Roulette is a simple game made complex and confounding by the difficulty of mastering it. No matter how much one studies its history, systems, patterns, strategies, theories, probabilities, and skillful practitioners, there always seems to be another level of competency, just out of reach—the unbeatable methodology or the infallible predictive model.
Truth be told, there is no secret hidden within the game that players have yet to unlock. Everything there is to know about Roulette is already known. But there may be some unanswered mysteries that that players have yet to encounter. Following are some of the lesser known aspects of the game, which may qualify as “Roulette secrets” to those not entirely familiar with Roulette lore.
The Devil’s Game – There are some who believe that Roulette cannot be beat because it was invented by Satan. As evidence, they point to how its 36 numbers, when added together, total exactly 666—the so-called number of the antichrist. There is also the tale of the Brothers Blanc selling their souls to devise the single-zero wheel in the 19th century. And doesn’t zero represent the void? And isn’t it telling that the number 13 is Black? One certainly sees what one wants to see, and imagination often runs wild.
The Third Wheel – In Macau, Roulette has been a passion for decades, ever since its introduction by Portuguese colonists. The single-zero version of the game has long preferred, but the wheel that is used has a different numbering system from those found in Europe. In fact, black-2 and black-28 are together across from the single zero, and a third even number, red-14 appears alongside. Elsewhere red and black numbers alternate, but most of the odd and even numbers come in pairs. Many believe this wheel layout can be beat, but if they know how, they have not yet revealed the method. Many still flock to Macau casinos to give it a try.
A Hidden Betting Area – On all Roulette tables the zero is positioned at the head of the three columns of 36 numbers, and on the American layout, the double zero joins it. Because the two “bank numbers” are difficult to reach from the far end of the table, a special betting location was created for those who wish to wager on the split 0-00, but the majority of players don’t know that. Nowhere on the table is it marked. The wager requires positioning a chip on the line separating the 2nd and 3rd dozens. It is a bet on just two numbers not 24, but how many players realize that and blindly back the bet with one of their own?
The Worst Wager – The American table layout also offers one unique five-number bet, which is made by placing a chip on the double row containing the 0-00-1-2-3. Neither European nor French tables allow a 5-spot bet and there is a good reason why. The payout is only 6:1, making this the absolute worst wager in all of Roulette.
Unmarked Chips – At most casino Roulette tables, the colored chips used in play have no values printed on them. That’s because they can represent any amount the player designates, within the limits of the table. A small token is placed on top of the reserve chips behind the croupiers to indicate how much each one is worth. This has attracted more than a few cheats, who try to pocket chips at low value and sneak them back onto the table later when values have been raised.
Unstoppable Streakers – Fans of betting progressions will not happily be reminded that Roulette wheels have no memory and streaks are quite common. In fact, during the 250-odd years of documented Roulette spins worldwide, a wheel in Brazil set the record in the 1960s for consecutive Red winners—32 times in a row. And playing groups of twelve numbers is not much safer. In Dublin, a casino recently recorded 23 straight misses on the 3rd dozen. The highest number reported on a missed column is 28.
Not So Lucky Seven – On July 14, 2000, at 1:35pm to be precise, the world’s record was formally established for the number of consecutive times the same number came up a winner. It happened in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace, when red-7 appeared six times in a row on Roulette Wheel #211. The odds against that happening were about three billion to one. As a humorous aside, after red-7 had appeared four times in a row, a floor supervisor told a pit boss that he’d bet a million dollars red-7 would not show up again. Apparently none of the players believed it would come up a fifth or sixth time either. The table lost only $300 on that incredible series of spins.