Roulette Fun Facts and Resources

After Massachusetts casinos re-opened, it took a while for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to reinstate roulette on the casino floor at MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor. The last time I played roulette was at the El Cortez, and the minimum was $1.00. Since it was a very long time ago, I wanted to brush up on the game that I basically knew little about. Yes, I know how to place the chips and etiquette, but I want to know more. So here’s what I found – Roulette Fun Facts and Resources.

In New England, you can find traditional American Roulette in every casino except Plainridge Park, where electronic roulette is available. In addition, stadium gaming roulette is also offered in Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods, MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor, Twin River, and Tiverton.

Roulette Fun Facts

Let’s face it. The roulette house edge of 5.26% on American double-zero roulette tables casinos a huge profit. It provides a predictable long-term advantage to the casino or “house” while offering the player the possibility of a large short-term payout.

Scott Roeben of Vital Vegas

Most of the following comes from However, I recommend following the author, Scott Roeben. Between his podcast, website, and tweets, He covers Las Vegas with the whacky passion that only Scott can.

TermsRoulette Terms You Might Not Know

  • “Mucking” is when a roulette dealer gathers and restacks chips.
  • A “marker,” also called a “dolly,” is that crystal thing used to mark a winning number.
  • It’s also worth noting a roulette dealer is also called a “croupier.”
  •  “Canoes” are small devices on a roulette wheel. They give the ball additional obstacles to divert the ball from a predictable path.
  • “Frets” are the little walls that separate the pockets on the wheel.

Roulette Chips – Roulette Fun Facts For The Recreational Gambler

Roulette Fun Facts For The Recreational Gambler

Scott writes, “It’s a little-known fact that when pushing stacked chips to players, dealers can’t move the chips in a way that conceals them from the security cameras above. As a result, dealers spend a lot of time practicing pushing stacks of chips. 20 is the standard number of chips in a stack at a roulette table.”

Mr. Roeben continues, “Also, roulette chips have no value away from the table and can’t be traded for cash at the casino cashier. That’s because roulette chips have no set value. Players determine what value a chip will have. Chips can be worth $1, $5, or more, as stated when the player buys in.”

If you see a triple zero roulette table, just run.

Scott Roeben, Vital Vegas

Biribi – The Precursor to Roulette

Biribi, or biribissi (in Italian) or cavagnole (in French), was an Italian game of chance similar to roulette, played for low stakes. Players used a board on which the numbers 1 to 70 are marked and is considered one of the many lottery games in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The players put their stakes on the numbers they wish to back. The banker is provided with a bag from which he draws a case containing a ticket, the tickets corresponding with the numbers on the board. The banker calls out the number, and the player who has backed it receives sixty-four times his stake; the other stakes go to the banker.

It was prohibited by law in 1837. Described as “a regular cheats’ game,” collusion with the bag-holder was presumably widespread.

Final Roulette Fun Facts For The Recreational Gambler

Roulette Fun Facts For The Recreational Gambler
“666” – The Devil’s Game
  • The most commonly played number on the roulette wheel is 17 for two reasons: 1) its central location on the layout, and it’s the number James Bond plays. 
  • Roulette is called the “Devil’s Game” because if you add up all the numbers on the roulette wheel they equal 666.
  • The ball is made out of Teflon, acetal, or plastic these days. Originally, the balls were made out of Ivory. Due to endangered species laws, the practice was changed.
  • Roulette is French. Translated, it means “little wheel.”
  • It’s creation was influenced by Blaise Pascal’s research into a “perpetual motion machine” in the 1600s.
  • Finally, it’s deemed inappropriate to have your drink with you when you play at the roulette table, unlike blackjack, baccarat, etc. This is considered a big no-no.


So, now all I need to know is how to play. Here are some resources for learning the game:

How to Play Roulette – A COMPLETE GUIDE by

Three Must-Read Books suggested by Stan Nikov on Roulette:

Wizard of Odds ResourcesRoulette — The Basics & Play for free.

YouTube: American Casino GuideRoulette – How to Play and How to Win!

That’s all for now. And remember, “embrasser les mathématiques pas le mythe” (embrace the math, not the myth!)