, russkaya ruletka) is a lethal game of chance in which a player places a single round in a revolver, spins the cylinder, places the muzzle against his or her head, and pulls the trigger.
Russian refers to the supposed country of origin, and roulette to the element of risk-taking and the spinning of the revolver's cylinder, which is reminiscent of a spinning roulette wheel.
Because only one chamber is loaded, the player has a one in x chance of being shot, with x being the number of chambers in the cylinder.
So, for instance, if a revolver holds six chambers, the chance is one in six.
This assumes that each chamber is equally likely to come to rest in the "correct" position.
However, in a properly maintained weapon with a single round inside the cylinder, the full chamber, which weighs more than the empty chambers, will usually end up near the bottom of the cylinder due to gravity when its axis is not vertical, altering the odds in favor of the player.
The term Russian roulette was possibly first used in a 1937 short story of the same name by Georges Surdez. some officer would suddenly pull out his revolver, anywhere, at the table, remove a cartridge from the cylinder, spin the cylinder, snap it back in place, put it to his head and pull the trigger.
However, the story describes using a gun with one empty chamber out of six, instead of five empty chambers out of six: 'Did you ever hear of Russian Roulette? There were five chances to one that the hammer would set off a live cartridge and blow his brains all over the place.
There is a drinking game based on Russian roulette.
The game involves six shot glasses filled by a non-player. Among some groups, low quality vodka is preferred as it makes the glass representing the filled chamber less desirable.
The glasses are arranged in a circle, and players take turns choosing a glass to take a shot from at random.
There is also a game called "Beer Hunter" (titled after the Russian roulette scenes in the film The Deer Hunter).