Spinning the wheel – Looking back at the history of Roulette - The Coventry Observer

Spinning the wheel – Looking back at the history of Roulette

Coventry Editorial 1st Mar, 2024   0

Like many classic games, Roulette has been around for a very long time. So much so that its exact origins are hard to be entirely sure of. And yet, it’s a gaming staple that you can find on offer at many casinos. These days the classic game has been varied up a bit too, with versions such as Lightning Roulette and Superboost Roulette on offer. It doesn’t matter where you choose to play, though, there’s always likely to be a game of Roulette to enjoy.

If you’re interested to learn more about where the game of Roulette came from before you play again, then read on.

How does Roulette work?

First things first, let’s have a quick refresher on the game itself before we delve any further.

The most distinctive feature of Roulette is the wheel that sits prominently on the physical play table. This is the so-called ‘little wheel’ which the game takes its name from and is the main feature of play.




Around the rim of the wheel are numbered pockets, alternating in red and black from one to 36. An additional, uncoloured zero pocket rounds out the wheel.

Before the croupier – the dealer when it comes to Roulette – spins the wheel, players can wager based on factors such as which number the ball will stop on, which of the two colours it will land on or whether it will land on an even or odd number.


Wherever the ball ultimately lands after it goes spinning around the Roulette wheel determines the outcome of everyone’s wagers.

Where does Roulette come from?

So where exactly did this game first come from? The honest answer is that nobody is entirely sure of what its ultimate origins are. Rather, there are a number of theories and solid guesses that piece together the early history of this casino classic.

Many historians credit a French mathematician and inventor by the name of Blaise Pascal with the creation of the first Roulette wheel. It was apparently the result of his failed attempts to create a perpetual motion machine. Little did he know just how long-lived that failed invention would be!

Whether Pascal was the wheel’s true inventor or not, we do know that Roulette first got it’s start in the casinos of Paris. It proved a big hit with the French upper class of the 18th Century, although a certain revolution would eventually put a bit of a dampener on that.

By then, though, Roulette had already started to spread to new audiences in other European cities. From there it came to Monte Carlo, forming one of the key pillars of the casino capital that the city would become.

Of course, today you don’t need to travel quite so far as that to find a game of Roulette yourself.

Roulette outside of Europe

Even though France is the clear birthplace of Roulette the wheel had a little bit of a facelift when it came to the shores of the USA.

In order to increase the house edge on every spin, the Americans added a double-zero pocket to the rim. This decision proved so popular that you can find so-called American Roulette wheels just as often as the more classic European design.

And there you have it. Now you know just a little more about the origins of the game of Roulette. Which wheel design do you think is better, the classic European or the double-zero American?

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