VIII. page 25
`There is one table covered with green baize, tightly
stretched as on a billiard-field. In the midst of the table
there is a circular pit, coved inwards, but not bottomless, and
containing the Roulette wheel, a revolving disc, turning with an
accurate momentum on a brass pillar, and divided at its outer
edge into thirty-seven narrow and shallow pigeon-hole
compartments, coloured alternately red and black, and numbered--
not consecutively--up to thirty-six. The last is a blank, and
stands for _Zero_, number _Nothing_. Round the upper edge, too,
run a series of little brass hoops, or bridges, to cause the ball
to hop and skip, and not at once into the nearest compartment.
This is the regimen of Roulette. The banker sits before the
wheel,--a croupier, or payer-out of winnings to and raker in of
losses from the players, on either side. Crying in a voice
calmly sonorous, "_Faites le Jeu, Messieurs_,"--"Make your
game, gentlemen!" the banker gives the wheel a dexterous twirl,
and ere it has made one revolution, casts into its Maelstrom of
black and red an ivory ball.
The interval between this and the ball finding a home is one of
breathless anxiety. Stakes are eagerly laid; but at a certain
period of the revolution the banker calls out--"_Le Jeu est fait.
Rien ne va plus_,"-- and after that intimation it is useless to lay
down money. Then the banker, in the same calm and impassable voice,
declares the result. It may run thus:--"_Vingt-neuf, Noir, Impair,
Passe," "Twenty-nine, Black, Odd, and Pass the Rubicon_"
18); or, "_Huit, Rouge, Pair, et Manque_," "Eight, Red,
and _NOT_ Pass the Rubicon."