Russian roulette

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Russian roulette2016-12-17T23:42:56+00:00

Russian roulette 

Russian roulette image from New Medical Terms

Russian roulette


Definition A potentially lethal game of chance in which participants place a single bullet in a revolver’s cylinder, spin it, place the muzzle against their head and pull the trigger.

The chance of dying from a self-inflicted gunshot in Russian roulette–assuming 6 chambers in the cylinder and the cylinder is re-spun each time–is 1:6.

The game is played often enough to compile forensic statistics (in the USA): 80% of those who die are white, all are male, average age is 25, and alcohol often plays a role. The name was first used in the title of a short story about the game written by Georges Surdez in 1937. 

References Am J Forensic Med Pathol 2008; 29 (1): 32–9

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