The origins of roulette

The history of roulette

Roulette is definitely one of the most liked casino games worldwide, enjoyed by many players, both live and online. However, the exact origin and history of roulette are not clear.

Apparently, it’s thought that it emerged during the 17th century and passed through several phases to later form several versions like European roulette and American roulette.

The trend of online and mobile roulette for money was started back in 1996 and gained massive popularity thereafter.

Many online game service providers began designing new versions of roulette under different variations to give it a more vital experience.

Roulette history and its origins

Many historians suggest that the history of roulette dates back to the era of myths when people believed that gods used to roll the wheel to determine their fate while others thought that it originated from certain English or Italian games.

However, it’s widely known that the most popular version of it was invented by Blaise Pascal, the French scientist in the 17th century when he was trying to create a perpetual motion machine. This fortune’s wheel didn’t have any zero in its initial design.

Later, a special zero pocket was added to the subsequent French version and the European roulette which was introduced thereafter.

Ancient China

There is also a belief that the history of roulette game is connected to an ancient board game from China that was discovered by some Dominican monks.

Apparently, these monks who were intimately involved with some aspects of Chinese life brought the game to Europe with some slight modifications including changing the layout, changing the square into a circle and the addition of a special slot for the number zero.

However, no specific information can be found on how this Chinese game was actually played. Furthermore, even the earliest French roulette and the American variation of roulette had both a zero and a double zero slot.

Ancient Rome

Roulette can also be traced to the Ancient Roman empire where it was a favourite pastime among soldiers on the war front. Being a soldier at that time wasn’t an easy undertaking due to the constant witnessing of the murder of comrades during battle.

To ease the tension, boost morale and increase the effectiveness in battle, Roman commanders would allow soldiers to have much fun including participating in gambling games.

Many of the games played involved spinning of a chariot’s wheel or shield, which is similar to how roulette live with a real dealer is being played today.

Ancient Greece

In Greece, soldiers also had their time to enjoy gambling games when they were not on the battlefield.

One specific game that they played resembled the modern-day roulette where they would draw symbols on the interior of a shield, put it on the ground face-down and proceed to place an arrow next to it. They would then spin the shield and put bets on which symbol will stop by the arrow.

However, as much as the games are related to roulette, there is no sufficient evidence to support the assumption that roulette is a Greek game.

France and the origins of roulette

In the 18th century, roulette came to France and it immediately became popular in casinos. The design and game-play of modern roulette were influenced by two similar games in the 17th century called “Even-Odd” and “Roly Poly” and both consisted of a wheel-spin and betting on the result of the spin.

The initial game had some slight differences in layout to the modern game. Earlier, the game had a red zero and a black double-zero. In spite of the colours, they were still house pockets. So if you placed a bet on black or red and the ball stopped on the zero or double zero, your bet would be lost.

To avoid this confusion, the zeros were henceforth coloured green from the 1800s. When people began playing roulette in France, King Louis XV tried banning the game.

In 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte allowed roulette only in casinos of the royal palace. King Louis Phillipe later outlawed the game altogether in 1837 when he closed down all the casinos in France.

The inventor, Blaise Pascal was, however, a famous gambler, so he definitely knew about them while formulating his version of the wheel.

How did roulette become popular in Europe?

It is a fact that casino games wouldn’t be so popular today if it was not for the two Frenchmen, François and Louis Blanc who were responsible for eliminating the double zero pocket and inventing what we know to this day as the European version of roulette.

Francois and Louis did this in the year 1842 when gambling was illegal in France, so they had to find another location where they could promote their game. They, therefore, moved to Hamburg in Germany and pioneered their new game to the gambling fraternity there.

As expected, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive leading to the game’s popularity to spread like bush fire.

This resulted in the era of German casinos in Bad Homburg, Baden-Baden, and Wiesbaden. During this period, the Russian author, Dostoyevsky, wrote the famous novel “The Gambler” based on his times in the Bad Homburg Casino.

In 1843, François and Louis Blanc eliminated the double zero from the roulette wheel so as to get an advantage over their competitors. Thereafter, the single zero version of roulette could be found at casinos all over Europe.

In the 1860s, Germany outlawed casinos, for them only to be re-opened by the Nazis later in 1933. The ban on gambling in Germany and France meant that in the whole of Europe, only Monte Carlo still allowed casinos to thrive.

This made the Blanc brothers move their operations there, where they succeeded in putting up an elite gambling community. It was in Monte Carlo where the single zero version of roulette became so popular that it was exported throughout the world in the years that followed.

Roulette in America

Roulette, by all means, couldn’t escape American influence. By the 1700s, New Orleans became the gambling centre in the United States. By virtue of French immigrants, the game quickly became one of the most played games in casinos in Louisiana.

By the 1800s, roulette had made its way across the oceans and onto the shores of the US. Initial roulette tables in the US were slightly different from the ones today. To give the game an even better edge, a double zero was added onto the wheel.

Therefore, instead of 37 numerals, the American variation of roulette wheel had 38 numbers: 1 to 36, 0, and 00. In spite of the higher house edge that players had to deal with, the Americans enjoyed playing roulette quite a lot.

Roulette in the internet

In 1996, the very first online casino entered the internet. At that time, games that were available online were limited to only a few slot machines and a handful of blackjack tables.

A few years later, roulette followed. When players discovered the thrill of betting from the comfort of their homes, playing roulette was never the same again.

Online roulette meant that players would not be forced to play only one type of roulette.

The top and best internet casinos offered the French, European, and American varieties, so one could literally feel like they were playing in a live casino that appealed to them anywhere in the world.

The rise in popularity of online casinos in recent times has virtually made it possible for anyone to indulge in their favourite roulette game in the comfort of their homes.

Today, players can place roulette bets from desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, or play the game pretty much on any other device that they own, even roulette live with a real dealer.

New online casino platforms are emerging every month and fans of roulette are spoilt for choice.

Roulette today

The advent of internet technology has made new changes to the roulette game. Today, online games providers have started releasing new titles like Multi-Ball Roulette and Mini Roulette as well as providing other names and titles for live casino.

However, the roulette game still proves to be a game of not only the brain but also mathematical calculations. It’s a game in which you can easily make calculations on the speed of the roulette wheel and the ball in order to ascertain the precise timing of the dealer when he throws the ball.

This is important in order to place the most appropriate bet on the winning number hence winning in this game.

Although roulette may be purely a game of chance with no proven strategies to win it, just looking at the spinning wheel ignites a thrill that not many other casino games can match up to.

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Common questions about History of casino Roulette game
What are the origins of roulette?
Many theories suggest the origins of roulette but it's famously believed that it was popularized by François and Louis Blanc after they pioneered their first casino in Monte Carlo. This version came to be known as the European roulette. The roulette didn't only flourish in Europe but also found its way to the Americans through French migrants who went to New Orleans in the 19th century. This version is what came to be known as the American roulette.
Who invented roulette?
It is believed that roulette was invented by Blaise Pascal, the French physicist. A prominent person in the world of mathematics and science, Pascal broke new grounds in his research when he introduced the mathematical probability theory. He also devised a formula in the calculation of cycloids involved in the rolling of wheels. The roulette wheel, in its primitive form, was his product in his quest to create a perpetual motion machine.
What makes online roulette a popular choice among gamblers?
First of all, with online roulette, you can concentrate and follow keenly your betting strategy without the distraction from all the noises typical in a real casino. Secondly, online casino games are fully automated, so you really do not require to pay constant attention to the dealer and what he does, that is of course, only when you are playing live dealer online roulette. Lastly, you can play American, European, and any other type of roulette in spite of your geographical location.
What are the best roulette sites for table game lovers?
The best roulette site is a good starting point but some options that other sites offer can bring the fun to a completely new level. The best overall site for roulette lovers is 888Casino, followed by Jackpot City which is the best for roulette bonuses. Betway Casino is popular for live roulette games while PlayAmo Casino scores highly for multi-lingual games. Other good sites that you can check out is which is beginner-friendly and Wild Blaster which scores highly on instant payouts.