But have you ever wondered where the game came from, how it started and how it became so popular? If so, you’ll appreciate a little lesson in Roulette History.
Today we’ll take a step back through the ages, and discover how a simple spin of the wheel grew into a global phenomenon.
Roulette History Timeline
- c1700 – Blaise Pascal invents the first Roulette Wheel – probably by accident!
- 1842 – Francois and Louis Blanc discover Pascal’s work, add a zero to the wheel and introduce the game in Germany
- c1890 – European settlers in Louisiana bring the game to the USA. Roulette spreads through casinos worldwide and becomes the most popular gambling game in the world.
- 1994 – Microgaming release the first ever online casino software.
Origins Of Roulette
Historians and gambling experts can’t agree on exactly when Roulette was first created – and depending who you speak to, time estimates vary between the mid-1600’s and the early 1700’s.
One of the most widely-accepted accounts, however, is that it was first developed in 1655 by a French scientist called Blaise Pascal (yep, if the name sounds familiar, it is the triangle guy.)
Pascal was experimenting with the idea of perpetual motion – and it’s believed that while doing so, he accidentally created the Roulette wheel.
Of course, the wheel he created at first would have looked nothing like the ones we find in casinos today – but it was a prototype that would set the foundations for one of the most popular casino table games on the planet.
Spread Through Europe
A couple of centuries later – in 1842 – it’s believed that two French brothers – Francois and Louis Blanc – rediscovered Pascal’s work. They made some modifications to his wheel (adding a zero, for example) and started taking bets from wealthy French businessmen. Back then, the game was known as Roly Poly.
The word Roulette is French meaning “little wheel” so it’s obvious how and why the name was eventually changed.
It proved to be an instant hit, and a look at many French paintings from the era shows players happily crowded around the Roly Poly tables, placing chips on the table with cigars and scotch in hand.
Arrival In The USA
In the late 1800’s/early 1900’s the game started making its way to other countries, and before long it was renamed to Roulette.
It is believed that French-European settlers brought the game with them to Louisiana. It was introduced into local casinos there, at which point the second zero was added to the wheel, and American Roulette was born.
Today, it remains the most-played casino game in the world, and every day hundreds of millions of dollars are wagered on it – both on and offline.
Roulette Moves Online
In the mid to late 1990s, the internet boom saw web access start to become available from every home. A true watershed moment in roulette history! This is when we saw online casinos start to really take off, and of course one of the first games they offered was Roulette.
The software was nowhere near as sophisticated as it is today of course, and with most people connected through dial up modems, it couldn’t afford to be.
However, the money was real and people were finally able to play for real money without travelling to (or becoming a member of) a city centre casino.
Roulette Goes Mobile
With online roulette becoming widespread, the logical next step was to go mobile. So when the first smartphones came out, allowing users to connect to the internet from the palm of their hand, that’s exactly what happened.
Again, early Roulette apps were crude compared to the fast, slick games we can play today. But as technology improved, so did the quality of the software.
Today we can play mobile roulette from anywhere. We can enjoy realistic gameplay, interact with real live dealers, try a range of roulette variations and take advantages of bonuses and VIP points from the mobile casinos.
We’ve never had it so good.
The history of roulette is interesting, but what’s absolutely certain is that the future is very bright indeed.
Last Updated on June 15, 2020