The famous mathematician, Blaise Pascal, invented the very first roulette wheel in 1655. Pascal’s invention of the roulette wheel was actually a byproduct of another machine he was attempting to invent. Pascal’s original intention was to create a perpetual motion machine, and while he inevitably failed in this attempt, the invention which spawned from his labors went on to become one of the most well know symbols in casino gambling – the roulette wheel.
The game itself is thought to be a combination of several European games from the time. These games included two wheel games popular in England, E.O and Ace of Heart, the Italian board games Biribi and Hoca, as well as an existing game of roulette which was a board game already popular in France.
This much of the history of roulette is thought to be speculation. While it is most likely the truth behind the history of the game, some historians will claim the game originated from a much earlier time in China, brought to Europe by Chinese monks over the years. Others claim it was the evolution of early wheel games played by the Romans, who often enjoyed gambling in many variations. Whatever the truth of the origins of the game, the rest of its history is well known.
From its earliest conception, the game of roulette remained the same for the first two hundred years or so until the mid nineteenth century. Then, in 1842 two French brothers, Louis and Francois Blanc added the number 0 to the roulette wheel, increasing the house odds and creating the wheel we now know today as the European roulette wheel. Shortly after this addition, gambling was outlawed in France, but the popularity of roulette continued to grow.
King Charles III opened up a casino in Monte Carlo in an attempt to revive the wealth of his kingdom. The casino featured to new roulette wheel designed by the Blanc brothers and the casino quickly gained in popularity. It did so well in fact, that Monte Carlo is still to this day considered one of the foremost gambling capitols in the world.
From there, roulette spread throughout Europe, eventually losing its popularity as gambling was outlawed in many European countries. Eventually the roulette wheel made its way across the Atlantic Ocean into the Americas. Roulette quickly gained in popularity throughout America as fortunes were struck and those fortunate enough to have profited took up gambling as a pass time. Once in America, the double zero was added to the wheel, giving the house an even bigger edge in the game. In some very early forms of American roulette an eagle was added to the wheel as a symbol of American freedom. This gave the house yet another advantage in the game, but did not last very long.
Today roulette is among the oldest and most popular casino games played. You can find a roulette wheel in any casino you go to, as well as just about any online casino you may choose to play at. Many casino feature multiple roulette tables, and the roulette wheel is a symbol well known throughout the world as a defining symbol of gaming.