A Quick History of Roulette
By Kevin Moran
Roulette is the most popular casino game in the world, and is enjoyed by SuperCasino customers both online and televised live on Channel 5. The aim of the game is to predict where the ball is going to land on a spinning wheel of 37 numbers, and there are a variety of betting options to choose from including red or black (odds or evens), single numbers and numerical groups.
Let’s take a look at the origins of this easy to play casino game, to see what makes roulette so special.
A trip back in time some 800 years is necessary to see where the concept for roulette is rumoured to have come from. Some believe that the Ancient Roman’s tipped their carriages on their sides and spun the wooden wheels. Another theory is that the ‘spinning wheel’ was brought to Europe from China by Dominican Monks in the 13th century.
However, the earliest traceable event which can be reliably attributed to the development of the game is the invention, in the 17th century, of a spinning wheel device by French inventor Blaise Pascal. This invention is thought to have been part of his quest to invent a perpetual motion machine. Although he named it a ‘roulette wheel’ the use of the wheel for gambling purposes came a little later in England, in 1720.
This primitive version of roulette was named ‘Even or Odd’ and consisted of a spinning wheel simply divided into pockets marked with O or E (odd or even). The aim of the game was to predict where the ball would fall, giving 50/50 odds.
It didn’t take long however for the game of roulette as we now know it to develop from those simple beginnings, and by 1765 roulette wheels numbered 1 to 36, with red and black alternating pockets, were being widely used in upmarket casinos in the south of France.
As the game grew in popularity though, some casino owners were unhappy with the game, which led to Frenchman Francois Blanc adding a single 0 pocket to increase profits for the house.
The story goes that Francois, obsessed with the game, sold his soul to the devil to discover the secrets of roulette, when he realised that the numbers on the wheel added up to a spooky total of 666.
The game in its new form quickly travelled across the Atlantic, and became very popular in gambling halls and saloons in America. The owners of these establishments were disappointed still with the profits that the game generated for the house, and so the layout was simplified and single and double zero pockets were added.
Since its early beginnings, the basic game of roulette has remaining largely unchanged. What has changed however is the means by which the game can be played. It’s no longed essential to queue at a casino to enjoy roulette games – online roulette is exceptionally popular, and SuperCasino also shows live roulette on Channel 5 nightly.
As well as playing online or televised roulette, tech savvy gamers can play on the go on their smart phone, or by downloading the iPhone/iPad SuperCasino app. SuperCasino is taking the age-old game of roulette, and developing ways to play that better fit with a modern lifestyle. It’s a win/win situation!
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