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Roulette Facts – Stats and Stories About the Devil’s WheeI

An image of a book examining the roulette wheelIf you’re looking for thrills, spills and unequivocal drama. The roulette wheel will never fail to catch your imagination. By far the most exciting game you can play in the casino, the very nature of the spin just keeps throwing up unbelievable roulette stories. But how can you separate the roulette facts from the roulette fiction? No need to worry, we’ve already done it for you. We’ve put together this awesome guide, giving you everything you need to know about the facts, stats and tales of roulette.

Over the years, many different superstitions within gambling have crept into the game, creating false beliefs and irrational playing habits. Within this guide, we will examine and debunk these myths and focus on highlighting the true roulette facts. We will examine the game’s influence on modern popular culture and recount tales of roulette cheaters who tried to beat the spin. Okay, enough jibber jabber, let’s get this guide started!

Fun Facts – Roulette

Let’s kick off this kick ass guide with some of our favourite roulette facts. Take these titbits with you to work next Monday and impress your colleagues. Or write them down in preparation for your next pub quiz. Either way, these little known interesting facts about roulette are sure to beef up your own knowledge base.

A painted image of the Devil

666 – The Number of the Beast

Roulette is commonly known as the ‘Devil’s’ game, but not many people know the real reason why. Contrary to popular belief it has no reference to gambling being considered a sin – even though in some cultures it may be frowned upon – and there are certainly no satanic forces at play, either. So why is it referred to in this way? The real reason is that if you add up all of the numbers on the roulette wheel, both on the American and European versions, they will add up to the number 666, commonly referred to as the ‘Number of the Beast’. Cue your Iron Maiden track.

An image of Daniel Craig in the movie Casino Royale

The Number’s Bond, James Bond

Casino scenes have been an ever-present in James Bond movies, but what most people don’t know is that the roulette game was featured heavily in Ian Fleming’s original James Bond books. You can see why: the game brings excitement to every situation and enhances Bond’s sophisticated persona. The British secret agent’s favourite number to bet on is the number 17 – and this number also happens to be the most commonly played number in roulette. Whether this is thanks to Bond’s influence on the popular mindset or due to the central location of the number on the board, we will never know for sure.

An image of a man in a tophat

Tip Your Hat to the Primrose Hill Gang

By far the biggest roulette fraud in recent British history, the Primrose Hill gang, is thought to have made millions through the cheating technique thoughtfully named ‘top-hatting’. Based mainly out of London, the gang of three scoured the globe and made millions conning croupiers during roulette games by posting a high value chip on top of a winning number after it landed. They top-hatted successfully for over 20 years until, at last, their greed got them caught. The roulette games with the highest stakes are in London, which is also where the most state of the art security surveillance systems are in place. The gang played one game to many and were arrested in 2010.

An image of Norman Packard

And This Little Pinky Beat Roulette

Have you ever heard someone say they could ‘beat you with their little finger’? Well, in the late 1970s, former University of California graduate Norman Packard made it his mission to beat the game of roulette using only his toe. He developed a toe-operated computer which could, in theory, predict what area the ball would land, giving the user an incredible advantage over the casino. The mission was a success and Packard was able to predict the landing spots of spins in his lab, however, unfortunately for him, the technique was not as successful when replicated in the middle of a Las Vegas casino.

An image of Albert Einstein

Even Einstein Chimed In

For centuries, many great thinkers have tried and tested the wheel looking for weaknesses and ways to hack or outsmart the game. Commonly known as the smartest man of his time, famed physicist and mathematician Albert Einstein also has had his say on the roulette game. However, it turns out that his analysis was indeed bleak. He is quoted as once saying, ‘No one can beat roulette unless they steal all the money when the dealer is not looking’. Alas, even with Einstein’s advice, we know that won’t stop people from trying, and why not, bring it on!

Roulette in Popular Culture

The thrill of the spin has escaped far beyond the average casino table. It’s leapt out the casino doors and into our everyday daily lives through popular culture. Even those who have never played or even entered a casino can envision this exciting game. Roulette stories have featured in many famous films, probably most notable of all was the 1944 Oscar-winning movie, Casablanca. In this timeless classic, Humphrey Bogart plays café-owner Rick who uses the roulette wheel to help a Bulgarian refugee make a lot of money fast. Of course, in reality, it wouldn’t be as easy as it is portrayed in the film. Similarly, in the 1998 film – Run Lola Run – the main character bets on the number 20 again and again with successful results.

In addition to the movies, there have been many tales of roulette told through television as well. As part of his 2009, ‘The Events’ series, British illusionist Derren Brown aired his ‘How to Take Down a Casino’ episode. In this show, Derren attempts to beat the wheel using the law of physics to predict where the ball would land. The twist was, he would be betting with £5,000 which belonged to a member of the public. Filming the whole thing on a hidden camera, the illusionist actually failed to beat the spin with the ball landing on 8, instead of the predicted 22, just one slot away. Aouch!

Image from the movie the Deer Hunter featuring Robert de Niro with a Gun
Did You Know?
Russian roulette has little to do with actual roulette – you (luckily) won’t find it in a casino! Such risk taking is not recommended when a gun is involved, but, nevertheless, you’ll often see Russian roulette referenced in action movies.

Speaking of which, there’s no doubting you’ve heard of the infamous game, Russian Roulette? Alas, this game of chance, and death, bears no real relation to the casino game other than the spinning of the gun barrel. It is believed to have originated in Russia, hence the name, however, it was most notably – and brutally – depicted in the 1978 epic, The Deer Hunter.

Roulette Stories – Dispelling the Myths and Superstitions

As with any popular game with money attached to it, various myths and superstitions rise and take hold of those who play it. Roulette is no different. There’s always one person, who swears they heard it from another person and vice versa, and the rumour mill goes on and on. Let’s start by debunking some of the most common roulette myths out there today.

Many players believe the roulette wheel has a memory, and that it is a good strategy to bet on numbers that have not appeared in a while. This is one of the biggest fallacies in the game; no past events impact the current as every spin is independent. Another myth worth discussing is the effectiveness of roulette strategies. Now, in theory, many of these roulette systems such as Martingale and Paroli are pretty sound. However, it’s very important to remember that at the end of the day, every spin is an independent event and comes down to pure chance. Further to this, contrary to popular belief, croupiers cannot influence were the ball will land so you should not be worrying about it.

An image depicting an online roulette game with a fairness check approval
Did You Know?
Online roulette isn’t rigged. In fact, random number generators keep things fair and safe with regular tests and fairness assessments. Stick to licensed casinos, and you’ll be in good hands – simply look for seals of testing agencies on the homepage.

A common sight online is seeing angry people complaining on social media and forums that the online roulette game they play is rigged. This is simply not the case. All of the big and legitimate online UK casinos are subject to regulations and monitoring from the UK Gambling Commision. If you see their logo on a casino site, you have nothing to worry about. If you’re looking for a place to play, check out our guide to the best online casinos in the UK. One thing to keep an eye out for is advertisements for ‘guaranteed to win software’. There is an endless catalogue of sites offering these programs, but they are all scams. Use common sense, stick to the online roulette facts and you’ll be fine.

Tales of Roulette Cheaters

Whether its movie hits such as Ocean’s Eleven or Now You See Me, we all love a good casino heist story. But how many roulette stories involving cheating have you heard in your day? Believe it or not. There have been quite a few. One of the most infamous cheaters in Las Vegas, Richard Marcus, brought about an era of chaos for almost two decades. His primary method of cheating involved acting crazy and drunk to distract croupiers at the roulette wheel whilst he removed chips from losing bets. He called this method the ‘Savannah’. His system was inspired as casinos never really scrutinised losing bets as much as they do winning bets and he never got caught. In fact, the only reason we have heard of him is because he made enough money to retire, write a book about his exploits and now works as a consultant for casinos to help them catch cheaters. Funny old world it is.

A man in a balaklava trying to cheat at a roulette table
Did You Know?
There are plenty of dubious online sources who claim to have devised ways to cheat at online roulette with algortithms and cheat software. Lofty claims? Definitely! There’s no cheating the random number generator at a licensed online casino.

Another famous roulette cheater was a French woman called Monique Laurent who managed to win over $1 million in 1973. Together with friends, she developed a roulette ball with a radio receiver and a cigarette pack with a transmitter. Together with the help of a rogue croupier who slipped the tampered ball into play, she was able to control where the ball landed with 90% accuracy using her cigarettes whilst her friends placed big bets. Pretty impressive. Casino bosses where baffled and could not work what was happening. However, the jig was up when one casino boss happened to take a particular liking to Ms. Laurent and asked her for a cigarette. Smoking sucks, right?

Roulette Stats

In the crazy world of roulette, we love numbers and every now and then we see a stat that makes our eyes pop out of our heads. Here are some of roulette’s most wacky stats. As we all know, there are 38 slots on every wheel, so plenty of opportunity for the ball to fall into different numbers. So, what if I told you a ball had landed on the same number twice in a row? Pretty unlikely, yet entirely believable. Well, what if I told you that the ball once came up on the same number SIX times in a row! That’s exactly what happened at the El San Juan Hotel in Puerto Rico in July 1959. The number 10 appeared six times in a row; the odds of this happening are over three billion to one. And then, 41 years later in the year 2000, it goes and happens again. This time at Caesars Palace, the number 7 came up six times in a row all at Wheel #211. You may have thought millions may have been lost, but the casino only had to cough up $300, but I guess, who would really bet that this streak would ever take place?

A group of successful roulette players celebrate winning a lot of money
Did You Know?
Charles Wells, the man who famously broke the bank at Monte Carlo, managed to win all of the money that the casino was holding at the table, clearing out the casino’s ₣100,000-strong daily reserve. What’s even better? He did it more than once!

The first big win in roulette of note recorded was by Charles Wells in 1981 who one million Francs playing roulette at the Monte Carlo Casino. British man Ashley Revell is known for having the biggest win on a single spin have bet his life savings of $135,000. Fortunately for him, his bet landed on red and he doubled his fortune. However, it’s another fellow Brit, Phillip Green who is known for the biggest winning night. In one London casino, he won over £2 million playing roulette. If you want to win big at roulette, check out a guide to the best high stakes casinos in the UK.

Conclusion

With more and more people discovering and playing the game every day, it’s only a matter of time before we hear about the next biggest win, or the next crazy roulette story. Roulette is just one of those games that knows how to attract attention. If you are interested, we would really recommend you check out our history of roulette page, where you find out about the early development of the game. Many online casinos in the UK offer various casino games. For more interesting gambling stories, hit up our guide section. If you want to check out the best casinos to play at, check out our best online casinos reviews page.