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The history of this game is shrouded in the depths of history, its origins uncertain. It is chronicled however, that games of chance were practiced, by the soldiers of ancient Rome, using the wheel of an upturned chariot. Other reports suggest wagers were made on the results of a pre-marked shield being spun on a spear. More reliable sources reveal that a game, E. O. (even odd) was played in Bath, England, in the early eighteenth century. This game involved a numbered spinning wheel, and a bouncing ball, not unlike the game of roulette that we know today. However, with the influx of French refugees, fleeing the French revolution, the game of French roulette, was introduced to the indigenous population, and EO was discontinued.

Over the centuries, there have been numerous scandals, triumphs, systems, and scams, where adventurous gamblers have made spectacular gains, and losses, on the spin of a roulette wheel. Perhaps one famous true story worth retelling is “the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo”. An English cotton mill engineer from Yorkshire, by the name of Joseph Jaggers, made his attack on the Beaux-Arts casino. His engineering background gave him reason to doubt the random distribution, of the little ivory ball landing indiscriminately (as it would if the wheel was perfectly balanced) on a wheel that through wear and tear may not be quite true and offer a certain bias towards certain numbers. Jaggers employed six of his clerks to observe the action, at all six roulette tables in the casino. They tracked every spin on all six tables, for six consecutive nights. From the information provided, Jaggers was able to deduce that five of the tables were indeed perfectly balanced, and provided perfect random results, but the sixth table offered a bias towards nine numbers. He played the first night winning $70000, by the fourth night, his winnings were touching $300000, all won from the same table. The casino retaliated by switching the tables around. They did this in the early hours of the morning to avoid detection. On the fifth night Jaggers started to lose, until he noticed, a tiny scratch that had been apparent on his favoured wheel was missing. He cottoned on to what had transpired, and went in search of the Jagger friendly wheel with the tiny scratch. He found it, and resumed his winning ways. The Casino this time called in the expert roulette manufacturers, who although they could not alter the bias, they removed the fret containing the numbers and switched them around. Jaggers then left the casino, never to return, but taking with him around $325000. He died in 1892. (The naughty nineties) Hence the famous old music hall song, “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo,” was written in the same year.

French roulette: online.

The advent of the internet however has presented a whole new opportunity, for millions of people, from all over the world, to indulge themselves, play their favourite games, all at the touch of a few keyboard buttons, wherever a computer point can access the internet, games are available 24/7. The casinos of course, were quick to acknowledge the power of the net, and there are literally thousands of online casino’s from which to choose from. I spoke earlier of the fortunes, won and lost, of Joseph Jaggers coup at Monte Carlo, well there have also been some big winners playing online, in more recent times. Before you attempt to join the winners circle however, it would be a good idea to learn the rules of the game.

French roulette: the game.

French roulette is a game of chance, using a numbered wheel with pockets, (numbered 0/36) a little ball, and a table. The objective is to guess on which number the ball will land on, after the croupier (dealer) has spun the ball against the spin of the wheel, if you guess correctly the house will pay you at odds of 35/1. There are a number of ways to win at this game, and many winning systems, are advertised on the net. The fact that the casino’s always seem to remain open, and successful, may cast some doubt upon the validity of some of the claims made by purveyors of “winning systems.” Golden rule, always check the terms and conditions of the casino of your choice before signing up. Be sure you understand the criteria attached to “Welcome Bonus’s, you will be obliged to play to a multiple of your initial stake (plus bonus) before you can retrieve your winnings, this will vary from casino to casino. Check it out. Treat the game like you would on a good night out, decide how much you can afford to lose, (spend) fix an amount you would like to win, enjoy your fun, and if you can, quit when you hit your target.

Good luck, bon voyage, and may lady luck smile upon you.

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