Chapter 1- Roulette




Prophet Ezekiel in the bible

I looked: I saw an immense dust storm come from the north, an immense cloud with lightning flashing from it, a huge ball of fire glowing like bronze.

Ezekiel then notes what he sees in the cloud, magnificent wheels: This is what the wheels looked like: They were identical wheels, sparkling like diamonds in the sun. It looked like they were wheels within wheels, like a gyroscope…The rims were immense, circled with eyes.



Do not skip over this introductory material in order to go to the systems sections right off the bat. I know that many readers do not like to read introductions and those of you who have played around the world or played roulette online, are probably thinking, “I don’t need to be introduced to a game I know inside and out. Tell me how to beat the darn thing!”


Chapter 1.1


Well, I am telling you this: If you want to really know the game you are playing you should know its history and not just how it is structured. If roulette is your game then look at it as if it were a family tree. Where did Mom and Pop originate; how about grandpop and grandma; what about way back to Great Pop-Pop and Great Ma-Ma? How about all the way back to the beginning of your line? Your history is you, whether you realize it or not.

The histories of the games you like to play are also you. Something about those games says something to you and you listen to it too.


Where did roulette originate

Where did roulette actually originate? Does it have any meaning that transcends just gambling on numbers and propositions? I think it does. Is there a reason why wheels have intrigued us since the days of Ezekiel and actually the days long before he ever strode the earth visualizing immense things in the sky?

If you’ve never played roulette, don’t you want to know exactly what new world you are entering? Come on, part of the fun of any activity is the knowledge of why so many others have actually found that activity to be fun.

So come with me for an introductory ride into the wonders of roulette.

Truth to tell we have a decent current roulette history with interesting people and strange events but we also have my own brilliant speculative history that covers much of human history.



Everything goes round in a circle

I will write about the various bets, playing the game, the common and esoteric systems, and then (ta-da!) some (maybe) roulette winning methods. I’ll also give you the great, relatively modern tales of amazing wins. I’ll even sprinkle remarks from some modern roulette players and what they have to say about their playing experiences, be those experiences good or not so good.




In conclusion I will give you my advice, straight from my head and my heart about how to play the game to benefit you the most. Some of you will agree with my prescriptions; some of you won’t, but keep this in mind: I am right. So if you have made it this far, stay with me.



Long before there was the wheel, there existed the circle. In ancient cults, religions and societies the circle often represented the sun, which was thought of as a god, and more often than not an eternal god. Sometimes the circle also represented the moon. The circle has no beginning and no end. It is a forever symbol; it never stops, it never starts, it always is.


If you take a look at some of the ancient writings and hieroglyphs you can see how often the circle is used to relate sublime information about the nature of reality and human life within that reality. Sometimes the gods are drawn riding in circular symbols on ancient walls; sometimes huge catastrophes come from circular areas such as volcanos. The very stars themselves are round. The power of the circle was undeniable to our forebears.

Hindu women even continue the ancient tradition of putting a Bindi, the often red, sometimes black circle, on their foreheads to symbolize that they understand the nature of reality as they go through all the mundane aspects in their lives. The Bindi can also represent the inner eye that can see the ultimate “oneness” of all existence. We are all a part of that circle.



Most of us have heard of the “circle” (or cycle) “of life”; the birth, growing, aging and death of living things, and then their return again. In countries with notable seasons we think of climate as circular: spring to summer to fall to winter and then back to spring and thus the circle continues. The circle of life postulates that “things” go round and round eternally even though we only see this for a short while in our own small lifetimes.

Check out some of the paintings of Buddhist mandalas, circles with meaning and power. Each mandala is thought to have amazing qualities. God or the “oneness” is often referred to in many cultures as being circular with no beginning, no end;

Joseph Davis: When I play roulette it feels as if the game has no beginning and no end even if my playing does. I hop in when I want to play and out when I don’t want to play. But that wheel is there forever. Okay, I know it is not but it feels as if it is. Roulette is a timeless game in my honest opinion.



Some of the great imagery of the ancient world and primitive societies comes in the form of wheels – at least since wheels were invented somewhere around 5,000- 3,000 BC during the Copper Age in either Mesopotamia or Eurasia (take your pick since neither of these ancient societies exists anymore, being dead you see, neither will get upset if you don’t pick it as the wheel’s creator).

Indeed, the wheel brought the circle’s divine power along with it. In China one could predict one’s future health, wealth and stature by spinning the wheel. Just check how many groups, fraternities, societies, flags and religions use the wheel to advance their causes, many of those early societies were consequently able to advance a cartload of their weapons in carts on those wheels as well.

They could also cart a lot more dung with those wheels. The dung carriers (also known as dungarees – ugh!) usually didn’t go to war as war was often fought only by the nobility or the big shots of the tribal societies. Feeding people by helping with the farming was not as important as the tribal leaders killing people. Such it is. The impact of the wheel was and still is overwhelming.



  • It is silly not to be the best and most knowledgeable player you can be.
  • The game of roulette can be traced back (in some ways) to mankind’s fascination with the power of the wheel.
  • As the circle was considered a never ending eternal symbol a roulette game might be considered the same thing – a game that never ends.
God is the sublime
Chapter 1.2


The French seemed to have coined the word roulette which meant “small” or “little wheel.” This occurred in the late 1600’s or early 1700’s and is thought to be based on the great mathematician Blaise Pascal’s failed attempts to create a perpetual motion machine. Only little kids seem to be perpetual motion machines; Blaise should have known that.

How did roulette come into being; that is, roulette the game as we now know it with grooves and pockets and numbers and colors and a layout for bets? Seems someone of unknown origin (or maybe good old Blaise himself) decided to dig small pockets in a wheel that could accommodate a marble or small ball that would then indicate which number, color or proposition would win.

Of course, whoever invented roulette also figured out ways to take the players’ money at the game. Rarely are things invented with the idea that they would be of no use or value to us.

Composing Wheel


The roulette wheel has three basic divisions:

1. the ball track where the ball goes round and round
2. the base track where the ball begins its descent when it leaves the ball track
3. the wheel head with the pockets where the ball bounces and finally settles into a pocket

Modern roulette tables often have two balls assigned to them, a large one and a small one. Note that when the ball is spinning on the bottom track, there are “bumpers” or “pins” that make a clean descent into the wheel head difficult. These bumpers are intended to stop the control of where the ball might land. Casinos want their roulette games to be random.



European or French Roulette - Single-Zero Roulette Wheel European Single Zero Wheel
American Roulette - Double-Zero RouletteAmerican Single Zero Wheel



We know that in the late 1700’s, maybe nipping at the heels of the 1800’s, roulette had become a fashionable game among the French elite or anyone else who was looking to lose a fortune by playing stupidly. For some reason the aristocracy of the European powers of those times had many idiot relatives flitting in and out amongst them.

The French or European roulette had two pockets of red and black with “0” and “00” as their numbers. Those were considered “house pockets.” If the ball landed in such pockets the casino would win – that was the original idea anyway. But this became confusing for the players as all the other pockets, though differently numbered, were also red and black.

So someone who shall remain nameless (since no one knows this someone’s name) realized that the pockets of “0” and “00” should be a different color altogether. The color became green (or sometimes blue) and that is the color of these pockets today. To make money the owner of the wheel decided to short-change the winnings as I will show in a short while.



By the end of the 19th century, roulette became the most fashionable game in the gambling houses of Europe and had even made its way to the United States. When Germany banned gambling in the mid-1800’s, a group of savvy casino men (the Family Blanc) moved their operation to Monte Carlo and that venue became the focal point of worldwide gambling – for those who could afford to travel such a distance that is. The roulette wheel in Monaco was a single-zero one (which had better odds) and this became known as the French or European wheel; while in the United States the American roulette double-zero wheel became the norm.

Paul Desmond: I find it so weird that America invented the single-zero wheels which became known as the French wheel, while France created the double-zero wheels which became known as the American wheel. What gives with that?

Paul Desmond is quite correct. As Shakespeare has Macbeth say, “Nothing is but what is not.” And certainly that applies to roulette.


Here is an interesting apocryphal story about the origin of roulette that many superstitious people of the past believed; the game was created by the very devil himself. Yes, good (bad) old Satan had a hand or paw in it!

The Devil
Casino Conquer the World



Until the mid-point of the 20th century, Monte Carlo and Las Vegas were the premier casino venues in the world. Yes, there were casinos here and there but the casino industry was truly just here (Monte Carlo) or there (Las Vegas). That all changed by the end of the 20th century.

By the year 2000, casinos could be found in almost every area of the world. And roulette could be found in just about all of those casinos. The human race is certainly a gambling race; that is for sure and roulette is one of our favorite gambles.



  • Roulette wheels come in two types; the European (French) single-zero wheel and the American double-zero wheel.
  • The European wheel is the better game as the house edge is 2.70 percent as opposed to the American wheel’s 5.26 percent.
  • Casinos need their roulette games to be random and that is why the “frets” or “diamonds” are place around the wheel so the ball can bounce off them and its landing not predictable.
Chapter 1


(Oh, don’t chicken out. Take these quizzes. You can’t score below zero on any of them. Go with the flow my friends and don’t look up the answers first.You aren’t in school so no one has to know how you did.)

1. Which mathematician tried to develop the perpetual motion machine?
2. What is the French or European wheel?
3. What is the American wheel?
4. In addition to transportation what other uses existed for the wheel?
5. What does the term roulette mean?
6. The American wheel was invented in what country?
7. Why do some people believe that roulette was created by the Devil?
8. What biblical prophet saw “wheels within wheels” in the sky?
9. What types of balls are used in a modern roulette game?
10. Who tended to be the first roulette players?


1. Blaise Pascal
2. The French or European wheel has only one green (or blue) zero.
3. The American wheel has two green (or blue) zeros (0 and 00).
4. The wheel was often used as a talisman that could predict the future or tell people the will or desires of the gods.
5. Roulette means little wheel or small wheel.
6. The American wheel was invented in France or other European countries.
7. The numbers on a wheel add up to 666, the number of the beast or Devil.
8. Ezekiel
9. Two, a big one and a small one.
10. The aristocrats of Europe.

(You get 10 points for each correct answer. If an answer has more than one constituent, any one of them will get you the 10 points because I am an easy grader.)


Frank Scoblete grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. He spent the ‘60s getting an education; the ‘70s in editing, writing and publishing; the ‘80s in theatre, and the ‘90s and the 2000s in casino gambling.

Along the way he taught English for 33 years. He has authored 35 books; his most recent publisher is Triumph Books, a division of Random House. He lives in Long Island. Frank wrote the Ultimate Roulette Strategy Guide and he's a well known casino specialist.