play Russian roulette

play Russian roulette

1. Literally, to participate in a potentially deadly game of chance involving a revolver loaded with a single bullet, in which a participant spins the cylinder so that the bullet's location is unknown, puts the barrel to their head, and pull the trigger. A university student died while apparently playing Russian roulette with other members of his fraternity.
2. By extension, to commit or participate in any reckless, foolish, and/or dangerous act or stunt, especially that in which the risk of danger or trouble is increased with the number of times one repeats it. You're playing Russian roulette every single time you get behind the wheel of a car when you've been drinking.
See also: play, roulette, Russian

play Russian roulette

COMMON If someone plays Russian roulette, they take big risks by doing something that might cause great problems or danger. Many organisations are playing Russian roulette with their greatest assets — their staff and their reputation. We're playing Russian roulette with our health, eating this rubbish. Note: If someone plays Russian roulette, they fire a gun containing only one bullet at their head without knowing whether the bullet will be released or not.
See also: play, roulette, Russian

play ˌRussian rouˈlette

take dangerous risks: The airline was accused of playing Russian roulette with the lives of their passengers.
Russian roulette is a dangerous game in which a person shoots a gun at their own head. The gun only contains one bullet so the person does not know if it will fire or not.
See also: play, roulette, Russian
References in periodicals archive ?
PAOLO DI CANIO is set to play Russian roulette with his managerial future by going for the Reading job.
The union unveiled a powerful new radio ad - "Russian Roulette" - which makes the analogy that the failure of Congress to act forces Americans to play Russian roulette when they cross structurally deficient or obsolete bridges.
FBI agents claimed in a court filing that the actress got the spooky messages from Teresa Yuan in July that included her desire to play Russian Roulette with the Oscar winner.
Without bridges over these valleys (acting as underpasses) wildlife is forced to turn back or play Russian Roulette crossing busy roads - and badgers, creatures of habit do the latter
We reiterate our condemnation of those crimes as well as others that target innocent Iraqis and call on concerned bodies to work seriously to chase evil gangs that play Russian roulette with the lives of peopleC*," according to a statement released by the association and received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
TO play Russian roulette with 6,000 jobs in the motor industry is wrong.
Maybe Labour are scared by the possibility of being held account by the NUM, and would rather play Russian roulette and allow a foreign investor, who will in turn have a major say in the cost of our electricity.
Personally, I'd sooner stay looking like rock chick Janice from the Muppets than play Russian roulette with my life.
It's hardly likely the powers that be would have let Brown play Russian Roulette on telly back in2003 had he gone into the meeting with Channel 4 execs whispering into the ear of a small ornamental rodent and introducing it as "my creative consultant, Simon".
Is there anyone who would play Russian roulette with their own lives, or the lives of their children in return for a 1 per cent increase in annual income?
There is no reason any organization should play Russian roulette with their business data.
The trend in the past few years has been for the sellers to decide not to have an asking price and let the buyer play Russian roulette and come up with [one]," said Moinian, who recently bought one of the biggest office buildings in the world, the Sears Tower in Chicago, as well as smaller properties at 180 Maiden Lane and 95 Wall St.
It is impossible for me to understand why cat owners are so willing to play Russian roulette with the lives of their pets.
Before the release of 1997's Grammy-winning Time Out of Mind, fans would regularly hear Bob play Russian Roulette with his back catalogue.
And what goes into supplements is so uneven and unregulated that consumers play Russian roulette with their health when they swallow some pills or tonics.