History and Origins of Roulette

Roulette, one of the world’s most popular games is several centuries old. However, even if most specialists agree on the French origins of the present day game, there is still controversy surrounding the exact origins of the first game of roulette.

Origins of Roulette

Some theories claim that roulette originated in the Middle Ages when the first form was developed by a monk to avoid boredom. Another theory linked to monks ( Dominicans) says that they brought it to Europe from China. Other researchers believe that roulette’s origins go back to Ancient Rome when soldiers used a wagon wheel to make an exciting game of chance.

However, none of these theories have really been verified. However, all of these specialists agree that the concept behind modern roulette was invented by a 17th century mathematician and philosopher called Blaise Pascal. Taking his inspiration from Italian board games (Biribi and Hoca), English games such as Even and Odd (E.0) and Roly Poly and from his fascination for perpetual motion, he created the first roulette wheel with red and black slots.

The Development of Roulette

It was only towards the end of the 18th century (1796) that the first historic references to roulette are found in parties at the Palais Royal in Paris when it was described as having 36 numbers, a zero and a double zero slot. Gambling was banned in France from 1836 but in 1842 brothers, Louis and François Blanc, got rid of the second zero in order to increase players’ chances of winning and so European Roulette was born.

Due to the gambling ban in France, the brothers installed their first roulette tables in casinos in Hamburg, Germany. This was an immediate success and rich Europeans flocked to the Blanc brothers tables. So when Charles III, legalised gaming in the Principality of Monaco, he invited Louis Blanc to manage the Monte-Carlo Casino in 1860. Since Germany had banned gambling by that time, the brothers headed to Monaco and made it the main casino gambling destination in Europe, thanks mainly to roulette. As it spread throughout casinos in Europe, this form of roulette became known as “European”.

At about the same time, European migrants introduced the older double zero roulette tables to the United States. Since they gave the casino a good advantage they were very quickly accepted and spread through American casinos and so “American” roulette was born.

Online Roulette

Microgaming software launched the first casino with online roulette in 1995. At that time only the European and American versions played in land based casinos were available to online players. Later, several other versions were developed specifically for online casinos.

Nowadays, in both online and land based casinos, roulette remains a favourite casino game. So it comes as no surprise that a lot of live casino software has been developed to satisfy the ever increasing demand from fans of traditional games wanting to play in their own homes particularly online roulette.

Online roulette is very popular in live casinos where players can bet in a live casino coming from a studio or from real land based casinos such as the Saint-Vincent Casino in Italy or Dragonara Casino in Malta.