Roulette Table Class

This section provides the design for the Table class to hold the bets. In the section Roulette Table Analysis we’ll look at the table as a whole.

One of the table’s responsibilities seems to be to validate bets. In InvalidBet Exception Design we’ll look at how we can design an appropriate exception.

In Roulette Table Design we’ll look at the details of creating the table class. Then, in Roulette Table Deliverables we’ll enumerate the deliverables for this chapter.

Roulette Table Analysis

We’ll look at several topics in detail as part of the analysis of the table.

The Table object has the responsibility to keep the Bet instances created by the Player object. Additionally, the house imposes table limits on the minimum amount that must be bet and the maximum that can be bet. A Table object has all the information required to evaluation these conditions.


Betting Constraints

Casinos prevent the Martingale betting system from working by imposing a table limit on each game. To cover the cost of operating the table game, the casino also imposes a minimum bet. Typically, the maximum is a multiplier of the minimum bet, often in the range of 10 to 50; a table with a $5 minimum might have a $200 limit, a $10 minimum may have only a $300 limit.

It isn’t clear where the responsibility lies for determining winning and losing bets. The money placed on Bet instances on the Table instance is “at risk” of being lost. If the bet is a winner, the house pays the Player object an amount based on the Outcome object’s odds and the Bet object’s amount. If the bet is a loser, the amount of the Bet amount is forfeit by the Player object.

It’s important to see how the behavior of the simulation as a whole emerges from the interaction of the various objects. This question of responsibility is central to all OO design. Indeed, the rich complexity of this simulation stems directly from the complexity of human interactions over wagering.

Looking forward to stateful games like Craps, we’ll place the responsibility for determining winners and losers with a yet-to-be-defined Game class, and not with the Table object. The Table class is a passive container for Bet instances. The Game will handle the details of winning and losing.

We’ll wait, then, until we write the Game class to finalize paying winning bets and collecting losing bets.

Winning vs. Losing

Another open question is the timing of the payment for the bet from the player’s stake. In a casino, the payment to the casino – effectively – happens when the bet is placed on the table. In our Roulette simulation, this is a subtlety that doesn’t have any practical consequences. We could deduct the money as part of Bet object creation, or we could deduct the money as part of resolving the spin of the wheel.

In other games, however, there may several events and several opportunities for placing additional bets. For example, splitting a hand in Blackjack, or placing additional odds bets in Craps. We can’t allow a player to bet more than their stake; therefore, we should deduct the payment as the Bet instance is created.

A consequence of this is a change to our definition of the Bet class. We don’t need to compute the amount that is lost. We’re not going to deduct the money when the bet resolved, we’re going to deduct the money from the Player object’s stake as part of creating the Bet instance. This will become part of the design of the Player class and Bet class.

Looking forward a little, a stateful game like Craps will introduce a subtle distinction that may be appropriate for a future subclass of Table. In Craps, some bets are “not working” or “working” depending on the game state. Additionally, some Outcome instances are permitted only in certain game states. None of this subtlety applies to Roulette, however.

Container Implementation

A Table object holds a collection of Bet instances. We need to choose a concrete class for the collection of the bets. We can review the survey of collections in Design Decision – Choosing A Collection for some guidance.

In this case, the bets are placed in no particular order, and are simply visited in an arbitrary order for resolution. Bets don’t have specific names.

Since the number of bets varies, we can’t use a Python tuple; a list will have to do. We could also use a set because duplicate bets don’t make any sense; the amounts should be combined.

Table Limits

Table limits can be checked by providing a public method isValid() that compares the total of all existing Bet instances against the table limit. This should be used by the Game class and the Player class to confirm that bets are legal before proceeding.

In the unlikely event of the Player object creating an illegal Bet instance, this will raise an exception to indicate that we have a design error that was not detected via unit testing. This exception should be a subclass of Exception that has enough information to debug the problem with the Player object’s state that lead to placing an illegal bet.

Each individual Bet instance must meet the Table instance minimum. This is a separate rule that can be checked each time a bet is placed.

Adding and Removing Bets

A Table object contains Bet instances; the bets are added by the Player class. Later, Bet instances will be removed from the Table object by the Game class. When a bet is resolved, it must be deleted. Some games, like Roulette resolve all bets with each spin. Other games, like Craps, involve multiple rounds of placing and resolving some bets, and leaving other bets in play.

For bet deletion to work, we have to provide a method to remove a Bet instance. When we look at game and bet resolution we’ll return to bet deletion. It’s import not to over-design this class at this time; we will often add features as we develop designs for additional use cases.

InvalidBet Exception Design

We’ll raise an exception for an invalid bet. This is, in general, better than having a method which returns True for a valid bet and False for an invalid bet.

Exceptions are better because we can simply place the bet, assuming that it is valid. The processing continues along this “happy path”.

If the bet is not valid, the exception interrupts processing. The only way to get an invalid bet in Roulette is to have a badly damaged implementation of the Player class. We really need to have the application break in a catastrophic manner.

The general principle is often described as “It’s Easier to Ask Forgiveness Than To Ask Permission.” This is is implemented via exception-handling in Python.

exception InvalidBet

InvalidBet is raised when a Player instance attempts to place a bet which exceeds the table’s limit.

This class simply inherits all features of its superclass.

Roulette Table Design

class Table

Table contains all the Bet instances created by a Player object. A table also has a betting limit, and the sum of all of a player’s bets must be less than or equal to this limit. We assume a single Player object in the simulation.



This is the table limit. The sum of the bets from a Player object must be less than or equal to this limit.


This is the table minimum. Each individual bet from a Player object must be greater than this limit.


This is a list of the Bet instances currently active. These will result in either wins or losses to the Player object.


Table.__init__(self, *bets) → None

Creates an empty list of bets. If the


bets – A sequence of Bet instances to initialize the table. If omitted, an empty list will be used.


Table.placeBet(self, bet: Bet) → None

bet (Bet) – A Bet instance to be added to the table.



Adds this bet to the list of working bets.

We’ll reserve the idea of raising an exception for an individual invalid bet. This is a rare circumstance, and indicates a bug in the Player class more than anything else.

We might, for example, confirm that the bet’s Outcome instance exists in one of the Bin instances. We might check that the bet amount is greater than or equal to the table minimum. We might also check the upper limit on betting will be honored by all existing bets plus this new bet.

It’s not necessary to validate each bet as they’re being placed. It’s only necessary to validate the bets prior to spinning the wheel. This can be a feature of the Game class.

For an interactive game – not a simulation – we would want to validate each bet prior to accepting it so that we can provide an immediate response to the player that the potential bet is invalid. In this case, we’d leave the table untouched when a bad bet is offered.

Table.__iter__() → Iterator[Bet]

Returns an iterator over the available list of Bet instances. This simply returns the iterator over the list of Bet objects.

Note that we need to be able remove bets from the table. Consequently, we have to update the list, which requires that we create a copy of the list. This is done with self.bets[:].

This special method is invoked by the iter() built-in function.


iterator over all bets

Table.__str__(self) → str

Return an easy-to-read string representation of all current bets.

Table.__repr__(self) → str

Return a representation of the form Table(bet, bet, ...).

Note that we will want to segregate validation as a separate method, or sequence of methods. This is used by the Game just prior to spinning the wheel (or rolling the dice, or drawing a next card.)


InvalidBet if the bets don’t pass the table limit rules.

Applies the table-limit rules:

  • The sum of all bets is less than or equal to the table limit.

  • All bet amounts are greater than or equal to the table minimum.

If there’s a problem an InvalidBet exception is raised.

Roulette Table Deliverables

There are three deliverables for this exercise. Each of these will have complete Python docstring comments.

  • An InvalidBet exception class. This is a simple subclass of Exception.

  • Since there’s no unique programming here, the unit test for the InvalidBet exception. is pretty simple. Indeed, it can seem silly to be sure that this class works with the raise statement; however, failure to extend Exception would lead to a program that more-or-less worked until a faulty Player class caused the invalid bet situation.

  • The Table class.

  • A class which performs a unit test of the Table class. The unit test should create at least two instances of Bet, and establish that these Bet instances are managed by the table correctly.

Looking Forward

We deferred the question of winning and losing to a Game class. Previously, we’ve used the rather ambiguous name Game. As we move forward, it’s time to rethink the name and be more specific about the class. In the next chapter we’ll look at the definition of the Roulette game as a whole.