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14 September 1999

Last week, I popped a little quiz on roulette. This time, let's check out the answers. Those who'd like more of the details, color and stories behind the stories might enjoy my Casino Answer Book, which answers these questions and many more:

1. Roulette in its modern form dates back to:

B. Paris in the 1700s.

Modern roulette wheels, complete with alternate red and black slots with numbers, have been traced to Paris in 1796.

2. The most important difference between American and European roulette is:

C. The European wheel does not have 00.

The standard European wheel has only a 0, with no 00.

3. An American roulette wheel has:

C. 38 numbers.

The standard American wheel has numbers 1 through 36, plus 0 and 00.

4. The wheel has numbers arranged:

A. So that consecutive numbers are approximately opposite each other.

It's not perfect, but the attempt was made to place consecutive numbers opposite each other. Check out the numbers around 0 and 00. Zero is flanked by 2 and 28; on either side of 00 are 1 and 27.

5. English engineer Joseph Jaggers is famous for:

A. Breaking the bank at Monte Carlo.

In 1873, Joseph Jaggers found a biased wheel--a wheel on which some numbers turned up more often than by random chance. His \$325,000 in winnings would be a tidy sum today, but they were astronomical in 1873.

6. At the roulette table, roulette chips have a value:

C. Determined when you buy them.

One color of roulette chip can have several different values over the course of a day. I might buy in for \$10, and tell the dealer I want 25-cent chips. After I leave, another player might buy in for \$50 and request \$1 chips, and another might buy in for \$500 and want \$10 chips. The dealer keeps track with a marker placed atop a chip of the designated color.

7. At the cashier's cage, roulette chips have a value of:

A. Zero.

Since roulette chips may have several different values over the course of the day, they may not be redeemed at the cashier's cage. Redeem for regular casino chips before you leave the table.

8. The house edge at American roulette:

A. Is higher than at most table games.

The house edge on most bets at American roulette is 5.26 percent. That's much higher than the 0.5 percent against a blackjack basic strategy player, 2.5 percent against an average blackjack player, 1.17 on baccarat bets on banker on 1.41 percent on the pass line at craps.

9. Bets on the numbers themselves, whether single-number bets, or two-, three-, four-, five- or six-number combinations, are called:

A. Inside bets

The numbers are inside bets. Red/black, even/odd, first 18/last 18, dozens and columns are outside bets.

10. A player betting on red/back, first 18/last 18, even/odd, dozens or columns:

C. Must bet at least the table minimum on each of those propositions.

At a \$5 minimum table, if you decide to bet black and the first column, you must bet at least \$5 on black and at least \$5 more on the first column. On inside bets, you may meet the minimum by spreading bets totaling \$5 on several numbers.

11. The house edge at roulette comes from:

A. The presence of zero and double-zero.

The house pays all bets according to odds that would be accurate if there were 36 numbers on the wheel. But with 0 and 00, there are 38 numbers. True odds of winning a single-number bet are 37-1, but winners are paid only 35-1.

12. Placing a split bet on zero and double-zero in addition to other wagers:

C. Makes no difference on the house edge.

The house edge applies to 0 and 00 just as it does to any other bet on the wheel. If you place single-number bets on 2, 14, 29 and 36, each with a house edge of 5.26 percent, and add a split bet on 0 and 00, which also has a house edge of 5.26 percent, the house edge on your total bet remains 5.26 percent.

13. The house edge on single-number bets:

C. Is the same as on even-money bets such as red/black or even/odd

On an American wheel, all bets carry a house edge of 5.26 percent except the five-number bet on 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. On that combination, the house edge is 7.89 percent.

14. If double-zero has come up the last three spins in a row, the next spin is:

C. About as likely as usual to be double-zero.

Past results do not affect future outcomes. Unless you've stumbled on a biased wheel, double-zero has a 1 in 38 chance of hitting on every spin, regardless of what's happened before.

15. If some numbers consistently occur more frequently than expected by random chance, this:

B. Favors the player.

If some numbers occur more often than by random chance, and the player knows about it, the player can adjust bets accordingly.

The Casino Answer Book by John Grochowski
Spin Roulette Gold: Secrets of Beating the Wheel by Frank Scoblete
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

#### Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games
John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.