Where American Roulette Started
The game Roulette as we know it today, was started in France in the 1800s. Its actual origin however comes more than a century earlier.
In 1655, Blaise Pascal, who was a mathematician, physicist and inventor set out to try and invent a perpetual motion machine, which is a machine that can operate without the addition of energy from an external source. He failed to do so, but the result of his attempt was a basic version of the modern-day roulette wheel.
From Pascal’s Wheel To The Next Phase
Believe it or not there were not many mechanical or structural changes made to Pascal’s version of the roulette wheel for the next century or more. The game itself was said to be a combination of several other games – the English wheel games of Roly Poly, Ace of Hearts, and Reiner, the French board game of roulette already in existence at the time, and the Italian board games of Biribi and Hoca. As with most casino games there are many myths and legends surrounding the origins, but in the end the same story seems to be told over and over again, and has become lore, if not totally factual.
The Roulette Wheel Is Changed
In 1855, twin brothers and casino operators Louis and Francois introduced the roulette wheel with the single zero, instead of both a single a double zero pocket. This popularized the game as it increased the player’s odds of winning, and gave the brothers the edge over their competitors. The European roulette wheel remains this way until today.
Roulette Crosses The Ocean
As the 18th century drew to a close, the French Revolution erupted, and caused the immigration of a large number of French citizens who were hoping to avoid the destruction that was going on around them at the time. These immigrants fled across the ocean to Louisiana in the south of the United States of America, and with them they took the game of roulette. In those days Louisiana was the capital of gambling in the south of the United States.
Initially, roulette was not given a very warm welcome in the States, as casino operators were not keen on the low house edge that the European version of the game offered. To counteract this, they added the double zero pocket to the wheel, with some of the earliest versions of the game also including a pocket emblazoned with an American eagle.
The numbers on the wheel ranged from 1 – 28, and if the ball landed on the zero, the double zero or the eagle, the casino won all of those bets, apart from instances when punters bet on the zeros or eagle specifically. This gave the house a very strong edge of 12.9%.
American Roulette vs European Roulette
The layout of the wheel was then further adjusted, to remove the eagle, and with numbers ranging from 0, to 00, to 38. The odds this wheel afforded players is slightly less than its European counterpart, but still offers great pay-outs for players. The sequence of the numbers is also slightly different to that of a European roulette wheel but that game is still a favourite with online roulette NZ players to this day.
Gambling And Roulette Are Banned
At the beginning of the 20th century, gambling across the globe came under scrutiny and attack from various social reform and religious groups, the result of which was a worldwide ban of gambling. This of course included roulette, and led to underground and illegal casinos popping up all over America.
This remained the case until as time went by, governments came to realize that gambling would never completely be eradicated, and the laws began to relax bit by bit, with the gambling industry beginning to be monitored and regulated.
American Roulette Today
In the 1980’s the casino business was booming. These days it is exploding! The birth of the internet solved the problem of geographical location for casino operators as it was suddenly able to connect with a huge previously untapped market.
Nowadays, the variety of online casino available all over the world means that players can access their favourite games from the comfort of their own living rooms. The industry utilizes random number generators, which are computer programs that generate sequences of random numbers.
This is an assurance for players that the game of roulette remains as much a game of chance as it ever was.
From the happy accident of a failed perpetual motion machine, to being able to play online roulette in the comfort of your own home, it’s fascinating to think where American Roulette will wind up next!