Russian roulette

Russian roulette

Russian Roulette – this is one of the most famous Russian games in the world with fatal end. Another name Russian roulette – Hussar Roulette – because it was invented by Russian officers, which used to be called “the hussars.”

The terms of Russian roulette game: the empty drum revolver being charged with one cartridge and the drum is rotated several times so that players do not know where the cartridge is located. After this, one by one players tray muzzle of the revolver to their heads and press the trigger. The defeat means death. Typically, the game uses a six-shooter, that is, the probability of death in the game Russian Roulette is 1 to 6.

The expression “Russian roulette” in a figurative sense means engaging in dangerous activities with difficult to predict outcome; also it means reckless and senseless courage.

There are several versions of the origin of this game:

1) Russian officers “hussars” during the war of Napoleon Bonaparte (1812) placed a bet, arguing and playing Russian roulette. Also they could prove their bravery.

2) In the 19th century guards in the Russian prisons forced prisoners to play the game and bet on the survival or death of the prisoner.

The first mention in the foreign press of the term “Russian Roulette” refers to January 30, 1937. Georges Surdez in the article “Russian Roulette” in the American magazine «Collier’s Weekly» wrote:

«It was practiced in Romania during 1917, the last days of the Russian participation in the World War when the Tsar’s demoralised army was on the retreat. To demonstrate bravery or simply indifference to death a Russian officer would “suddenly pull out his revolver, anywhere, at the table, in a café, at a gathering of friends, remove a cartridge from the cylinder, spin the cylinder, snap it back in place, put it to his head, and pull the trigger. There were five chances to one that the hammer would set off a live cartridge and blow his brains all over the place. Sometimes it happened, sometimes not. When it did, there was nothing more to be said or done; when it did not, the fellow waited another day.»

Usually Russian roulette played with a revolver “Smith&Wesson – Russian” (4.2 linear revolver Smith & Wesson) or later with a very famous revolver “Nagan” – the main gun of the Russian army in 1917.

 

The probability of a shot at Russian roulette:

The course Probability shot

1 shot: 1/6 = 0.1 (6) = 16,(6)%

2 shot:  1/5 = 0.2 = 20%

3 shot:  1/4 = 0.25 = 25%

4 shot:  1/3 = 0 (3) = 33,(3)%

5 shot:  1/2 = 0.5 = 50%

6 shot:  1 = 1/1 = 100%

There is a “drinking” version of this game: players have 6 glasses poured with transparent liquid: 5 with water, one with vodka. 🙂

Here is the text of the song “Russian Roulette” by Fleur, you can download and listen it and study the Russian language!

Fleur – Russian Roulette

Russian English
Сквозь тревожные сумерки – дым сигарет Through disturbing twilight – cigarette smoke
Отражается в зеркале нервное пламя свечи Reflected in the mirror nervous candle flame
Я сижу за столом, на столе – пистолет I sit at the table, on the table – a gun
Я играю в игру для сильных мужчин I play the game for strong men
Я смеюсь над собой – я рисую усы I laugh at myself – I draw a mustache
Ты не знаешь – какая я, наверняка You do not know – what I am, for sure
Я – энергия взрыва, я – эхо грозы I – energy of the explosion, I – an echo of Rain
Я пока не опасна, но только пока… I’m not dangerous, but only until …
Ты еще не знаешь: You do not know:
насколько всё это будет всерьез how seriously will it be
У меня осталось два часа до рассвета I left two hours before the sunrise
и еще один нерешенный вопрос: and one more outstanding issue:
Кто мы?.. Who we are?..
Незнакомцы из разных миров… Strangers from different worlds …
Или, может быть мы – Or maybe we –
случайные жертвы стихийных порывов? random victims of natural impulses?
Знаешь, как это сложно – нажать на курок You know how difficult it is – pulling the trigger
Этот мир так хорош за секунду до взрыва… This world is so good for a second before the explosion …
Ты вчера невзначай потерял свою тень Yesterday you accidentally lost your shadow
И сегодня не ты, а она гостит у меня And today, not you, but it is staying with me
Мы чуть-чуть поиграем здесь, в темноте – We have a little play here in the dark –
Пистолет, я и тень…попытайся понять Pistol, me and the  shadow… try to understand
Я, увы, не знаю насколько все это было всерьез I, alas, do not know how seriously it was
Твоя тень, к сожаленью, не может ответить Your shadow, unfortunately, can not answer
мне на этот несложный вопрос… To me for this simple question …
Кто мы?.. Who we are?..
Незнакомцы из разных миров… Strangers from different worlds …
Или, может быть мы – Or maybe we –
случайные жертвы стихийных порывов? random victims of natural impulses?
Знаешь, как это сложно – нажать на курок You know how difficult it is – pulling the trigger
Этот мир так хорош за секунду до взрыва… This world is so good for a second before the explosion …
Мы накажем друг друга высшей мерой отчаянья We punish each other by the supreme measure of despair
для того, чтоб из памяти этот вечер изъять… in order to remove this evening form the memory…
Здесь одна только пуля…Не огорчайся, – There is only one bullet … Do not worry –
я кручу барабан и эта пуля – моя… I twist the drum and the bullet – my …
И теперь мне точно известно: And now I do know:
насколько всё это всерьез how it all seriously
потому, что молчанье – because silence –
ведь, это тоже ответ in fact, this is also an answer
на мой нелепый вопрос: on my ridiculous question:
Кто мы?.. Who we are?..
Незнакомцы из разных миров… Strangers from different worlds …
Или, может быть мы – Or maybe we –
случайные жертвы стихийных порывов? random victims of natural impulses?
Знаешь, как это сложно – нажать на курок You know how difficult it is – pulling the trigger
Этот мир так хорош за секунду до взрыва This world is so good for a second before the explosion …

 

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