If you enjoy logging on to play online casino in your downtime, then chances are you’re familiar with Roulette. A casino classic and a staple in brick-and-mortar establishments, it is one of the most popular games and has an extensive history. Such is its backstory, Roulette is iconic in popular culture too, with film, music and legend depicting the ‘devil’s wheel’. Read on to find out all you need to know about the fascinating past of this exciting game.
From accidental beginnings
Evidence suggests that many countries and cultures played games like Roulette, but it wasn’t until the 17th century that the game we know and love today was created. There were many games played throughout Europe that were like Roulette, including ‘Roly Poly’ and ‘Even-Odd’ and both involved a spinning wheel and betting on the outcome of the spin. French mathematician, physicist and inventor Blaise Pascal was trying out the concept of a perpetual motion machine and randomly invented the Roulette wheel – more of a prototype than the version we are familiar with today.
If this primitive version can be accredited to Pascal, then modern Roulette definitely started life in France – courtesy of the Blanc brothers. Twins Louis and François (who was nicknamed ‘The Magician of Monte Carlo’) are famed for introducing the version we know as European Roulette to Germany in the mid-1800s. To compete with other casinos who were offering the wheel with both single and double zero house pockets, the brothers then brought the single-zero game back to France at the request of Prince Charles of Monaco III and went on to establish the Monte Carlo Casino Resort. Of course, this single-zero pocket version of Roulette offered better odds to the players and was an instant hit.
Across the Atlantic
Roulette then crossed the Atlantic Ocean and was introduced to the US in the early 19th century. The Americans weren’t keen on the European version, as they deemed the house edge (2.7%) too low and casino proprietors decided they wanted to increase it. Rejecting European Roulette outright, the double-zero version became the accepted game, thus becoming known as American Roulette (with a house edge of 5.26%).
If this wasn’t enough, as recently as 2016, the USA also introduced a triple-zero Roulette. On a wheel with 39 pockets, the numbers 1-36, a single, double and triple-zero, the house edge increased further to 7.69%. The 39th pocket is green like the others, but will often also depict the logo of the casino – the same way the original American Roulette wheels depicted an eagle as one of its symbols.
Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Through the rise of online casinos, Roulette has escalated in popularity. Not only due to the convenience and accessibility of playing games at any given time but because players can choose exactly what type of game they would like to play. European Roulette or American Roulette? You don’t need to choose as both will be available.
If you’re bored of the classics, don’t worry as there are plenty of other options to pique your interest. Mini Roulette as you’d expect is a smaller version of the standard game with fewer numbers to bet on. There’s even Pinball Roulette, combining two popular games of chance to create something new. Or get lost in a Roulette game inspired by a favourite film, sports star or even mythology. Much like themed Slots, these games aren’t as simple as standard Roulette with side games and progressive jackpots also available, but they add another dimension to gaming.
Who knows what the future holds for our favourite casino game, but one thing’s for sure, the classics are always the best, and Roulette’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down.