Roulette history is believed to have begun in 18th century France! Or at least most people agree that its current form was created in France. From traditional table roulette to today’s popular online casino game of online roulette, it has managed to capture the hearts and minds of generations of people.
Roulette is a game of chance, so it should come as no surprise that it started by chance.
Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, inventor, writer and Christian philosopher, who in his search for a perpetual motion machine introduced into French society a primitive form of roulette and the roulette wheel. Pascal’s intention was never to create a gambling game, but his invention has significantly contributed to the roulette we play today. The roulette wheel is an integral part of roulette history.
The name "roulette" means little wheel and was derived from an already existing French board game with the same name. The roulette wheel itself is believed to be a fusion of several English wheel games with the Italian board games of Hoca and Biribi. The game, in its present form, has been played since 1796 in Paris. The first recorded roulette game is from the same year, described by French novelist Jaques Lablee in his book La Roulette, ou le Jour and was inspired by a game he witnessed at the French Royal Palace. At this time, the roulette wheel was played with a double zero pocket.
The potential of roulette gambling was immediately evident and it remained relatively unchanged for the first two hundred years. This was until fellow Frenchmen Francois and Louis Blanc added a single style 0 to the numbers in the roulette wheel. They did this in order to compete against other casinos that offered the traditional wheel with single and double zero house pockets. And to offer better and more attractive services to anyone visiting their casino, which was based in Homburg, Germany. With 37 numbers on the roulette wheel, ranging from 0 to 36, the house would now have higher winning odds.
In the 19th century, roulette spread all over Europe, and it didn’t take long to catch hold on the American continent as well. When gambling was eventually abolished in the 1860s by the German government, the Blanc family moved to Monte Carlo, where the last remaining legal casino in Europe was still in operation. Here they established a veritable gambling mecca for the European elite. It was also here that the single zero roulette wheel became the premier game. This was eventually exported all over the world, except to the United States where the double zero wheel remained the dominant choice.
The real boom happened in the second half of the 20th century when roulette became more available and affordable to the rest of society, not just the elite. At the beginning of the 20th century only two cities in the world had roulette casinos – Monte Carlo and Las Vegas – but a few decades on, several hundred were in existence.
The Internet has seen an unprecedented rise in the popularity of roulette. As online casinos were established, roulette quickly became one of the most respected online casino games – thanks in no small part to the very affordable prices online casinos charged for roulette games, as well as the elegant and elitist image of the game itself.
Online roulette embraces both single and double zero variants, allowing game players the chance to choose which of the Roulette games suits them best. Online versus land based roulette remains a personal preference, but online roulette is becoming increasingly more popular than table roulette. Online, one can find all kinds of Casino reviews to lead you in the right direction as to the best sites to visit. No surprise then that the services keep getting better!
- Roulette is called the “King of Casino Games”, most likely because it was associated with the glamour of the Monte Carlo casinos
- Legend has it that Francois Blanc bargained with the devil to obtain the secrets of roulette apparently because the numbers on the roulette wheel add up to 666, which is the "Number of the Beast"