Roulette the “Little Wheel”
Roulette is a game that is perfectly named. In French, the word means “little wheel.” This little wheel has now been a casino hit for more than 150 years. It is one of the most popular casino games in the world, and it has a very fascinating history.
Origins of Roulette
The origins of this game are shrouded in mystery. No one is sure who in history invented the first roulette-style game. Games similar to roulette have been played since the 15th century. However, it is widely accepted that the Blaine Pascal, a famous French mathematician, invented the first roulette wheel in the 17th century. He actually created the roulette wheel in the process of trying to create a source of perpetual motion.
Even though the French invented the wheel, the first game that used it in a casino game of strategy was in England. Known as Roly Poly, the game never had a real chance to catch on. It was first played in 1720, but 20 years later the English government banned all games of chance in a blundering strategy to reduce corruption.
The game’s history in France begins in the late 18th century. It gained strong popularity in Monaco, where the prince decided to open casinos as a strategy to help his country’s financial struggles. The strategy was wildly successful. The French aristocracy flooded into the Monaco casinos, and the popularity of Monaco as a casino destination has remained steady throughout history.
Single Zero Roulette
The Single-zero wheel first made its way into casinos in 1842, when the two Blanc brothers invented the first wheel with one zero instead of two zeroes on it. This invention may not seem very significant, but it lowered the house edge to 2.7 percent. This strategy made the game seem beatable, and it solidified roulette’s status as one of the most popular games in the casino.
The game made its way with French settlers to the United States in the 19th century. It did not prove very popular with casino owners. They did not care for the low house edge, so they added back the zero the French had dropped to make the game more profitable.
Double Zero Roulette
This double-zero roulette format of the game was nowhere near as popular with casino patrons as the single-zero roulette version was in Europe. To this day, the single-zero roulette wheel remains much more popular in Europe than it is in the United States. This is almost entirely due to the fact that the single-zero roulette wheel gives casino players a better chance of winning.