Fast Forward: Gambling - The colour of money

Mark Glassman has reinvented the wheel - the roulette wheel. Martin Skegg and Michael Oliveira-Salac take it for a spin. Photographs by Louis Girardi

Down a side street away from the bustling suburbia of Edmonton in London is an anonymous looking office and warehouse complex. Security is an issue here, possibly verging on the paranoid. Then again, this is the place where casinos come to buy roulette wheels, gaming tables and chips, so security is not just important but a professional necessity.

The company also has a striking new development - a fresh spin on the game of roulette, invented by Mark Glassman. Apart from some tinkering, roulette is basically unchanged since the 19th century. Glassman's Rainbow Roulette, which looks like something out of an Eighties Buck Rogers movie, is based on colours rather than numbers. He came up with the idea while at the casinos in Las Vegas (he's been playing the tables regularly there for over 10 years). In the United States, roulette is regarded as a game for small-time gamblers - craps being for the high rollers - and any larger bets are generally placed on red or black (evens bets). Glassman realised that a game based solely on colour could attract more money and bring a greater level of excitement and atmosphere - both of which were lacking.

The wheel on Rainbow Roulette is divided into seven colours, plus black and white. Bets placed on the single-spin colours (around the sides) win when that colour comes up, and lose on everything else. Odds are based on the number of segments a colour occupies on the wheel (for example, red, which occupies seven segments, pays 4-1 while violet, which has just the one segment, pays 35-1).

The multiple-spin section (the stripes in the centre of the table) mean a punter's money should go further than regular roulette, as bets placed here are continually played, losing only when black is spun. The odds in this section are lower to take account of the multiple-play aspect - ranging from evens to 8-1. The only other rule is the double-or-nothing bet which comes into play when the ball lands in white. Players with bets in the single-spin section are asked whether they want to double their original bet for the next spin or forfeit the bet entirely.

Glassman is hoping the game's simplicity and fun element will have some impact in the States, which has seen revenue from gaming increase from $10.4 billion in 1982 to $47.6 billion in 1997. He would like to see it in the UK too, but currently the gaming laws don't legislate for it (apparently, antiquated laws say a game with a wheel needs to have numbers on it), and the Gaming Board is not interested in taking on any new games.

This is a shame because playing Rainbow Roulette is a lot of fun and the relaxed nature of the gaming would appeal to many people who are intimidated by traditional roulette. However, since it shares the same gambling features as roulette, it is still a matter of risk with the hope of gain

With thanks to John Huxley. For more information contact Rainbow Roulette, PO Box 25521, London NW7 3ZU.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

    £37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

    Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

    £25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

    Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

    £16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea