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History of Roulette

The History of Roulette

If you have ever been to a casino, you have probably noticed a crowd eagerly assembled around a large spinning wheel, with a small white ball spinning its way around the wheel. But where and how did the history of Roulette get started? It seems to be a bit debatable, but the most popular theory leads to France in the early 17th century.

The French translation of the word roulette is "little wheel." The history of roulette, according to many, began with a French mathematician named Blaise Pascal who invented the game in its most fundamental form. It seemed that he had a obsession with perpetual motion devices. Yet many others profess that the history of roulette can go back as far as ancient Rome. The basics of the game were thought to derive from a game the Romans played on their chariot wheels. But it wasn't until the 1800's that it became the wildly popular game that we now know.

Two brothers, Louis and Francois Blanc, are not only credited for the first casino in Monte Carlo, but for marking the history of roulette by adding a single zero to the roulette wheel. Until then, the numbers on the roulette wheel were 1 to 36. The addition of the single zero was to increase house odds, creating the 37-slot wheel still used in Europe and known as European Roulette. There is also the legend that Francois Blanc sold his soul to the devil to unlock the secrets of the game. This legend was further perpetuated, because if you add all the numbers of the wheel together, you come up with the total 666, widely regarded as the number of the beast.

It was in the early 1900's that roulette came to the United States, where the double zero slot was added bringing it to a 38-slot wheel. This version is referred to as American Roulette and according to the history of roulette, has never been as popular to Europeans, who still to this day prefer the 37-slot wheel.