History of Roulette: How the Little Wheel Was Born

published: Jan, 30, 2024

by: TC Staff

The History of the Roulette Development: From Old Times to Virtual Tables

Famous for its iconic black and red wheel with two or one green sections, roulette is a timeless and classic game with a rich history. Millions of players today relish the games at land-based casinos and online via licensed iGaming sites such as https://hitnspincasino.com/.

But the journey wasn’t all rosy, and the game wasn’t built in one day. Rather, this casino game has taken centuries of development to reach its current state. So, what was this adventure like? We’ll spin back to the very beginning of the popular game’s history with this quick read.

The Man Who Set the Wheels Rolling

Judging from the name, the game is undoubtedly French. However, the game’s gameplay and design sought inspiration from two similar games: Even-Odd and Roly Poly.

Popular in Europe throughout the 17th Century, these two games involved wheel spinning and wagering on the spin’s outcome. Blaise Pascal, the Frenchman lauded as the original creator of the wheel of fortune, was a famous wagerer. So, he knew about the two while designing his version.

Wagering wasn’t popular in this era, as most European countries considered it illegal. However, the territories later introduced strict wagering laws in the late 18th Century. This move revived wagering games throughout the continent. Meanwhile, the savvy Prince Charles of Monaco had financial difficulties. So, he decided to leverage the growing popularity of wagering and set up several wagering joints. The wheel of fortune was prominent in his wagering houses, and the game gained popularity among royalty and aristocrats.

Adding the Zero

The initial version of the game was almost similar to the current one, with nearly identical wagering options. Numbers spanned 1 to 30, and the game featured one double zero pocket. However, the wheel didn’t have a zero until Louis and Francois Blanc included a single zero on the wheel of fortune in 1842.

This addition raised the game’s house edge, enabling Monaco to generate a ton of income from player activity. Moreover, this new roulette wheel hit the market when wagering had already become outlawed in France.

Consequently, Monte Carlo became a desirable destination for the wagerers of the age. Charles Wells made history in 1873 as the first person to break the bank in Monte Carlo. The inventor walked away with £7,000 (worth about £900,000 today) without cheating.

Roulette in the 20th Century and the Advent of Online Gaming

After flourishing in France for decades, the wheel of fortune hit the shores of the US in the 19th Century. This development happened thanks to the French immigrants who were escaping the revolution. Due to its low house edge, the game received a cold reception in New Orleans (the country’s wagering capital by then). But the local wagering community later unanimously agreed to add an extra zero.

The game’s prevalence grew into the 21st Century, and most enthusiasts consider it a trademark of classic casinos. Enthusiasts could only access the single zero version in Monte Carlo, while the American double zero wheel was only available in Las Vegas.

From the 70s, casinos began to flourish globally. But it’s the spread of the internet that facilitated the real boom. The trend gave birth to a new generation of online casinos, including the roulette casino sites currently gracing the market. While there are plenty of spinoffs, the games are usually derived from these three primary variants:

  • French roulette;
  • American roulette;
  • European roulette.

Nonetheless, new game’s rules still come up to this day. For instance, the Venetian Las Vegas casino created the first-ever wheel with 39 digits and a triple zero. 

Join a Fantastic Game With a Rich History!

While engaging in your roulette adventures, remember the rich heritage and legacy behind the iconic game. Appreciate the wheel’s artistry, embrace the nuances and strategies, and enjoy the game’s timeless excitement.

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TC Staff

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