The history of roulette is awash with many fanciful stories. Some of these stories on the history of roulette seem plausible enough while others are improbable. Nevertheless, stories on the history of roulette continue to circle, adding to the air of mystery in this game of luck and chance.
It is a common belief that the history of roulette began in 17th century France. However, others have reported that an ancient and crude version of the game was played in China several centuries earlier. Thus the history of roulette probably began much earlier than reported.
According to this version of the history of roulette, there was an old Chinese game that quite resembled the mechanics of the modern-day roulette. The object of the game was to arrange 37 statuettes of animals but instead of using a “wheel,” the Ancient Chinese used a “magic square” of 666. This version of the history of roulette goes on to say that the game was later played in Tibet. When French Dominican monks on a missionary quest in Asia saw the game, they became so fascinated by it that they brought it back with them to Europe.
According to the history of roulette, these monks later made a few renditions to the game, using a revolving wheel instead with numbers 0 to 36 arranged haphazardly. Then around 1655, the French scientist and mathematician Blaise Pascal discovered the game during his monastic retreat.
Now, according to traditional history of roulette, Blaise Pascal was reported to have invented the roulette wheel. Perhaps, this is true. However, it seems rather implausible since the game had existed way before his time. It is likely though that Pascal merely modified the roulette wheel, giving it 38 numbers with two zeros instead of one. Then again, here comes another loophole in the history of roulette.
Historians have stated that the single-zero roulette wheel did not exist until 1842 when Frenchmen Francois and Louis Blanc invented it. According to a more fanciful version of the history of roulette, these two men were said to have sold their souls to the devil. This story on the history of roulette probably sprung from the fact that when you add all the numbers in the roulette wheel, you come up with the devil’s code: 666. However shrouded the history of roulette may be, the game eventually found itself in America.
At this point in the history of roulette, the single-zero wheel was widely used but then later on, the Americans began to adopt the double-zero system since this gives a far higher house edge. This act changed the history of roulette forever and to this day, the double-zero comes standard in all American wheels while the single-zero has become a symbol of the European origins of the game.
In the mid-19th century, gambling was outlawed in Germany as in several European states. This led the inventor of the single-zero machine, Louis Blanc to go to Monaco where he was invited as a guest of the royal family. According to the history of roulette, Prince Charles, then ruler of Monaco was looking for ways to alleviate the poverty in his country and saw the solution in gambling. Thus, the history of roulette was made within the boundaries of this tiny kingdom.
Roulette became an exclusive game played only in Monaco’s most famous and luxurious casino, Monte Carlo, until 1933. When gambling became once more legalized in many states, several casinos cropped up and one of their main attractions is the game of roulette.