The History And Evolution Of Roulette

Roulette Wheel

Roulette is one of the most popular casino games in the world and it has been doing the rounds since the 17th century. The game went from only being available in brick-and-mortar casinos to being able to play Roulette here: But, where did the age-old classic come from? And how has it changed over the years? Read on to find out.

Where does Roulette originate from?

Whilst there are many different theories on where Roulette originated from – such as a bygone Chinese board game, or the ancient Roman and Greek soldiers spinning their shields and chariot wheels – the game actually comes from France. In French, the name “Roulette” fittingly translates to ‘little wheel.’ Blaise Pascal is understood to be the man behind the creation, and it is believed that the game, which was created by the Frenchman in 1655, was influenced by two 17th century games called ‘Roly Poly’ and ‘Even-odd’ – both involved spinning a wheel and betting on the outcome.

Adding the zero

Pascal’s initial creation went unchanged for almost 200 years. That was until Francois and Lois Blanc added the single-zero pocket which meant that the establishments got a bigger house edge. Prince Charles of Monaco, who the duo created the single-zero wheel for, introduced the creation to high-rollers in Monte Carlo and the game took off from there.

Playing roulette in a casino

Roulette in America

Towards the end of the 18th century, French immigrants brought the game across the Atlantic Ocean. At that time, New Orleans was the gambling capital of the southern side of the United States. However, the low house edge meant that Roulette wasn’t very well received State side. So they compromised, introducing a wheel with numbers ranging from 0-28, a double-zero slot, and an eagle pocket. This gave the establishment a huge edge of 12.90%.

The American game was then changed again, this time into its current format. In this version there are 38 pockets, ranging from zero and double zero to 38, meaning that it has one more slot than the current European format. The extra pocket also gives the house a greater edge of 5.26% compared to the much-lower 2.70% in the 37-pocket game. As well as having an extra pocket, the numbers are also in a different order on an American Roulette wheel.

Roulette online

It used to be that if you were in Europe, you’d only be able to play single-zero Roulette, whilst if you were in America, you’d only get the double-zero variant. However, with the creation of the Internet, and the surge in popularity of online casinos, you can now play every type of Roulette with just a click of a button, and from the comfort of your own home.

Online Roulette games can range from the classic version to movie and sports themed. You can play from as little as a penny in some games, whilst alternative stakes can rise into the hundreds. Some games have multipliers on offer, meaning that you could win up to 500x your original bet, rather than the usual 35/1 odds. The introduction of live rooms means that you can get the thrill of Monte Carlo, Las Vegas or Macau via your laptop, tablet or smartphone in the comfort of your own home!

Images by Greg Montani from Pixabay

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