The History of Roulette

The History of Roulette

As with most casino games, roulette started its life way back when the whole world was in black and white, people rode horses and carts and wore terribly fussy clothing. No but seriously, it started out life in 17th Century France and it now we have it in its present form today, it’s quite a testament to the impact that the game has had on society that it has endured the ages and countless journeys all around the globe. The history of roulette is quite an interesting story, and one we’re going to get into more deeply right now.

The game of roulette derives its name from a French origin literally meaning a small wheel. A very primitive form of roulette was introduced by a famous Mathematician, known as Blaise Pascal in 17th Century France. He introduced the wheel only as an experiment for perpetual motion but it is said that one of his friends saw the spinning wheel as a great invention and a future prospect for the purposes of gambling. It was initially played in Paris and was first noticed in 1765. The original gaming layout and game rules resemble exactly the same game of roulette that we know and play still to this day.

Roulette is considered to be one of the oldest casino games. Though the origin of the game of roulette is traced back to French culture, some people are of the opinion that the game was brought to Europe by the Dominican monks, all the way from the Far East in China. At times you can also see some references in Roman history associated with a form of early roulette.

In later years, the emigrants from France and other parts of Europe brought this game to the good old United States of America. During the 1800s, in hot and happening New Orleans, the very first North American casino was established. The game became very popular in America with the onset of the famous Gold Rush in California. Soon after in 1861, Monaco came to be known as a very fashionable hot spot for playing casino games with establishment of many large new land based casinos. In most of Europe however, the game of roulette was banned in 1873.

Several legends are associated with the game of roulette, the most popular being about a man named Francois Blanc. His nickname was “The Magician of Monte Carlo” on account of how successful a business man and casino operator he was. Legend has it that when he founded his first casino in Monte Carlo, he then sold his soul to the devil to acquire the secret knowledge about roulette and became extremely wealthy and powerful. The funny thing is that if the numbers on a roulette wheel are added together, it will add up to 666, known as “the number of the beast” or “the sign of the devil”. Blanc was also known for introducing the 0 slot as a variant on the first spinning wheels as a method of gaining more customers than the other casinos he was in direct competition with.

By the 20th Century, all casinos at Monte Carlo had the same variants of roulette, following the traditional single zero French wheel. The casinos at Las Vegas followed the double zero American style of playing. Generally the trend of playing with a double zero wheel is prevalent in areas of South America, the USA and Caribbean Islands. Most other countries use the single zero French wheel style of roulette. With the invention of the internet, every variant of the game of roulette can now be played at an online casino as well as in land-based casinos all around the world.

Want to read more background information for the game of roulette? Choose an article from the list below: