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History of Roulette
Blaise Pascal invented the first roulette in the 17th century while attempting to create a perpetual motion machine. The history of the game starts in France and the word French for “small wheel”. The wheel is believed to be inspired by a number of English games like Ace of Hearts, Roly-Poly, E.O. and Reiner, and Italian games like Hoca and Biribi. The game gained the title “king of casino games” due to its history that involved the rich and famous of Europe.
The game has existed in its present form since 1796 in Paris. French literature of that century has detailed descriptions of the roulette wheel and the game. In 1843, Francois and Luis Blanc, two Frenchmen, were responsible for adding the “0” to the roulette wheel in order to increase the chances of the house winning. There is a famous legend surrounding the two Frenchmen which says that they traded their soul to the devil to learn the secret of roulette. The story was fuelled by the fact that the numbers on the roulette wheel added to 666, which is considered to be the number of the devil.
In the early versions of the American roulette wheel, it was numbered from 1 to 28 with additional slots for am American eagle, zero and double zero. The slot with the eagle was added to get the house an extra edge. Today the wheel has numbered slots only.
Roulette was played all over the United States and Europe in the 1800s and became the most popular and well known casino games. After gambling was banned by Germany in 1860, the Blanca family was forced to move to Monte Carlo, the only place with a legal casino. It went on to become the famous gambling spot for the European elite. The single zero roulette became the exclusive game which spread through out the world. But in the United Sates the double zero game managed to stay dominant.
The game spread in the United States from New Orleans to Mississippi before moving westward. The double zero wheel was mounted on top of the table because of cheating that was rampant among gamblers and operators alike. The placement of the wheel prevented foul play and devices from being hidden within the wheel and table. This led to the evolution of the American roulette; the game was played in gambling dens throughout the company meanwhile in Europe the game was played with style by the elite. Today around the world the American roulette is more popular than the French version mainly because of the simplified betting system and the option of making fast money on both single and double zero wheels.
The beginning of the 20th century the popular casinos with roulette games were in Monte Carlo, using the French single zero wheel, and in Las Vegas, using the American double zero system. The casinos flourished all around the world during the 70s, resulting in hundreds and hundreds of casinos that operate today on major cities around the globe.