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History of Roulette

History of Roulette

It is a widely-played table game named after the French word for a little wheel. Today, most land-based betting houses feature two types of roulette games – American and European. The former has 38 pockets which is two more than the ones in the latter. This decreases the odds of winning in the American version which is why players opt for European version.


Online Roulette

Although it is a table game, it can be played online. Most sites offer players both types of the games. The results of the spinning wheel are brought up by a software feature known as the Random Number Generator (RNG) which randomly decides where the ball should fall. Live dealer games are offered to mimic the actual feeling of being in a betting house. There will be a real dealer to spin the wheel and take bets.


Origin – Pascal Invents the Wheel in 18th Century

In the 18th century, a Frenchman, Blaise Pascal invented the first prototype of the wheel. The model is a combination of other wheel games such as Biribi and Hoca, a board game from Italy and Roly-Poly which were prevalent at the time. Pascal also drew inspiration from an existing board game.


In the late 1700s, the game was played in France in the form known today. During that period, red and black were used for the single and double zero respectively. This soon became confusing to players and the colors of the zero pockets were changed to green in the beginning of the 19th century.


Mid 19th Century – French Brothers Introduce New Wheel Design

Two French brothers, Lois and Francois Blanc, residing in Hamburg, Germany introduced a new wheel in early 1840s. The new design had only a single zero pocket and became a competition for the old design. The new design came to be known as European roulette.


The first wheels of the American version featured a pocket with the American Eagle symbol which represented the liberty of America. As the design was changed, there are very few wheels with this symbol today.


Late 19th Century – going global

Towards the end of the 19th century, the game had become a success across the US and Europe and was widely played. But, when the anti-gambling law was introduced in Germany, Lois and Francois Blanc shifted to Monte Carlo.


The new wheel designed by the Blanc brothers became an instant favorite which led them to produce more models to be distributed across the world. The US were still steadfastly using the old wheel design. In America, it became a success as the game moved from New Orleans and Mississippi towards the western part of the country.


Early 20th Century – Vegas picks it up

Gambling was legalized in Nevada, Las Vegas in the early 1930s. This extended the reach of the game as it was offered at most of the places in Vegas. By the end of the 20th century, scores of casinos had set up shop and were offering both, American and European versions.


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