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The history of roulette

Like many other modern day casino games the history of roulette is shrouded in mystery. It is one of the oldest casino games around, yet where the original game came from, nobody can be absolutely sure. Over the years many mathematicians, statisticians and engineers have tried to beat the game and give the player an edge, but so far they have been unsuccessful.

The word roulette is French and means “little wheel”. The popular theory is that it was created by the French mathematician Blaise Pascal in 1655. Incidentally this is the same person that invented probability. Of course it would be easy to take this as fact, however some other theorists put forward other ideas as to its origins.

One theory is that the game of roulette first started at the travelling carnivals of the 1500’s. If this were true then the game predates Pascal’s invention by some 200 years. However there is evidence to suggest that the games in the carnivals only loosely resembled that of the present day game of roulette.

Another theory is that the game originated from China and was played by monks who later travelled the globe and as a result introduced the game to Mainland Europe. The game was played in a slightly different manner to that of the modern day version of roulette, whereby players had to arrange statutes in a square of “666”. This is interesting because if you add up all the numbers around the outside of a roulette wheel they too add up to 666. If you believe the French origins of the game, some say that Pascal sold his sole to the devil in return for the game of Roulette.

Following on there is evidence to suggest that Tibetan monks were playing the game before it reached mainland Europe, developing the “666” box theory by placing the figures around the edge of a wheel.

The game of roulette became extremely popular with the French aristocracy & royalty in the 18th century, particularly with Prince Charles of Monaco. The first documented use of a roulette wheel was in 1796 and could be found in makeshift gambling houses in the centre of Paris.

The game of roulette was introduced into America in the 19th century and became particularly popular during the gold rush midway through the century. There is a distinct difference between European and American roulette and that is in the layout of the wheel. American casino operators were unimpressed with the low house edge associated with the Europen version. As a result they decided to include a 00 section on the wheel. The US version therefore has a 0 and a 00, whilst the European version only has a 0.

The introduction of online casinos in the late 1990’s has provided more scope for the game to be played. Players now have the option of playing either American or European versions of the game regardless of their location in the comfort of their own home. Players also get great bonuses for playing and can even gain an advantage over the house as a result. Who said the house always wins?

About the Author: Mark Hirst is experienced gambler specialising in the online industry. Visit his online roulette strategy site for honest consumer reviews and detailed roulette software & strategies.

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