Roulette is a game that is one of the popular attractions in casinos and game houses. The term actually came from the French word for “small wheel.” While many believe that the roulette wheel was invented by the 17th century French mathematician, Blaise Pascal, others state that it originated from Asia.
Some historians have found that the game actually came from China. When Dominican monks came to this part of the world to trade, they brought roulette back to Europe with them.
During the 18th century, Prince Charles of Monaco introduced gambling to his subjects as a way to remedy the fiscal crisis that his country was facing. Thus, along with other games, the roulette wheel was popularized.
Later on, after several decades, the roulette wheel underwent several modifications. In 1842, the Frenchmen Francois and Louis Blanc came up with the single “0” game, which became the precursor of the modern roulette wheel. However, in the 1800s, when the game was brought to the Americas during the California Gold Rush, the roulette wheel was returned to its original “00”.
Types of Roulette
There are two general types of roulette – American roulette wheel and the European roulette wheel.
The American roulette wheel has 38 numbers, including 0, 00, and 1 to 36. Because of the presence of two zeros (0, 00) in American roulette, the gambling house gets a 5.26% advantage. For instance, if you bet $100, the house will profit $5.26.
The European version of the wheel contains only 37 numbers, including 0 and 1 to 36. Thus with only one zero (0), the house gets an advantage of 2.70%. This means that every time you bet $100, the house will gain $2.70.
A significant different between these two roulette games is the color of the gambling chips used. While American roulette uses colored chips so players can distinguish the difference between his chips/bets from that of other players, the European version of the game use the same color for all their chips. For this reason, European roulette gamers must rely on their memory to know which of those chips on the table are theirs.
In addition, croupiers in European roulette use a long stick, called the Rake, to sweep the chips off the table. In the American version of the game however, the dealers use their hands and arms when sweeping in all the chips.
Moreover, European roulette is markedly different from that of its American cousin due to the fact that if the ball lands on the zero (0), the player has the choice to go for the en prison rule where he can choose to give up half of his wagers or to leave them be for the next game.