Today, anyone who’s asked to think of a casino game will invariably name roulette. It’s one of the most iconic casino games, and these days, it’s played by millions on online casino sites such as 32red and Roxy Palace as well as being a perennial favourite in the land-based casinos.
There’s something about the image of roulette that draws people to play it. It’s a game that’s simple to play and it’s purely down to chance whether you win or lose (or, in the case of online roulette, it’s only down to the simulation of chance provided by the random number generator software that’s part of the online game). But although it’s easy to play, there’s something hypnotic about watching the wheel, willing the ball to land on the numbered pocket that you’ve bet on, or to land on black or red, whichever you’ve chosen to back. With online casinos today, the 3-D imagery that you get with online roulette games gives the impression that you’ve got a real roulette wheel in your living room – or wherever you happen to be playing.
The game of roulette has ancient origins. It’s thought that a similar game used to be played in ancient China and in Roman times, the centurions would play a game of chance using the divisions of an upturned chariot wheel.
Today, there are lots of variations on roulette played away from the casino setting. Let’s take a look at some of the alternatives to classic roulette.
Salt and sugar roulette
This is a great game to play when waiting for your food in a restaurant. Take the salt and sugar packets from the table, and rip off the tops of one sugar pack each. Replace the sugar in one pack with salt, then shuffle all the ‘sugar’ packets under the table and hand them round. On three, everyone has to down the contents of their packet. One unlucky person will draw the short straw and be left with a mouthful of salt.
Chat roulette is another variety on the roulette game. Users sign up to the website chatroulette.com and whenever they login they are paired with another user at random to start talking to one another. So, again, it’s a question of ‘you never know what you’re going to get’. As well as being able to type messages to each other, the chatters are connected via webcam and audio. Users can leave a chat at any time, by initiating another random connection.
Spin the bottle
This is a party game that’s so easy to set up – all you need is a group of people and an empty bottle. The classic version of this game is when the players sit in a circle around the bottle. One player sets the bottle spinning and has to kiss the person that the bottle points to when it stops spinning – so it’s always been a popular feature of teen parties over the years. There are many other variants of this game. One example is to have a tray of mixed hardboiled and raw eggs. When the bottle stops spinning, whoever it is pointing at has to pick an egg and crack it on their forehead – obviously hoping that they will get a hardboiled egg, not a raw one.
And then of course, there’s the ultimate game of chance – Russian roulette – although, thankfully, few people, apart from NFL running back Herschel Walker, actually play this potentially deadly game!