Meaning Little Wheel in French, Roulette is considered one of the oldest casino games in history, dating all the way back to the wheel-based games in China and Ancient Rome. The roulette wheel of today was invented in France, by Blaise Pascal in the 17th century. Pascal was a French mathematician who wanted to create a gambling game that would spin and the winner would be decided according to the landing spot of a small object (the roulette ball). The game spread across Europe and it flourished specifically in Germany for a while. The true success of the game was in Monaco, as roulette was the foundation of the gambling empire in the city of Monte Carlo.
Modern roulette owes its origins to Louis and Fran?ois Blanc in 1842. They invented the French roulette wheel that contains 37 numbers, including a zero. The zero was introduced to increase the advantage of the casino so the game did not end up being a losing proposition to the casinos offering it. The brothers spread the game throughout Germany until gambling there was banned. It was at this point that Louis and Fran?ois were introduced to King Charles.
King Charles desperately needed to alleviate the financial woes that were dominating his kingdom and he had the Blanc brothers create a casino for his people. In return, the roulette table became a great source of income for the kingdom. Roulette soon gained popularity and became the main symbol of Monte Carlos casino culture.
Years later, the game made its way across the Atlantic ocean and it started to spread in the Unites States where it proved to be very popular as well, especially during the Gold Rush. With a booming economy, the rich were drawn to roulette becoming high rollers. The popularity of the game increased incredibly. As a result, casinos decided to increase their edge and advantage once more with the introduction of the double zero slot. This is the only American contribution to roulette history.
Today, the French version of roulette, the single "0", can be found in European casinos and the American version of roulette, the double "00", can be found in such places as Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Currently, Roulette is more popular in Europe, mainly because of the better odds it predicts based on the one "0" vs. double "00" difference. Of course, in the online gambling world, players can enjoy either one of these versions, regardless of their location. Online casinos have even created a number of other unique roulette versions of their own for players to try out.