Roulette is one of the most popular table games around the world. Every casino has at least one roulette wheel. The hypnotising spin of the wheel charms its players into a game entirely based on luck. There is no strategy, no means of cheating, just allowing the ball to land where it may. This has made for a very thrilling game that offers excitement that few others can deliver.
But how did the roulette wheel get so popular? The mysterious story of the roulette game and how it influenced life today is a fascinating one. Read on to find out all the details.
History of roulette
There is a lot of mystery around the game of roulette. Despite the roulette wheel we use today being firmly established in 17th century France, hints of roulette have popped up across the world and history far before then. For example, some say the ancient Chinese once had a board game involving 37 animal figurines arranged into a magic square with numbers that came to 666. There were also Roman soldiers, who would often gamble between battles, spinning chariot wheels or shields to gamble on. Their friends, or enemies, depending on the day, the Ancient Greeks would draw symbols on the inside of their shields, place an arrow next to it, and then spin and bet on what symbol the arrow would land on.
French for “the little wheel”, roulette was first introduced into the world, as only the best inventions are, in an attempt to make something entirely different. A French physicist and mathematician named Blaise Pascal created the roulette wheel in an attempt to invent a perpetual motion machine that could keep operating without an external source of energy. Eventually catching wind of this, the fathers of gambling, French entrepreneurs François and Louis Blanc, got their hands on it, and a game was born.
Since France had yet to lift their gambling ban, the businessmen headed to Germany with their new toy in 1842. They were well loved due to them introducing a new policy. One of the zeros of the roulette wheel was dropped, making the house edge drop by 2.7% and creating the European roulette wheel. Parisienne gamblers soon flocked to Homburg ecstatic to see their gambling give a higher return to player percentages.
Soon Louis Blanc had enough money to open his own casino: the Monte Carlo Casino Resort, which is still a staple of gambling today, considered the home of European gambling. It has featured regularly in the movies of the world’s most famous and smoothest gambler, James Bond, appearing in Casino Royale, Never Say Never Again and GoldenEye.
As the settlers headed to Louisiana in the 19th century, roulette went with them. The house edge was considered too low, however, and the zero was added back to the roulette wheel, creating American roulette. This caused a dip in popularity as users got irritated at the low return on earnings. Despite this, it’s still a popular game played all around the world and online.
Roulette is now a staple in every casino. There are three table games a casino should offer: blackjack, poker, and roulette. It is a vital part of the gambling experience that just wouldn’t be the same without it. Your nearest casino is sure to facilitate it.
It’s also a staple in every online casino. Today, you can play live online roulette from the comfort of your own home. There is no lengthy and expensive flight needed to get to Las Vegas, no hotel room required, just you and the wheel and Lady Luck enjoying a few rounds.
The advancement of technology has allowed for everything to be in your hands. Your loved ones are a screen away, your work is, and your entertainment is too. Downloading an app is as much as you need to do to enjoy a night of roulette now – no ball gown needed. Play wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.
There are hundreds of casino apps in every country offering roulette. Simply visit your app provider, whether that’s the Apple Store, or Google Play to start playing.
Players at the roulette wheel can make either an “inside” or “outside” bet. Inside bets are considered bets placed on a single number, while outside bets are on a range of numbers be that a dozen bets, column bets or a bet on red or black, or whether the resulting number will be high or low, or odd or even.
Once the dealer calls that no more bets can be placed, the ball is dropped, the wheel spins and where the ball stops will indicate your win. Simple, and yet so enjoyable.
Effect on pop culture
James Bond isn’t the only literary character to frequent the roulette table. Roulette appears as a major theme of famed Russian writer, Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novella, The Gambler. The novella is considered an insightful account of the game when it was at its peak, with the moves the gambler makes at the table explained.
Roulette makes an appearance in the most famous love story of Old Hollywood: Casablanca. Humphrey Bogart’s redemption moment is made when he takes pity on a Bulgarian couple who have lost their money at the table and gives them a prompt that leads them to winning.
The game was given a child-friendly and hilarious twist in Toy Story 3 when the ringleaders of the nursery are seen using a See ‘n’ Say toy as a roulette wheel, taking bets on which farm animal the arrow would land on.Roulette’s effect on history is felt through the examples given in pop culture. Since its inception it has affected 19th century philosophical writers into writing about it, prompted tales of sympathy from hard-boiled grim characters and even goes on to be parodied to this day. That is the real test of a game’s staying power, if it can be recognized enough to poke fun at.