Roulette History

Let us escort you down the history of the roulette wheel, one of the most popular casino games in the world, and for good reason: If it has stuck around since the 17th century, it has most definitely done something!
People often wonder about who invented the roulette wheel. This may come as a surprise, but its origins lie in science. Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician and physicist, invented the wheel while trying to create a perpetual motion machine (a machine that continues to operate with no additional energy inputted). This was scientifically impossible, but he nonetheless went for it and created a timeless game.

The original roulette wheel had both 0 and 00 numbers on the table. Contrary to alleged roulette history, it wasn’t the American table that started this tradition, but the original French table. During this time period in America, roulette wheels had a 0, 00 and an Eagle slot. The Eagle slot gave the casino an even larger edge, but soon died out. Nowadays, trying to get a hold of a roulette wheel with an Eagle Slot is nearly impossible, reaching tens of thousands of pounds in auctions. Not surprising if you consider that less than six of these exist and are highly sought after by collectors these days. The original French wheel used in casinos, had both the 0 and 00 pocket as stated, but that was soon to change.

During the mid-19th century in France, Louis and Francois Blanc decided to shake up the roulette, leading to another important piece of roulette history we know and love, the introduction of the French Roulette Table. This table features only one 0 slot and was created to compete with other casinos during the time by having a lower house edge. The lower house edge continues to this day, with many people opting to play on the French Roulette, rather than the higher house edged table of American Roulette.

Before we head on to the 20th Century, here are a couple of fun facts you probably didn’t know about roulette:

  • In 2004, Ashley Revell in the UK bet his entire life savings (£93K) on one red spin on the table. He won and walked away with over £186K.
  • Roulette is sometimes referred to as the “Devils Game”, as all the numbers on the table add up to 666. Plus, some say Louis Blanc made a deal with the devil in order to obtain the winning secrets of the table…
    At the Rio Casino in Las Vegas, the same number got hit seven times in a row! Lucky number 19’s chances of this happening? One in three billion!
  • In the 20th Century the two most notable gambling towns were Monte Carlo featuring the French table, and Las Vegas featuring the American wheel. These days, roulette connoisseurs are no longer limited to a gambling experience needing to be a ‘night out’. With the convenience of online casinos we can choose play roulette in a comfortable, relaxing and familiar environment without any travel involved. With plenty of sites around, why not take a stroll around our online casino and see what tickles your fancy?