is a casino and gambling game named after the
French word meaning "small wheel". In
the game, players may choose to place bets on
either a number, a range of numbers, the color
red or black, or whether the number is odd or
even. To determine the winning number and color,
a croupier spins a wheel in one direction, then
spins a ball in the opposite direction around
a tilted circular track running around the circumference
of the wheel. The ball eventually loses momentum
and falls on to the wheel and into one of 37 (in
European roulette) or 38 (in American roulette)
colored and numbered pockets on the wheel.
* In 1873, the Englishman Joseph Jaggers made
the first famous roulette biased wheel attack.
Mr. Jaggers with a team of six clerks, clocked
all the wheels at the Monte Carlo casino and found
one wheel to show significant bias. In their attack
exploiting this flaw they won over $325,000, an
astronomical sum in 1873.
* In the summer of 1891 at the Monte Carlo casino,
a part-time swindler and petty crook from London
named Charles Wells, broke the bank at each table
he played over a period of several days. Breaking
the bank meant he won all the available money
in the table bank that day, and a black cloth
would be placed over the table until the bank
was replenished. In song and life he was celebrated
as "The Man That Broke the Bank at Monte
Carlo." He later admitted that it was all
luck, and he eventually ended up in jail for many
years because of his fraudulent schemes.
In 2004, Ashley Revell of London sold all of his
possessions, clothing included, and brought US$135,300
to the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas and put it all
on "Red" at the roulette table in a
double-or-nothing bet. The ball landed on "Red
7" and Revell walked away with his net-worth
doubled to $270,600.
In the 1942 film Casablanca, Rick's Café
Americain has a trick roulette wheel. The croupier
can cause it to land on 22 at will. Rick (Humphrey
Bogart) urges a Bulgarian refugee with whose case
he becomes sympathetic to put his last three chips
on 22 and motions to the croupier to let him win.
After the man's number dramatically comes up,
Rick tells him to let it all ride on 22 and lets
him win again. Although the details are not mentioned
in the film (the croupier only notes that they
are "a couple of thousand" down), it
appears that Rick has given the man 3885 ((3*36*36)-3)
In the music video for "Palace & Main"
by Kent, guitarist Harri Mänty goes to Las
Vegas and bets the entire video budget on black.
He wins, and the profits were donated to charity.
In the third part of the 1998 film Run, Lola,
Run, Lola uses all her money to buy a 100-mark
chip. (She is actually just short of 100 marks,
but gains the sympathy of a casino employee who
gives her the chip for what money she has.) She
bets her single chip on 20 and wins. She lets
her winnings ride on 20 and wins again, making
her total winnings 129,600 marks (29,600 more
than her smuggler boyfriend owed his boss, Ronnie).
The odds of two consecutive wins on the same number
on a European roulette wheel are exactly 1368-to-1
In the South Park episode "Red Man's Greed",
the town, facing destruction at the hands of Native
Americans, bets $10,000 to raise money to save
the town. They win, but let it ride, and lose
all of it.
* Near the beginning of the 1973 film The Sting,
Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) takes his share
of the money conned from a numbers runner and
loses nearly all of it on a single bet against
a rigged roulette wheel. (Credit: Wikipedia).