Roulette is a game that has been around for centuries and it’s one of the world’s most popular casino table games. Part of the fun is the game’s simplicity – choose a number or a colour to back and see what happens when the wheel is spun. Not knowing where the ball will land adds to the thrill of the game.
A traditional roulette table
Today, online games are king and roulette sites generally offer both the American and French variants, where the house edge differs because of the double zero pocket on the American wheel. Playing online means you can switch games as often as you want, even after just one spin. The convenience of online roulette is a far cry from the original version of the game which, as noted on the 32Red roulette potted history of the game, goes back to 18th Century France. It was invented in 1796 by a man named Blaise Pascal. Legend has it that he sold his soul to the devil to learn how to win roulette. This myth was backed up by the fact that if you add all the numbers on a roulette wheel together you get a grand total of 666.
The invention of casino roulette
Pascal was apparently not really trying to invent the game of chance that you play online today on 32Red, Spin Palace and Red Flush to name just a few of the providers. Instead, he was a physicist who wanted to build a perpetual motion machine. In his quest to do so, Pascal created the roulette wheel. It didn’t work as a perpetual motion machine, but Pascal created the game of roulette without knowing how popular it would become.
The addition of the zero
Pascal’s wheel did not include a zero pocket. It would be another 40 years before the zero was added to the wheel in 1842 by Frenchman Louis Blanc. This created a
house edge which was then put to good use by King Charles III of Monaco to raise funds for his kingdom through the casinos he permitted Blanc to run there.
America does roulette its way
During the 1800s, roulette had travelled the Atlantic and became popular in the USA. However, the Americans added an extra twist, by incorporating an extra pocket – the double zero – onto the wheel. With a new total of 38 numbers (1-36, 0 and 00), the casino house edge was increased again.
Roulette was played throughout the 20th Century, but it was really with the development of the casino scene in Las Vegas that it became a game for everyone. Casino visitors liked roulette because of the game’s exciting nature and because there was no particular skill required. Roulette is still very popular in land-based casinos. According to Roy Morgan’s gambling monitor in June 2015, 1 in 20 Australians play at least one table game in a casino every year and roulette was the most popular table game in Australian casinos.
No matter how many land-based casinos there were, for many people, roulette remained a game that they knew about but perhaps had never played, simply because they hadn’t been to a casino. With the arrival of online casinos in the early 2000s, finally the game became available to everyone, anywhere.
When you play online roulette, check out the odds for a win on each type of bet. With European roulette, a bet on black or red will give you odds of 1.06 to 1, whereas a column or dozen bet will have odds of 2.08 to 1. The odds for a successful corner bet, meanwhile, is 8.25 to 1. Whichever online roulette game you choose to play, check out the specific player return percentage for that game before placing your first bet. It won’t affect whether you win or lose, but at least you won’t be in for any surprises when it comes to payout amounts.
It is also now possible to play live roulette alongside all the variants of the game. Though you still play online, you can opt to play live casino games with real dealers and croupiers whenever you want.
So, it seems that the game of roulette has now come full circle with people playing live roulette online remotely in the same way that original players played the game in Monte Carlo back in the 1800s.