history of roulette

The Mysterious Origins of the Game Roulette

As is the case with many of the most popular of today’s real money casino games, there are a number of theories as to just how the game of roulette originated.

The most popular one is that we have a Frenchman, Blaise Pascal, to thank for it, as he is widely held to have invented it during a monastic retreat in around 1655.

The second theory is very similar to the first, but does not name the monk that set about inventing a game in order to combat the monotony of monastery life in that era and ended up with the game of roulette.

The third possibility is that the game was adapted from an ancient Tibetan one by a group of French Dominican monks, with the original object of arranging 37 animal statuettes into a magical number square of 666. Unfortunately the manner in which the original Tibetan game was played has not been recorded, but the monks’ adaptation resulted in the 37 statuettes being transposed to the number 0 to 36, and these then being arranged haphazardly around the edge of a revolving wheel.

The Earliest Verifiable Evidence of Roulette       

Documented evidence shows that the game of roulette arose in the 18th century, and, as is the case with many real money casino games so freely enjoyed by Canadians and other players around the world, the earliest mentions of it are to be found in the official documents banning play.

Of particular interest is the one which appeared in the regulations for New Country, a brand-new land later rechristened Canada. The 1758 decree specially forbids the playing of roulette.

The Equipment Required for Roulette Play

The game of roulette makes use of a number of items of equipment:

  • A wheel, divided into pockets numbered from 0 – 37 or 0 – 38, depending on which version of roulette is being played
  • A bowl in which the wheel revolves
  • A ball which rolls around the rim of the wheel
  • A table with divisions made up of numbers ranging from 0 – 37 or 0 – 38, depending on which variation is being played
  • Chips by means of which the bets are placed

How Roulette Play Unfolds

Before setting the ball rolling around the edge of the roulette wheel, players will place a bet on which number they feel the ball will eventually land on. This is done by placing chips on the numbers as they are represented on the table layout, and the French terms for this area are still used for roulette play, no matter where it is being played. After this has been done, the ball will be set spinning, and its landing will reveal the winning wager.

Roulette Zeros and the House Edge

It is a commonly held belief that the double zero roulette wheel is an American invention, but this is not the truth: the original game’s wheel, played in France in around 1800, also features this extra pocket, and this is simply the form most popular in The United States.

The single zero wheel was created by French brothers, Louis and François, and this is the one which took off around the rest of the world.