The History of The Roulette Wheel

Some online casino games are the result of the ingenuity of modern software developers. Others have changed very little over the years and games such as roulette have remained virtually unchanged since they were invented. Modern punters might assume that the game they enjoy at online casinos is relatively new, when in fact, it has a history of several centuries behind it.

In the paragraphs below we take a closer look at the history of the roulette wheel to see how it changed.

The Little Wheel With a Big Heart

Roulette is a French word that means “little wheel” and the game was invented somewhere in the 17th century by Blaise Pascal. The famous mathematician was trying to create a perpetual motion machine but instead produced a popular game of chance. If we go even further in time, we can find similar games played all over the world by ancient civilizations. However, the format of modern roulette is almost identical to the game created by Pascal, so we need to give credit where credit is due.

The Chinese had their own version of roulette, with animal figurines at its cornerstone, but there is little to no information about how this game was played. It was only discovered by Dominican monks and with no relevant details about the rules of the game, we can only speculate that it was similar to roulette. The Romans and Greeks had their fair share of gambling games and some of them bared similarities to modern roulette, but once again, there are too few to make a convincing case.

Roulette Spread From France to The US

The French mathematician deserves full credit for creating the first roulette wheel, but there were others who came up with upgrades. This popular game spread throughout Europe and across the English Channel, before making its way to the United States. The establishments where it was available to gamble decided to make certain changes to the roulette wheel. However, most of them were insignificant and they didn’t pass the test of time, so the original version of the game endured.

The History of The Roulette Wheel

Roulette was immensely popular in Monaco even though initially it was reserved for the rich and famous. The roulette wheel that has two zero slots is called American Roulette and the European version has a single zero. Interestingly enough, the games played in the casinos of Monaco used what we today call American roulette. The house edge was higher, therefore punters were more likely to lose and this benefited the casino in the long run.

Modern casinos offer both versions of the game, but players overwhelmingly prefer play the European version of online roulette. The house edge drops to 2.70% if you play this game, compared to 5.26% for the American version. It was only natural for French roulette to have the best odds, as the two special rules decrease the house edge to as little as 1.35%.