“About eleven o’clock in the afternoon only real foolhardy players stay out near gaming-tables. It’s only roulette exists for them, they were coming for it only, the pay no heed what’s happening around and nothing interested in for all season but playing only from morning till night and ready to play till daybreak if it can be done”.
F.M. Dostoevskiy. “Player”
I was playing roulette twice. Both times I staked a little. I have won thirst time and loose for a second. My loss didn’t hit me on my pocket much though I didn’t try my luck for a third time. And I’m not sorry for it generally. Though sometimes especially when I see blinking casino lights I have an inclination for coming in. The roulette is contagious apparently. Kuprin wrote: “… A roulette have no pity… A roulette is dashing thing and mean”.
It is still unknown who did invent this mean thing. It seems that ancient Greeks used for gambling revolving shield balanced on sword edge. And Roman emperor August had a fighting chariot wheel mounted on a vertical axle in special palace room for the same purpose. And the roulette which is turning in all world casino was invented probably by XVII century French philosopher and mathematician Pascal who didn’t intend to create a gambling device. Studying probability theory he planned and constructed a wheel with revolving cylinders and exactly denoted order of numbers and combinations. This wheel had to help with explanation for fortuity theory suggested by Pascal. His revolving cylinder wasn’t stay secret: moreover his contemporary scientists who were loking at Pascal’s constructions with interest and scepticism but the church drew their attention to the roulette. They divined a revolving cylinder potential immediately and weren’t tired of reiterating about “heretical” elements: all roulette numbers were 666 in sum. And one literary man writes that “whoever was invented the roulette but he made a perfect and thoroughly thought-out foreman work whether or no. The structure per se, system, number subdivision, combinations, purpote and moduses of winning probability calculating – everything carries on genious and delight traits”.
A special wheel with numbered sockets and ball for the first time was applied in gamble purpose in the “hoka” game, modern roulette predecessor. These earlier roulette wheels variety were more crude and primitive then modern devices. In XVIII century in France lots of casino with “hoka” playing were open already. A profit from these casino was rather big because three sockets from 40 were marekd with “0” (zero) and when a ball got into one of them an eastablishment took all stakes. Thirst France minister cardinal Julio Mazarini ordered to open casino to fill up slender Ludovic XIV ‘s treasury. By the way Mazarini has became the reachest noble after king because of the then roulette. There was another roulette type – the game named “even-odd” (a wheel with 40 sockets and markings for stakes applied on it’s surface). Twenty sockets were mark with “E” (even) letter, the others with “O” (odd) letter. If a ball got into “even” socket all stakes went to the bank and the other way. In many XVIII european casino the other type of roulette could be meet – “Bul”. A wheel was look like a big bowl, along it’s edges a ball was moving. A wheel was motionless, had 18 sockets numbered from 1 to 9. “Zero” role was playing with the number 5. A gain was payed 7 for 1. Besides it was possible to stake on even and odd, when payings were 1 for 1. “Bul” game attracted women mainly; the explanation must be that the rules are pretty easy and stakes are little. That’s why “Bul” for example is one of few gamble games spread in Switzerland where casino, private lottery and sweepstakes are prohibited. Another game preserved till nowadays is “pti shwo” where hippodrome and casino elements are joined. A ring with nine spokes revolve on axis above immovable circle, small horse with numbers figures are fastened on ends of these spokes. Under the ring there is a textile field with a hippodrome finish pole picture. A player whose horse is closer to finish line then others when the ring stops wins and gets all stakes.
So, roulette became fashionable and conquered Paris gaming-houses fast. A wheel stoped revolving in 1789 only when during the French revolution government enacted the decree forbided all gamble games. Gaming houses were opened again with Napoleon’s coming to power. Business prospered not so long – in 1839 all gaming houses in France were closed. By then roulette fever spreaded all over the world. In Russia under Ekatherine II roulette tables adorned not only luxurious palace halls – it could be seen at kitchens even where coart cooks amused with overseas game in their free time. When Turkish sultan Selim III heard from captivated Frencmen about roulette he sent his foremen oversea for learning how to produce “wheel of fortune”. And Hindoos got aquanteed with this game by British diplomats. In America the roulette started its victorious train in 1800 in New Orlean. In XIX century the game was haunted by vicissitudes of fate like in Europe: it was forbided, casino were closed. In XX century gamble business was legalized in USA. By the way the difference of American roulette is two zero cells. Further numbers following one after another are situated on opposite sides of a wheel and the sum of two successive numbers is always 37. For example red sockets 14 and 23 or black 4 and 33.
In 1861 Parisian Francua Blan inaugurated the casino in Monaco. Initially it was situated in barn where four gaming-tables stood, two of them were roulette. Few years later the great gaming palace was build in Monte-Carlo where crowds of people from all over the world were gathered to try their luck. Lots of regnant persons came to Monte-Carlo – they were playing in special hall one-on-one with croupier who embodied Fortune. The main reason of Monte-Carlo’s prestige is that the casino traditionally gives players hundred-percent guarantee from any types of swindle there.
It considers that roulette is a fight with fate, with chance because a winning here depends not on your skill but on luck only. But owner’s of some establishments don’t agree with such statement of a question. In other words the roulette doesn’t defend from underhand. For example in due time so-called “acicular wheel” was popular. The principle of its’ operation is easy: when pressing a hidden button needle tips sliding in from microscopical outlets situated opposite red or black sockets. There is own needles operating button for each colour. If needles block red wheel sockets a ball surely will fall to the black cell and vice versa. Needles moved off to a background with the appearance of electromagnetic arrangement for roulette wheel operating. Small electromagnet builded into the down side of wheel under appointed numbers and a steel core fixed into a ball. In addition to this attachements brake blocks using sometimes, they stop a wheel if a pedal masking like parquet board is pushed and telescopic roulette table legs changing high of which make a ball falling to earlier chose sockets. But if owners try to deceive clients it would be logically to suppose that luck hunters do the same when don’t rely upon blind chance wheel. Though it’s almost impossible to do these: intricate “systems” or the accuratest calculations don’t allow to “rob” casino. At the best these systems lead to a man loosing minimal sum or neither gain nor lose. But there are exceptions. So, the system invented by English mechanical engineer William Jaggers brought its’ author 180.000 dollars. Jagger’s system based on there are no ideal balanced roulette wheels so it means that physical errors will influence somehow or other on its’ rotation and the result is that some numbers will fall in more frequent theh others certainly. Jaggers employed six assistants assigned to each of them one gaming-table. Everyday the were looking at gaming and wrote down all falling numbers. At the evening engineer gathered notes and analized it. After laborious calculations during month he could say with confidence that some numbers falling frequincy doesn’t keep within probability theory. After that Jaggers came to a casino himself and took part in a game staking on numbers marked earlier. Four days later he holded enormous amount in his hands.
But such cases are rare that’s why in roulette game (on conditions that it goes clear on the casino’s side) we can expect to a fortune only. And it smiles just for ones.