Many of the fruits of Pascal's genius, from Pascal's triangle to his theory of atmospheric pressure, are still taught in classrooms today. But surely none is a popular as his roulette wheel. The roulette wheel was actually a byproduct of Pascal's search for perpetual motion. Pascal would spin the wheel in one direction, and send a little ball spinning in the opposite direction. The wheel originally had 36 numbered pockets; the pocket in which the ball eventually came to rest became the winning number.
The next big step in Roulette history took place about two hundred years after Pascal's great invention. In 1842, two clever Frenchmen — the brothers Francois and Louis Blanc — added a zero to the roulette wheel. There is a legend that the brothers Blanc struck a deal with the devil to discover the true secrets of the roulette game. The legend tells that if one adds up all of the numbers from 0to 36, the total is 666, which is also the sign of the devil beast. So if a player wins against the wheel, i.e. his number comes up, then he is literally beating the devil.
At the time that the Blanc brothers made the addition of the 0 to the Roulette wheel, gambling had actually been banned in France. This did not stop the wheel's popularity from spreading across Europe. When legalized gambling was reinstated in France in the late 1800's, Francois Blanc was invited to set up the first of the famous casinos in Monte Carlo. He used the Roulette wheel as the flagship game for this casino and since then the picture of the roulette wheel
has always been associated with casinos. Roulette to this day is known as the "King of the Casino Games," mainly from its early popularity at the Monte Carlo casino.
As gambling became reinstated in France, the games that were popular in France traveled across the ocean to America. In America, saloons or gambling houses were very keen on making money for their own establishments. As a result the Americans introduced the double zero (00) to the Roulette wheel. A roulette wheel with a double zero became known as American Roulette. The introduction of the double zero, which benefits the casino by slightly decreasing the player's odds of winning at roulette
, was not popular with the Europeans. The original Roulette wheel with the single zero became known and established as the European wheel.
A major milestone in roulette history came with the online casino
boom of the 1990's, which brought with it the development of online Roulette
as one of the most widely played online casino games
. Many people who had not previously played Roulette now started to play Roulette online
. This was mainly due to its increased accessibility, and also the conscious decision of the online casinos to lower the betting minimums, which offers a totally different strategy than the land-based casinos. This encouraged more online players to try their luck at Roulette. Roulette features in one form or another at most online casinos today.
The 21st century brought the development of the mobile casino
and, as a featured game therein, mobile roulette
. This is only the latest development in the classic casino game that keeps growing and developing.
Different types of Roulette games have developed over the years and these are also featured at the online casinos
. There is American Roulette
which has the additional 00, giving an additional pocket and some believe better house odds. There is French Roulette
which has the La Partage rule; allowing only half of the bet to be taken from the player if the ball lands on zero when an even-money bet has been placed. French Roulette also has call bets which allows the player to place multiple bets with multiple coins at any one time. There is European Roulette
which only has one zero on the roulette wheel and is the closest to the original Roulette game as developed by Pascal and the Blancs. There is Roulette Royale
which is available in online casinos only and which provides an opportunity to win a progressive jackpot worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, pounds, or Euros.
From this brief overview of the history of roulette, you can see how the game has developed and diversified greatly from its humble beginnings as an invention to test perpetual motion theories. And over the years it has become a widely known and recognized game and symbol of high-class casino gambling. Roulette has always been associated with the French, which naturally brings its association with style. It is a game of chance but also a game of style and passion and is played today in much the same way as it was all those years ago in Monte Carlo. Roulette has developed over the past three hundred years of its existence and it will continue to flourish and develop in the future. With such a rich history, Roulette is bound to carry on being the “King of the Casino.”