Apr 21st 2007
Unlike the other casino games, roulette history starts from the 17 th century. The records you can find about the history of roulette before the 17 century are a bit shrouded in mystery because there are three major claims about the origins of the game itself.
The first one says that roulette was invented way back in 1655 by the French scientist Blaise Pascal. He is known to have invented the first digital calculator, the hydraulic press, and was the founder of the modern theory of probabilities, all of which have some application in modern gaming.
Another theory claims that a French monk invented roulette in order to help break some of the dullness of daily monastery life. The third statement you will find about the roulette history is that roulette originated in an old Chinese game whose object was to arrange 37 statuettes of animals in a "magic square" of 666.
However a clear history about roulette starts in the 17 century. A roulette game played in the layout we see it today appeared in 1765 in a casino from Paris. This game contained all of the features that we have today with the one exception; the single zero was red while the double zero was black. This led to some confusion for players and the color green was introduced for the zero and double zero to diminish the confusion.
In 1842 Frenchmen Francois and Louis Blanc invented the single "0" roulette game. This reduced the casino's edge thereby increasing the odds of the player. Because gambling was illegal in France during this time, the game was introduced in Hamburg, Germany where it became very popular.
In 1856, a joint stock company requested Prince Charles III, the ruler of Monaco, for permission to build a casino. Because Monaco was experiencing some financial problems he regarded in a positive way the idea of the potential tax revenues and so he accepted the plan of a casino. Prince Charles wanted to make sure that the casino would be a success, so he also asked Louis Blanc to come and run the casino from Monaco. When he heard about the project he was intrigued and when gambling was outlawed in Germany he accepted the invitation to go to Monaco to establish and operate a casino.
In 1863 he signed a fifty-year franchise contract and built the luxurious Place du Casino. His aim was to build it in a way that would attract the richest members of society. The casino set the standards for roulette in Europe, and even gambling was re legalized in most of the France and in major regions of Europe, roulette remained exclusive to Monte Carlo until 1933. Thanks to the success of the Monaco casino, the financial problems of Monaco were solved and also assured and the game of roulette became to be popular.
When roulette came to the U.S. in the early 1800s, the improvements were deleted, and a double "00" returned, this being more in the favor of the house. Now the double zero game is known as the American roulette. The game became popular in the old west of America during the California Gold Rush. Roulette remains more popular in Europe, because it is used a single zero wheel and that comes in the favor of the player, offering better odds than the American wheel.