History of Roulette – Origins & Evolution
Roulette is one of the most popular games of chance. As the interest in this game does not wane, it can be concluded that this game will remain on top for a long time. To understand why roulette is so popular, we have to go back to its origin.
The roots of this game are shrouded in mystery. The first official version of roulette, almost as it is known today, actually appears in the 17th century France. The French scientist Blaise Pascal accidentally made a roulette wheel, while trying to make a machine with constant movement.
However, much evidence suggests that even the ancient civilizations were entertained with games that had a logic similar to that of roulette.
Leisure in ancient Rome
Being a soldier in ancient Rome and participating in numerous battles was certainly not interesting. In order to cheer their soldiers between the battles, Roman military commanders allowed their soldiers any entertainment – including participation in betting games. Namely, in many games the soldiers spun the shield. Before that, they would mark ten fields on it, lay it on the ground, mark a spot on the ground that would indicate a win and the game could start.
The Attic Greeks also participated in this form of entertainment.
It is these soldier games that may be associated with the roots of roulette, but there is not enough evidence to attribute this game to the Greeks or Romans.
The French took all the credits
Roulette is undoubtedly of French origin, hence the name (“roulette” – a small table). Other popular European games of the 17th century, the Italian Hoca and the English even-odd, influenced the design and the logic of roulette.
At the end of the 18th century, roulette became widely accepted, first in France and then in the rest of Europe. The first betting laws were introduced and gambling received full attention among aristocratic and royal families. The first roulette was played in betting houses, which were close to what we know today. The numbers were 1-36, fields with double and single zero and the colors were red and black.
It can be said with certainty that casino games would not be so popular today if it weren’t for the two French, Francois and Louis Blank. They removed the double zero in the mid-19th century and created the roulette that is today known as European. Since gambling was banned in France at that time, it was presented to the general public in Hamburg.
Having only a single zero, gave players a greater chance of winning and because of this, the popularity of roulette in Europe has spread at an incredible rate.
After several years, Francois and Louis returned the roulette back to France at the request of Prince Charles III of Monaco. Prince wanted to open the world’s first modern casino – with a single-zero roulette in the lead. Until 1933, roulette could only be found in Monte Carlo. Then the popularity of the game spread to other continents, too.
At the end of the 20th century, thanks to the development of technology, a new type of roulette, an electronic one, was launched.
Unlike traditional roulette, the electronic roulette cylinder is mechanically secured from all external influences; both its parts are secured and the result of the game. This is also the roulette where each player is their own croupier.