The History of Roulette

A Brief History of Roulette

If you like casino games, you simply have to have some sort of a relationship with roulette. But have you ever tried to discover how it came around?

No? Well, there’s no shame in admitting that, especially since you’re just one article away from correcting that mistake. Yes, that’s right – this article will give you all the important information about roulette’s history!


Image courtesy of Wikipedia

The Roulette Game’s Origins

Although some sources claim that roulette first appeared somewhere in China, it seems impossible to prove that theory, as there are no surviving records of such a game.

What we do know, however, is that modern roulette was invented in France (the word “roulette” comes from French and means “little wheel”). Blaise Pascal, a famous mathematician, physicist and philosopher, laid the foundations during his search for a perpetual motion machine in the 17th century, but he – most likely – wasn’t the person who actually invented the game itself.

That achievement probably belongs to an anonymous French monk that was trying to liven up his monastery days. As you’d expect, the game soon spread around and it’s been known in its current form since 1796. Interestingly, the popular belief that original roulette wheels had just a single zero is a myth – it actually had two.

The single-zero roulette wheel was invented in Germany, where two Frenchmen (yes, that’s right, things are indeed rather confusing) were trying to come up with something that would make their casino more interesting. Having just a single zero reduces the house edge – and that’s naturally a very nice selling point to have if you’re looking to attract players to your place.

Roulette in the United States

Although the game of roulette comes from Europe, it found its second home over in the United States, where it started to spread rapidly during the 19th century. Some early versions of American roulette had a third zero in the form of an “American Eagle” pocket, but these disappeared as quickly as they popped up.

In any case, the situation in the United States was very different than in Europe. In France and Germany, players were typically enjoying roulette in nice casinos, whereas those in the United States usually played at makeshift tables – and you can bet that there was plenty of cheating going on at those!

Roulette in the 21st Century

It might be fair to say that the golden days of roulette are already over, but that doesn’t mean that the game isn’t very popular nowadays. It is – in fact, the only games that can challenge it are blackjack and baccarat.

The basic gameplay has remained the same, but many things around it have gone through some changes, with most of them aimed at making the overall experience better for the players. For example, the overall setups are now much more compact than they were before, while the casino chips are also of a much better quality.

Some tweaks, however, were made for different reasons. For example, modern roulette wheels are manufactured with focus on precision, as imperfect ones could be easily exploited by professional gamblers with sharp eyes. On top of that, modern casinos use cameras in order to ensure that players can’t meddle with the bets when the croupier isn’t looking.

As far as the big roulette centers and their rules are concerned, it’s actually fairly simple. Roulette tables with two zeros can be found in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and South America, while roulette tables with a single zero can be found pretty much everywhere else.

Roulette in Online Casinos

In order to make this article well and truly complete, we should also spend a section discussing the place roulette has in online casinos. Like it or not, these casinos are overtaking regular ones in terms of popularity and that trend is likely to continue, so it’s only fair that we take a look at them.

What online casinos managed to do is bring roulette to each and every home, making it incredibly easy to get a few betting rounds in whenever one wants. Placing a bet takes a matter of seconds and so does getting a result, which gives players a huge amount of freedom when it comes to deciding when they want to play.

What’s more, online casinos allow roulette fans to enjoy the game for tens of cents, which is something that you simply aren’t going to see at a big casino. There are no tips or registration fees either – in fact, online casinos reward you with various bonuses and comp points if you play at them! Regular casinos reward their most loyal players as well, of course, but they don’t tend to be all that friendly towards low-stakes players.

Finally, online casinos are responsible for what’s arguably the biggest recent innovation in roulette. Yes, we are indeed talking about live tables here – and it’s this particular service that might lead to them getting a nice edge over their brick-and-mortar opponents. Whereas players previously needed to visit a real casino in order to get a good roulette experience, it’s now very easy to get something close to the real thing from the comfort of one’s home!

If you’d like to get a recommendation on this front, we’d be happy to send you to the Mr. Green online casino, which well and truly stands out thanks to the fact that it’s getting its live games from three different providers. This means that there are some roulette tables on offer at all times, with waiting periods ranging from none to minimal!

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