulette wheel and handles the wagers and payouts. In the European roulette and French roulette system, the wheel has thirty seven slots, representing thirty six numbers and one zero. In the USA, most roulette wheels have two zeros and, thus, thirty eight slots.
Each player buys-in a different colored chip in order for the bets not to get mixed up. At the end of play, if you win, you exchange back the colored chips with cash chips. These are special chips with the value amount, imprinted on them. There are several denominations in various colors. Then, you take these chips to the cash desk, where they will give you actual cash money in exchange.
General roulette rules suppose that you place your bet or bets on numbers (any number, including zero) in the table layout or on the outside, and when everybody at the table had a chance to place their bets, the croupier starts the spin and launches the ball. Only a few moments before the ball is about to drop over the slots, the croupier says "no more bets". From that moment no one is allowed to place - or change - their bets until the ball drops on a slot. Only after the croupier places the dolly on the winning number on the roulette table and clears all the losing bets, you can start placing your new bets, while the croupier pays the winners. The winners are those bets that are on or around the number that comes up. The bets on the outside of the layout also win if the winning number is represented.
To win at roulette, a player needs to predict or to have his own roulette system, where the ball will land after each spin. This is by no means easy. In fact, luck plays an important part in this game. Some players go with the winning numbers, calling them 'hot' numbers and, therefore, likely to come up more times. The others see which numbers did not come up for some time and bet on them, believing that their turn is now due. Some players bet on many numbers to increase their chances of winning at every spin, but this way the payout is considerably reduced. Some methodical players use a specific roulette system or methods, money management systems, or both.