In the 17th century, the first roulette games developed. French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal is often credited as the game’s progenitor.
Some have speculated that the game was only a byproduct of his efforts to create a perpetual motion device. In 1796, the game was believed to have been played by many of France’s affluent, including members of the royal family.
Below you’ll discover a more in-depth overview of the fascinating background of one of the most played and entertaining casino games of all time: roulette.
The origins of the game of roulette are a mystery.
Above, we said that Blaise Pascal is often credited with creating roulette. However, in the beginning, there were no zeros on the roulette wheels. New variants of roulette were not introduced until much later.
A zero was added to the roulette wheel when it was brought inside casinos so that the establishments could earn a profit from the game. The French brothers Luis and Francois Blanc launched a gambling business in Germany in 1843, and in 1845 they introduced roulette to the casino scene there.
Monte Carlo RouletteOne of the brothers made a lot of money off the transfer, but it all came to an end when gambling was made illegal in Germany. It was at around this time that plans were being set up for a huge casino in Monaco, and Francois Blanc was convinced to oversee the new establishment. Two of the most well-known incidents in roulette’s long and storied history took place at this casino, which would go on to become Europe’s largest.
How likely are you to win if you cheat at roulette?
The Bank-Breaking Man from Monte Carlo
Englishman Joseph Jagger made the discovery in 1875 that roulette was not completely random.
He secretly had a bunch of secretaries keep track of roulette results and discovered that one wheel wasn’t truly random, favoring a cluster of nine numbers. With this information, Jagger and his crew might make a profit of £60,000 (about $5 million in today’s values). He and his group have calculated the probability of winning when cheating at roulette.
The same mistakes keep being made
Also, Charles Wells would walk out of the casino with an unbelievable sum of money.
Wells was a notorious scam artist who had supposedly made his fortune through the creation of a “musical jump rope” before betting it all on roulette. Twice in the span of a few months, he went to the casino and came out with a million francs. Although it has been speculated that Wells utilized a similar strategy to that of Joseph Jagger, it is unclear how Wells truly won and he stated subsequently that it was merely a fortunate streak.
The renowned British music hall ballad “The Men Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo” was inspired by both Wells and Jagger. Both guys did eventually calculate the probabilities of winning at roulette, but it was through dishonest means.
American Roulette: Its Origins and Development
The American Past of RouletteAround the turn of the last century in the United States, roulette was introduced.
A Frenchman who was in New Orleans is credited with bringing it there. Casinos began offering it, but to enhance its profit margin, they added a ’00’ slot next to the ‘0’ slot, making American casinos more profitable than their European counterparts. These two variants of roulette are known as European roulette and American roulette today.
It has been stated that the Eagle slot on some wheels is bigger than the others, adding to the already substantial advantage the house enjoys. After some time, the game in the United States settled on two zeros, satisfying both casinos and gamblers.
The 20th-Century Roulette Table
Since casinos weren’t legalized, fewer people had the chance to play roulette, which slowed the game’s development.
Despite this, the game was nonetheless a staple of mid-century popular culture. The young couple in the Academy Award–winning 1942 film Casablanca earn enough money at a ‘rigged’ roulette wheel to pay for their escape from Bulgaria. James Bond is also rumored to have played Roulette on many occasions in the novels.
The 1970s would mark the beginning of the game’s meteoric rise to fame. As restrictions on gambling were loosened in many parts of the world, an increase in enthusiasts flocked to table games like roulette and blackjack.
The Digital Era in Roulette
At the tail end of the twentieth century, internet casinos were widely available, and roulette quickly found its way into the digital sphere.
Roulette Records On The GoThe games gained a lot of popularity, and as technology advanced, so did the quality of the experience, which now includes stunningly realistic images and animations. Live online casinos have taken the gambling experience to the next level by streaming a real-life roulette game right to your desktop, complete with a live croupier and other human players with whom you can chat in real time.
The most recent development in roulette is the adaptation of the game for mobile devices, allowing enthusiasts to take their favorite game with them wherever they go.
Who knows what the future of roulette holds. But one thing is certain: it will not disappear.