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The History of Roulette

The History and Origins of Roulette

In 1655, a French mathematician, Blaise Pascal created the roulette wheel. Pascal’s name is also associated with the computer programming language Turbo Pascal. The roulette wheel was just an incidental product in Pascal’s attempt to invent a motion device that would never stop. Unfortunately, Pascal never completed this perpetual motion device.

The game of roulette has been played in its current form since 1796. The earliest description that can be found is in the French novel “La Roulette, ou le Jour” written by Jaques Lablee, to which the roulette wheel has been described in the Palace Royal. The book was published in 1801.

In 1842, Francois and Louis Blanc, both brothers from France, made some adjustments to the roulette wheel by adding 0 to the numbers contained on the roulette wheel. Thus changing the total numbers on the roulette wheel to 37, ranging from 0 to 36. By adding a new number, the odds of winning decreases.

At that time, some people suspected that the two Frenchmen had made a deal with the devil. This suspicion comes from the fact that when you sum up all the numbers of the roulette wheel, you will get the sum of 666, which is the number often though to be related to the devil. At the time that these changes were made, gambling was banned in France. However, it did not stop the popularity of the game from spreading across Europe. Roulette very quickly became the king of the casino games at the first casino in Monte Carlo that was established by Francois Blanc.

The Roulette Wheel

In the 1800s, the US became involved with roulette. The Americans added a second 0, represented as 00, to the roulette wheel, thus making the total numbers raise to 38, to further increase house odds and make it harder for the gambler to win. In Hoyle’s gambling books, it was said that there were numbers 1 through 28, plus a single zero, a double zero, and an American Eagle. Payout on any of the numbers including the zeros and the eagle was 27 to 1. Development of roulette varies from the European and the American versions. It is said that the European version is much easier to win then the US version.

In 1873, the roulette game was beaten by Joseph Jagger. It was said that he hired 6 clerks to record the result of the roulette wheels at the Beaux-Arts Casino in Monte Carlo. By using the information, he was able to won $450,000. In 1891, con man Charles Wells had left the bank of Monte Carlo broken. He was able to win two million French Francs from just two visits to the casino. This was a great amount of money at that time. His story was popularized by Fred Gilbert in “The Man Who Broke the Bank of Monte Carlo”.

As new technologies were being introduced, new ways to cheat were also becoming available. In the year 1955, Edward O. Thorp and Claude Shannon invented a device that would allow them to predict the odds of the roulette wheel based upon the past occurrences of the given wheel.

In the 1970’s Eudaemons, a group of graduate students from the University of California Santa Cruz has invented a device to increase the odds of winning at roulette. It was a small computer which they took to Las Vegas where the device proved to be a success. The device had given them an accumulated winning of $10,000 in a single evening of play in one of the grand Las Vegas Strip casinos.

Showing the Numbers on a Roulette Wheel

In the early 1990’s, Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo made a history by studying the roulette wheels at the Casino de Madrid in Spain. By using a computer program he could find out which numbers would be hit often. He then used the information to win over a million dollars. In the end, he was caught by the casino and was brought to court and tried for cheating in the casino.

Since the advent of Internet casinos, the roulette wheel has remained to be one of the most sought after games for most online casinos. Most people know how to play roulette and most people have played it. It can be very simple, starting with just the odds and evens, blacks or reds, right through to single numbers. It really is a game for all ages and one where you can risk a lot of money on high, or low odds. The player decides their own odds based upon their bet.

Roulette will continue to grow, and hold strength within the Internet gambling community. The popularity of this age tested game is testament to the simplicity it brings to gambling.