hist-games: Holzroulette - modern or historical?

Cris cris at pastymegames.com
Wed Feb 8 08:21:49 PST 2006

I have recently obtained a game called Holzroulette. One of game's
instructions called the game Deutsches Roulette, but the packaging is
calling it Holzroulette. No indication that either name is a proprietary or
trademarked name. It's a small (about 10"), rougly square plate, with a
concave round "dish" cutout where a top can be spun inside. Tiny balls are
struck by the dradle-like nib of the top and flung into divits and "pockets"
that each score differently. There is a red ball, a blue ball, and four
white balls. All of the packaging is in German, but I have a friend who is
fluent in German. There are game instructions roughly as follows:
One to four persons play to a set number of points (typically 1000). The red
ball scores double; the blue score is minus the score it lands in. The
remaining points are as-is. If you pocket every ball, you get to spin again,
otherwise, play goes to the next person. If you have over 900 points, only
the red ball counts as a score (no word on whether the blue ball still
subtracts points). Balls that leave the field are dead for that spin.
What I would like to know is: how old is this game? Is it really of German
origin? I assume it to be a relatively modern game (at least late 19th
century) and a variant of the standard roulette game, but I am only basing
that on intuition. I can find no documentation covering this game.
An image of the game can be seen here: http://woodexpressions.com/499009.jpg
It's okay to let your mind go blank, but please turn off the sound...
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