History of Roulette

The game of chance, the seductress of casinos worldwide, the spin wheel of wins and losses, the game known as Roulette. The popular table game, known as Roulette, has been played across the globe since the 17th century and many believe it started in France as its name is of French origin. The world Roulette actually means ‘Little Wheel’ in French.  

While the game is currently slowly losing its popularity in America it has started gaining a lot of followers in Europe as well as in the online casino world. No matter what, there is no end to the popularity of this game of chance. The history of this exciting game is one of the reasons why many are so intrigued by it.  

According to history, the Roulette Wheel was invented by a Frenchman called Blaise Pascal, but it was never intended for gambling purposes. In fact, the wheel was invented as part of Pascal’s search for a perpetual motion machine. On the other hand, there are those who believe the ancient Romans, ancient Greeks and Chinese were spinning the wheel long before Blaise Pascal tried to create this motion machine.

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Despite all this, Roulette owes its rich history and longevity to two Frenchman. In 1843 Roulette hit the jackpot, so to speak; when Francois & Louis Blanc introduced Roulette to the Germans (gambling was still illegal in France). But that’s not all they did, the ancient Roulette game had a 00 slot (the American Roulette version still has this) What Francois & Louis did was remove it, thus creating European Roulette. 

Having only one zero slot lowered the house edge to 2.70%. With a double zero slot the house edge sits at an average of 5.26%. The lower odds and higher return-to-player percentages meant a spike in popularity. Eventually, the single zero version replaced all of the double zero variations across Europe. Even France relaxed their stance on casinos and finally, Francois & Louis Blanc were allowed back in their home country where they showcased their version of Roulette to the King and French Roulette was born.

Types of Roulette Available

Today you will find a great range of variations of the popular Roulette game in both land-based and online casinos. It was in 1994 that Microgaming created the first online casino and today people are playing in a variety of different online casinos on a great variety of roulette variants. Roulette has been around for centuries and instead of losing popularity, it has become even more popular among players.  

You get a great range of different roulette variants with three main variants found in the majority of online casinos. They are European Roulette, French Roulette and American Roulette.

American Roulette

As mentioned above American Roulette has that extra green double zero slot. This might not seem like much but it raises the house edge significantly, to 5.26%. American Roulette is also typically played in America. The order of the numbers on the wheel is different to the European & French versions.

European Roulette

This version is commonly used to describe roulette played outside of America. It has a different layout number wise and also lacks the extra double zero slot. This lowers the house edge, making it a much more popular choice for punters worldwide.

Different Bets for Roulette

With the different layouts and the double zero slot on the American Roulette table there are ‘extra bets’ or a difference in available bets between the two versions.
In American Roulette you can place a ‘five-number bet’ – this covers the zero, double zero, and the numbers 1, 2, 3. Another ‘extra bet’ is obviously a bet on the double zero slot.
In European Roulette there are additional bets – ‘called bets’ or ‘racetrack bets’. These bets cover a specific section of the wheel or groups of numbers.

French Roulette

This version is almost identical to European Roulette. There’s no double zero slot and all bets are the same. The board is a little different but it doesn’t change the way that the game is played. The reason we’ve added this in is that there are two extra rules worth noting and keeping in mind. The “La Partage” and “en Prison” rules. These can be used in the European version, but more often than not they are just in the French version. 

  • La Partage: If a player has made an even-money bet and the zero comes up. They receive half of their stake back. 
  • En Prison: Instead of receiving half of the stake back, in these circumstances a player can leave their bet on the table for the following spin. If that spin wins the player gets their full stake back – but NO winnings. If they lost, the whole stake is lost. 

In the world of online casinos, you will come across a broad range of roulette tables and different variants, but they are all based on these three main types. 

Here are some of the more recent and popular variants:  

  • New AR Roulette 
  • Pinball Roulette 
  • 3D Roulette 
  • Age of Gods Roulette 
  • Mini Roulette 
  • Video Roulette  
  • 3 Wheel Roulette  
  • Monopoly Hot Properties Roulette 
  • Double Ball Roulette 
  • Roulette Advanced 

Not to mention the Live Roulette tables available. Covering the basic three types of Roulette and then some of the above-mentioned variations as well. Live Roulette itself can be played anywhere. Some tables are purely for online casinos, other more advanced and well-known online casinos can actually link you to a table at a brick and mortar casino, virtually you will be standing next to real people who are betting on the same table as you. 

There are literally too many to list and each reputable casino site should have seven or more different variants of Roulette and a large collection of Live Roulette tables. Check the rules before you start and if you are a beginner it helps if you know the differences and rules of those three main versions of Roulette.

How to play Roulette 

Roulette has become popular because it is quite easy to understand and play. The objective is simply to place your bets on the table. You can bet on single numbers, groupings of number, Red/Black, Odds/Evens, Highs (19-36) or Lows (1-18).  

Once you’ve made your bets you can spin the wheel and the ball will roll in the wheel. The number/colour it lands on will determine the outcome and make you the winner/loser of the game rounds. It’s quick, simple and a lot of fun.  

Depending on the game variants and the additional bet options such as the La Partage and En Prison Rules in French Roulette some things might be different. Always just do a quick read of the rules and basic gameplay terms before starting your gameplay. In most cases, the game will run the same way.  

Like the basic rules, you will find there are some basic bet options available in most roulette variants. 

The bet combinations are numerous as you can imagine, for ease they are divided into inside bets and outside bets: 

Inside Bets: 

  • Straight Up: a bet on a single number 
  • Split: a bet on two neighbouring numbers 
  • Street: a bet on three neighbouring numbers 
  • Six Line: a bet that allows the player to make 2 x street bets 
  • Corner: a bet on four neighbouring numbers. 
  • Outside Bets: Dozens: players can bet on the outcome falling between 1-12; 13-24 & 25-36 
  • Colours: a bet on either red or black 
  • Odd or Even: a bet on odds or evens numbers 
  • High & Low: a bet on either the high range (19-36) or low range (1-18) 
  • Columns: a bet placed on the entire column of numbers 

Best Roulette Software Providers 

As a customer of online casinos, you should have basic knowledge of the who’s who in software providers: 

  • RealTime Gaming has a mid-large range of games available with a growing number of mobile games. 
  • Playtech works with some of the big names in online casinos such as William Hill, Bet 365 and Sky. 
  • Microgaming is also considered one of the best, if not THE best in the industry. 
  • NetEnt partners with some big names such as Betway, 888, 777 and LeoVegas. 
  • IGT (International Gaming Technology) these guys have been around since the ’70s. 

Conclusion of Online Roulette 

Roulette is one of the oldest casino games in the world that can be found in nearly every online and land-based casino. While the popularity of this game might seem to fade in some regions it will never quite disappear. Roulette like Blackjack continues to thrive in land-based and online casinos as it has for over centuries.  

And with the rise of live dealer casinos and more technological advancements, there’s no chance that roulette will completely ever become unwanted or unplayable.  

Roulette is often referred to as a seductive or mesmerizing game and even features in several Hollywood classics such as Casablanca, Casino, 13, Diamonds Are Forever, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Indecent Proposal to name some as well as Voodoo Dreams roulette. Watching that wheel and ball spin, waiting with bated breath until the ball stops moving. It’s old school gambling at its finest, gone are the glitz and glamour of the neon slot lights. Roulette can take you all the way back through the history of casinos with merely a ball and a wheel. 

For the best and top-rated Roulette variants from licensed software providers take a look at the Handpicked Casinos list of recommended Roulette variants.