Posted in:

A Quick Look at the History of Roulette

Like so many other classic games, Roulette got its start quite a long time ago. It’s been a popular casino staple for centuries, with players gathering around the table to watch the ball make its way around the spinning wheel since the 1700s.

If you’re looking to learn more about the history of the game and its long journey from the parlours of the French aristocracy to the online rooms of live Roulette then read on.

Perpetual motion in France

Accounts differ on just how the game of Roulette came into being, but everyone generally agrees that it came from France. The clue is in the name, as the word Roulette translates to ‘little wheel’.

One of the most popular theories about where Roulette came from is that it was accidentally created by French scientist Blaise Pascal. He intended to create a perpetual motion machine, but instead, he ended up with the basis for one of the most popular casino games in the world. Not a bad way to fail!

After some polishing and finessing of the rules – building the game around the central wheel – Roulette went on to take the French aristocracy by storm. From there the game spread to Germany, before finding a permanent home in Monaco where it became the centrepiece of the Monte Carlo Casino.

An American variation

After rising to prominence across Europe, Roulette naturally made its way across the Atlantic. But it didn’t stay entirely the same, as American venues decided to increase the house edge by adding an extra zero pocket.

That’s why you’ll see both a zero and double zero on an American Roulette wheel, increasing the number of total pockets to 38. Despite this extra green pocket pushing up the odds of the ball landing on a zero the American format proved popular.

If you’re looking for a game of Roulette today it will likely be based on one of the three core formats: European, French, or American.

Roulette moves online

Even as the world shifted towards digital gaming, Roulette was not one to be left behind. With many casinos making the move online around the turn of the millennium it was only a matter of time before this classic game followed suit.

The ability to play different variations of Roulette online proved popular. This encouraged developers to create fresh versions of the game, adding extra twists or graphical flourishes on top of the existing formula.

As online connections and video technology improved this gave rise to a fusion between the online and physical – live Roulette. With the assistance of multiple cameras and advanced technology, players can watch a live host spin the wheel from their computer or phone screen. 

For as far as the game of Roulette has come over the centuries, its core hasn’t changed much over the centuries. With its simple gameplay and the elegance of the Roulette wheel’s design, it’s no surprise that Roulette is still just as popular with players as it’s ever been.