Roulette is one of the world’s most popular casino games today, but it isn’t a recent invention. The game actually has a long and interesting history that dates back hundreds of years! The word ‘Roulette’ means ‘little wheel’ in French, and that is exactly where the practice originally stemmed from.
Roulette has definitely come a long way since its humble origins in France, and it is exciting to think how the game will evolve to meet the needs of players in the future.
Roulette’s history all started in France during the 17th century. It was there that mathematician and scientist Blaise Pascal was working on developing a machine that could achieve perpetual motion.
Pascal’s experiment unfortunately failed, but it was not without merit. The machine he developed ended up becoming the blueprint for our modern Roulette wheel!
Although Pascal is credited with creating the wheel, it is thought that Roulette has much older origins than 17th century France. Many people believe that the game is based on an ancient Roman practice.
Soldiers were known to play a gambling game involving the spinning of a chariot wheel or a shield. This is very similar to the way we play Roulette today, but the games are noticeably different in many respects as well.
Spreading Throughout Europe
Ultimately, it is most widely accepted that Roulette was born in France, where it became an instant hit among royals and aristocrats in Europe. These early games were called Roly Poly and Even-Odd, among other names, but were not particularly popular until Roulette hit the market. By the 18th century, Europe even had official gambling laws in place to govern its growing numbers of bettors.
Prince Charles of Monaco also had his hand in making this casino game popular. He had the fantastic idea of opening several gambling parlours in Monaco and making Roulette their star feature. It wasn’t long before royals in this region were playing it passionately too, making a few additional changes that made the game nearly identical to the version we play today.
Another duo responsible for making Roulette so popular were the brothers Francois and Louis Blanc. In 1842, they created the 36-pocket Roulette wheel, thereby creating European Roulette and introducing it to Germany. The low house edge was a big hit with players, but later when the game spread to America, it was again amended and a double-zero slot added to create a higher house edge.
Online Roulette is Born
Roulette remained extremely popular at land-based casinos from the 18th century all the way to the mid 1990s, when the birth of the World Wide Web would change it forever. In 1994, Microgaming developed the very first versions of online Roulette, which allowed players to play virtually at home just like when you’re playing online slots games online.
Today, Roulette can be played both on computers and mobile devices, and offers excellent visuals, realistic graphics, and real money winning potential. Players who miss classic land-based gaming can even enjoy live dealer Roulette, in which live games are streamed directly to their devices for highly realistic fun!