Roulette History

The history of roulette is the history of gambling itself: high-octane action, insurmountable odds, the house always wins.

So why do so many gamblers still love the Devil's Wheel and how has it become the game of choice in casinos - both offline and online - across the world in 2023?

From humble beginnings, roulette spread from Europe across the Atlantic Ocean to land in the gaming Meccas of Las Vegas and Atlantic City, then went the other way to the new gaming destinations of Asia.

Almost 300 years after it first appeared, the general set-up and appearance of a roulette wheel has barely changed; testament to the game's enduring appeal.

Early Days of Roulette

Blaise Pascal

The origins of the game we all love start in France in the mid-16th century when a French physicist called Blaise Pascal was trying to develop a perpetual motion machine.

Pascal may have ultimately failed in his attempts to invent perpetual motion, but he did - by accident - come up with a wheel featuring a number of slots ("roulette" means little wheel) that gradually came to a stop.

By the 18th century the wheel had been adopted by the English, whose 'Even-Odd' game featured a wheel with 20 slots split into Os (Odds) and Es (Evens).

The French were back on the case 50 years later when Louis and Francois Blanc developed a wheel with 36 numbers and a single zero. The familiar European Roulette wheel is still used today.

America Takes The Roulette Lead

USA roulette

As Europeans flocked to the casinos of Europe - and in particular, Monte Carlo - to gamble their lives away at the roulette tables, the game was beginning to become popular in the New World.

French immigrants to America set up a gambling haven in New Orleans in Louisiana, with a game that was very different to the version played in Monte Carlo and Paris.

An early American Roulette wheel used in New Orleans featured just 28 numbers, plus a single AND double zero. The birth of the American Roulette wheel had arrived.

As well as the extra 0 and 00 slots, the American table featured a patriotic American eagle slot, which in effect was an extra slot for the house. The days of the American eagle slot were numbered, however, when players discovered it gave the house a whopping 12.9% edge.

The Internet Revolution

Mobile roulette

Roulette continued on in two separate camps for another 150 years - the gambling centers of Reno, Atlantic City and Vegas adopting the double-zero format in America, and the European casinos sticking with their single-zero tables.

In France, another special version of the game emerged which featured special insurance bets. In French Roulette, players can protect their even-money bets (Odd/Even or Red/Black) in the case of a zero coming out by betting on La Partage.

However, it wasn't until the first online casinos emerged in the mid-1990s that players across the world were able to enjoy different styles of roulette. Americans could play French Roulette, Europeans could enjoy the double-zero US versions, and everyone could take advantage of the latest variants exclusive to the Internet.

In 2023, due to the wonders of the net, you can enjoy the great classic games - all played fairly with audited software - or online-only versions like Multi-Table Roulette, which gives you the opportunity to bet the same numbers across multiple tables at the same time, or Multi-Ball roulette which lets you bet on three balls spinning on the same wheel. Three chances to win on one wheel? It's the latest in online gaming!

Find a Top Roulette Casino Online

Online roulette

Roulette has come a long way from an accidental physics experiment to its place as the world's favorite table game.

But the game is essentially the same: bet on the numbers or sections and watch as the ball spins and falls into one of the slots. It's so simple, it's so popular - roulette is the best betting game in the world!

Waste no more time and head to our recommended links to find a great roulette casino online today.