There is still speculation as to where the roulette game originates from. Some declare that it is derived from China and was brought by traders and Dominican monks from the Far East to the Americas. Others claim that the roulette game comes from France, the word being French word for “small wheel”, and was created by an unruly French mathematician, Blaise Pascal in the 17th century.
The first form of roulette was devised in 18th century France. A century earlier, Blaise Pascal introduced a primitive form of roulette in the 17th century in his search for a perpetual motion machine. The roulette wheel is believed to be a fusion of the English wheel games Roly-Poly, Reiner, Ace of Hearts, and E.O., the Italian board games of Hoca and Biribi, and “Roulette” from an already existing French board game of that name.
The game has been played in its present form since as early as 1796 in Paris. An early description of the roulette game in its current form is found in a French novel La Roulette, ou le Jour by Jaques Lablee, which describes a roulette wheel in the Palais Royal in Paris in 1796. The description included the house pockets, “There are exactly two slots reserved for the bank, whence it derives its sole mathematical advantage.” It then goes on to describe the layout with, “…two betting spaces containing the bank’s two numbers, zero and double zero.” The book was published in 1801. An even earlier reference to a game of this name was published in regulations for New France (Québec) in 1758, which banned the games of “dice, hoca, faro, and roulette.”
The roulette wheels used in the casinos of Paris in the late 1790s had red for the single zero and black for the double zero. To avoid confusion, the color green was selected for the zeros in roulette wheels starting in the 1800s.
Monaco still remains a strong convert to the roulette game because in the 18th century Prince Charles thought that it would be a convenient way to keep the economy of the small principality afloat. When the game came to the Americas in the middle of the 19th Century the invention of the single “O” was introduced by Frenchmen, Louis and Francois Blanc. However the American game now plays the double “O” game while the European game still constitutes the single “0″ game. The double O game enables the house to make a higher profit. The roulette game proved to have something of a milestone in the California Gold Rush obviously attracted to the large amounts of money to be made.
There are two different ways of playing roulette, there are two different wheels that are played and these are the American wheel and the European wheel. The difference is minimal in that the American wheel has 38 numbers including 0, 00 and 1 to 36. The European wheel contains 37 numbers including 0 and the numbers 1 to 36. Other differences between the two varying forms of roulette are that in American casinos, the dealers will use their hands to draw in the bets while the European croupiers use a long stick called the Rake to collect the chips. Also in America the roulette players are given different color chips and in Europe they are given the same color chips. Roulette continues to be a very popular game especially in Europe.
Roulette is a casino game named after a French diminutive for little wheel. In the game, players may choose to place bets on either a single number or a range of numbers, the colors red or black, or whether the number is odd or even.
To determine the winning number and color, a croupier spins a wheel in one direction, then spins a ball in the opposite direction around a tilted circular track running around the circumference of the wheel. The ball eventually loses momentum and falls onto the wheel and into one of 37 (in French/European roulette) or 38 (in American roulette) colored and numbered pockets on the wheel.