Roulette's Frets

Copyright 2003 by Paul Niquette.  All rights reserved.

message from my son in Las Vegas posed a question about the numbers on a roulette wheel. Paul is a guitarist, so I assumed he was referring to the "frets." 

Not sure of the answer, I launched an Internet search on "roulette" and got over two million hits, the first being the link to a website that is loaded with information every cabbie on the Strip ought to know, beginning with... 

History of Roulette 

The term "Roulette" is derived from a French word meaning small wheel. The origin of Roulette is not very clear. while some sources state that Blaise Pascal, a 17th Century French mathematician invented the roulette wheel, other sources state that the game originated in China and was brought to Europe by Dominican monks who were trading with the Chinese. During the late 18th century the Roulette wheel became very popular when Prince Charles (ruler of Monaco at the time) introduced gambling to Monacco as a way of alleviating the financial problems of the region. 

The Roulette wheel gained a great deal of popularity in America during the California Gold Rush.Roulette Wheel However, the modern version of the Roulette wheel did not appear until 1842 when Frenchmen Francois and Louis Blanc invented the single "0" roulette game.  When the game was brought to America, the "00" was added, thereby increasing the "house advantage."

Thus, while learning of monks and monarchs and mathematicians, I had at last acquired the number I sought, 36 + 2 = 38.  I re-read my son's question.  More carefully, this time...

What sum results from adding the numbers on a Roulette wheel?


fret One of the ridges, usually of metal, set across the fingerboard of a guitar or other stringed instrument to quantize the length of each string at intervals of 1/21/12 of an octave thereby regimenting the production of a musical scale comprising semitones.  Likewise, there is a fret separating each pair of segments on a Roulette wheel -- plus an emotional fret produced by the wheel, some say, while it is spinning.