Roulette History And Evolution of Online Casino Games

History and evolution of casino roulette and single zero roulette layout.

History behind the classic Monte Carlo Roulette Wheel

History and evolution of casino roulette and single zero roulette layout.

Written by: Stefano Rossi | The review was last updated: 12 August 2022 | Fact-check by: Kim Birch

Stefano Rossi, our game theory and quantitative analysis expert, is a seasoned professional in classic casino games such as Roulette and has experience working in Italian casinos. About Stefano Rossi

Whenever someone asks you to think of a good table game, it is almost certain that you will include roulette in your list. Roulette is undoubtedly one of the absolute most popular table games in the history of gambling. The roulette we are familiar with today has not been changed or altered in any way for more than 200 years, which makes it the perfect choice as a table game for players of all levels. Classic roulette is a very popular casino game, and along with the classic version, some different versions of the classic game have also emerged, like the American roulette and the European roulette. Both of these variants of the timeless classic are also very popular.

As the popularity of online casinos began increasing, roulette fans from the best online roulette sites started demanding table games in online formats as well, and roulette was one of the first table games that were introduced in the digital format. Today, roulette has become the top choice for online gamblers when it comes to table games, and different iGaming developers have created various pumped-up versions of the classic game. 

You can easily recognize roulette by its iconic status and look that has inspired god knows how many movies, books, and stories.

When a game is this famous, it is only natural for people to get intrigued by it, and if you also want to learn more about this gambling legend, read this article on the history of roulette.

Single zero roulette wheel is still used in online roulette sites and landbased casinos.

Single zero roulette wheel is still used in online roulette sites and landbased casinos.


Origin and History of the Roulette Table and Wheel

Different people have different viewpoints and beliefs regarding the origin and history of the classic game, and many historians believe that the history of roulette dates back to the era of myths, when people used to think that gods roll the roulette wheel to determine our fate. Whereas, some people believe that the game has originated from some English games or Italian games.

However, as history would have it, this iconic game was not actually a result of an intended activity but was a by-product of a failed invention. Roulette was invented as a mistake when the famous mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal tried to create a perpetual motion machine sometime in the 17th century. He didn't actually create the game of roulette as we know it today, but he designed a structure similar to the roulette wheel, which was later developed into the roulette wheel.

Actually, the game of roulette already existed when Pascal developed the iconic roulette wheel, it was played in France as a board game. Pascal infused the concept of this board game with his invention, and with other British games like Roly-Poly and E.O., he then created the modern roulette as we know it today. Still, the basic concept of a game like roulette did exist before Pascal created the roulette wheel.

Pascal might not have succeeded in creating a perpetual motion device as he intended, but he created something else equally great. The roulette he created immediately won the hearts of the gamblers, and it quickly became popular over royal courts and gambling halls all over Europe.

Roulette was invented by the physicist Blaise Pascal

Roulette was invented by the physicist Blaise Pascal


Roulette games and their connection to ancient civilizations

Some people also feel that there is some connection between the history of the roulette table and the history of an ancient Chinese board game that some Dominican monks discovered. These Dominican monks were deeply involved with the ancient Chinese lifestyle, and they brought this board game to Europe. However, the game they brought to Europe had some little changes related to its structure, layout, and other little changes like changing the square elements into circles and adding special spaces in the game with new numbers like 0.

Still, there is no concrete proof or information about how the Chinese actually played this game at that time. Another thing to note is that even the oldest French roulette and American roulette casino games had zero in them as spaces.

Ancient Rome

Some traces and relations of the modern-day roulette are also found in ancient Roman history. It is discovered that roulette used to be the favourite pastime of the roman soldiers during the days of the war. It was very important at that time as the situation in such army camps used to be pretty intense, and something was really needed to make the situation a bit less intense. It is simple to understand. It is not easy to relax and concentrate when your comrades are dying, and you need something to alleviate your stress.

Roulette eased the tension among the soldiers, and it boosted their morale. The game increased the effectiveness and efficiency of the Roman soldiers. The Roman commanders understood this and allowed the soldiers to have as much fun as they could in their free time. However, the roulette at that time included the spinning of a chariot's wheel or a shield, which worked like the wheel of a modern-day roulette.

Ancient Greece

Just like the Roman soldiers, Greek soldiers also loved playing gambling games during the wars when they were not fighting. One of their games strongly resembled modern-day roulette that included a shield and an arrow. The soldiers used to draw symbols on the inside of the shield, and they placed an arrow on its side before spinning the shield, the symbol which landed in front of the arrow used to be the winning symbol.

Video: Roulette History And Evolution of Online Casino Games

Roulette is one of the most popular casino games worldwide.


France and the origin of Roulette

Roulette is one of the most popular casino games and it came to France in the 18th century, and became massively popular in the casinos immediately. The design and features of modern-day roulette are a little different than the roulette which became popular in France. The old French version of roulette had a red zero and a black double-zero. Despite the colours, both of these spaces were house pockets. So, if the ball used to land on any of the zero spaces, the players would get nothing, and the bets would be lost. To avoid this confusion, the zeroes were then painted in green colour from the 1800s.

Another interesting thing to note is that when people started playing roulette excessively in France, King Louis XV tried to ban the game. Then, later in 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte allowed the game only in casinos of the royal palace. In 1837, King Louis Phillipe completely banned the game when he closed down all the casinos in France.

The current design of the game was influenced by two similar games in the 17th century called Even-Odd and Roly-Poly. Both of these games included a wheel, which used to spin, and the players used to bet on the result of that spin. 

The inventor of the game, Blaise Pascal, completely knew these things about roulette games when he was inventing the modern game design, as he himself was an avid gambler.


How did the roulette become one of the most popular casino games

The main credit for the immense popularity of gambling games in Europe goes to two Frenchmen named François Blanc and Louis Blanc. These were the men who eliminated the double zero pockets in the roulette game and finally developed the game design of the game that we know today. The game design that these Frenchmen created is today popularly known as the European roulette.

In 1842, gambling was totally illegal in France, and these men had to find a location where they could promote their new game that didn't have double zero. To make this possible, the duo moved to Hamburg in Germany, where they pioneered this new game to the country's established gambling fraternity.

As they expected, the feedback of the gambling fraternity was exceedingly positive, and the game became immensely popular. The introduction of this game to German society gave birth to a new era of German gambling, and the gambling culture became immensely popular in Bad Homburg, Baden-Baden, and Wiesbaden. A Russian author, Dostoyevsky, used to live in the country when this gambling revolution took place, and the author documented his experiences and time at the Bad Homburg casino in a famous novel called The Gambler.

Germany outlawed casinos in the 1860s, but they were later re-opened by Nazis in 1933. As there was a ban on gambling in Germany and France, the only place where casinos thrived was Monte Carlo, and it became the hub of gambling in Europe. This forced the Blanc brothers to move their operating place, and they settled in Monte Carlo. They then succeeded in developing an elite gambling community in the city. The gambling culture in Monte Carlo led to many developments in the game, and the single zero version of the classic roulette became so popular that it was even exported to various countries in the world.


Introduction of Roulette in American gambling

As Roulette became super popular, it quickly reached American casinos as well. At the end of the 18th century, New Orleans became the main gambling hub of the United States. Thanks to the French immigrants in America, roulette became extremely popular in casinos of Louisiana as well.

So, by the 1800s, roulette successfully made its way over the oceans into the casinos of the newly originated American cities. At that time, the tables used for roulette games were a little different from the tables in use today. This was the time when the extra space of a double zero was added to the wheel, which we now popularly know as the classic American roulette.

This is the reason why there are 37 numerals in the classic roulette, but there is an extra space in the American roulette, resulting in a total of 38 spaces, 36 numerical numbers in order from 1 to 36, a single zero, and a double zero. The addition of this extra space did lead to lower chances of a win for the players, but the American people loved it nevertheless.

For some time, a special eagle symbol was also added to the American roulette wheel, as the casinos were not very happy with their cut. These wheels with the eagle symbols were super beneficial for the casinos, and it gave them a massive edge of 12.9%. However, this addition was not very popular among gamblers, and these modified roulette wheels quickly went out of fashion.

American roulette became popular very fast in America.

American roulette became popular very fast in America.


Digital Roulette games and online gameplay

The evolution of casinos on the internet has been a very interesting and intriguing journey. The first online casino was launched on the web in 1996, and it literally brought a revolution in the way people thought about gambling online. When the first online casino was launched, it had just a small number of games, limited to a few slots and some blackjack games. When the first online casino was launched, it had just a small number of games, limited to a few slots and some decent blackjack games.

With time, the internet became very popular among people of all social classes and backgrounds, and with the increasing popularity of the internet, the popularity of online gambling also rose. People already loved gambling on roulette tables, but the emersion of online gambling gave another push to the popularity of roulette games, and it became one of the most popular table games played in the digital format. People just couldn't resist their urge to stay at home and gamble from the comfort of their bedrooms.

Live roulette takes online casinos to the next level.

With the evolution of iGaming, a new and even innovative format of playing roulette emerged in the gambling world. Online casinos started live streaming roulette games to their customers, and this format completely changed the way online games were played. Live gambling was a revolutionary development in iGaming, and it is considered very important as it was the main reason which increased the consumer base of the casinos.

This format made those people bet online who hated the online games that used RNGs to power the games, and people were given a chance to get the feel of real gambling with spinning wheels and chips rolling.

Live Gambling lets you play your favorite roulette from the comfort of your home

Live Gambling lets you play your favorite roulette from the comfort of your home


Online Roulette has stood the test of time

It is clear that the emersion of the internet in our lives has strongly influenced the way we play gambling games, including roulette as well. In the current scenario, there are a myriad of iGaming providers that develop interesting roulette games and introduce new innovations to the classic game versions. Some amazing roulette games available in real casinos online are Multi-Ball Roulette and Mini Roulette.

Another interesting thing about roulette is that this game leads a player to do some mathematical calculations about the game as well. You make some calculations like the speed of the ball and the speed of the wheel spinning to get an idea of where the roulette ball might probably land in the end.

This mathematical aspect of the game might interest you, but in reality, roulette is a game of chances, and there is no simple way to determine where the ball is going to land in the end.


The future of Roulette and Online Gambling

The journey of roulette has been very interesting, and the game has seen many changes and innovations in its diverse history of more than 200 years. The game was discovered as a by-product of a failed mathematical project to create a perpetual motion machine but ended up being one of the most famous and the most loved table games of all time.

Roulette has already seen a lot of development and upgrades over the years, but its journey has just started, and the emersion of iGaming has started a new era in roulette's history. More and more interesting versions of the classic roulette games are being developed daily, and players love them. Looking at the current trend, we can safely say that we are going to get many new versions of this amazing table game.


FAQs - The history of Roulette games

The most asked questions and answers about the history and origin of Roulette.

What is the origin of Roulette games?

There are many theories that suggest different origins of the popular roulette game that we know today, but one thing that is sure is that the game was mainly popularized by François and Louis Blanc when they started their first casino in Monte Carlo. Their version of the game is today popularly known as the european roulette variant. The game was then introduced to the American gambling society by French immigrants, and the Americans developed a new format of the game that included an extra space with double zeroes, which we today know as American roulette.

Who invented the Roulette game?

The game of roulette was invented by Blaise Pascal. Pascal was a French physicist and mathematician who developed the roulette while he was trying to build a successful perpetual motion device. Pascal also discovered a formula related to the calculation of cycloids involved in the rolling of wheels.

What is the reason behind the immense popularity of Roulette?

There are many reasons behind the high popularity of roulette. The main reason behind this popularity is that the game is quite easy and simple. You don't need to do any calculations or computations to do this game, as it is a game of chances. Another reason behind its popularity is the increasing popularity of online casinos, iGaming is getting popular day by day, and roulette is among the top table games played on the digital and live formats.