Credit card roulette

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Credit Card Roulette is a game of chance where every party involved contributes their own credit[1] or debit card into a hat or billfold. The waitress or waiter will choose at random the card which will pay the entire bill.[2][3][4] A second version of the game is played where the waiter or waitress pulls one card at a time and the last card picked pays the bill.[5][6] Some groups may take the losers from previous meals that day out of contention for later that evening's game of chance. Exemptions are not accepted outside the 24-hour statute of limitation grace period.


Although the game's origins are unknown, it has increased in popularity within the last 20 years.[citation needed] Some believe it was started by Matt Formica, a longtime risk averse gambler,[7] who would put in five or six of his own credit cards, one of which was canceled, and offer the waiter a very large tip if he picked one of the cards that "worked". However, if he picked the canceled card the meal was free. A society column article about Jerry's game ran in the Morning Herald in Uniontown, Pennsylvania on June 8, 1960.[7]


  • Patriot Ledger, South Shore MA, March 20, 1998
  • Morning Herald, Uniontown PA, June 8, 1960

Further reading[edit]

  • The Prosperous Heart: Creating a Life of "Enough" - Julia Cameron, Emma Lively - Google Books
  • Hodock, Calvin L. "Why Smart Companies Do Dumb Things: Avoiding Eight Common Mistakes in New Product Development". ISBN 9781615921782.