I had never heard of the Devil’s Wheel and didn’t know what to expect at all. But it has now become my favorite game at Oktoberfest.
It threw me off when the women started climbing up on the wheel. Most of them were in dresses I had seen before but I wasn’t putting it all together at first. I first wondered if they were Amish. I am not lying about that and I should be ashamed of myself. But I’m just trying to tell this story in all honesty.
However, I did quickly surmise that these girls were showing too much leg to be Amish girls who were climbing on a wheel and sitting together to play some type of game. When it started spinning, I really knew they weren’t Amish. I don’t think they’d be getting on a mechanical ride. That’s kind of against their bylaws I think.
Then, it dawned on me and I felt like such an idiot. What hit me was the image of St. Pauli Girl. That’s when everything came together. This was an Oktoberfest game and all those girls were wearing the traditional Lederhosen and Dirndl dresses that the St. Pauli Girl wears on the side of the beer bottle.
You have to love those dresses, especially when the girls wearing them are bringing you beer. But these girls weren’t bringing anyone any beers. They were playing a game that dates back to 1910 and it’s popular at Oktoberfest. Guys play the game too. But as you’ll soon find out, it’s much more exhilarating to watch the girls.
I could watch these all day and there is one thing about YouTube, there are hundreds of these videos to watch. They go back years.
I think the best strategy is to go on the wheel barefoot. Tennis shoes can give some grip too but it seems that ladies who are barefoot win more than anyone else.
As an added feature, some wheels are designed to shock. An electric current is sent through the wheel to give everyone a jolting surprise. This is a game I have to see played in person someday.
When they start dropping the ball and throwing ropes out there, I’m not sure how that makes it any harder. But it does make it funny. At the end when everyone else has been flung from the wheel and the last girl is still hanging on, I’m not sure why it keeps going.
Do they win money for winning? If so, does the money prize get bigger the longer they stay on?