The History Of Roulette
Talk to any casino pit boss and they'll tell you the secret to winning at games of chance is understanding math. If you get the odds - if you understand the house edge and which bets are better than others - you can come out on top.
There's no casino game that's not based on probability. The house wants to know that they're more likely to win than the people playing the games.
That includes roulette. But probability goes way beyond just house edges. Without probability, the game never would have been invented.
Back in 1655, a French inventor, physicist, and mathematician named Blaise Pascal was working on a perpetual motion machine. If you forgot your Science-to-English dictionary, it's basically a machine that would continue to run without having to draw any outside energy. If you've studied physics, you know that's not possible. But Pascal was pretty tenacious and curious. He didn't succeed at building a perpetual motion machine, but he succeeded at inventing one of the greatest casino games of all time.
According to several pieces of literature, roulette was played in Paris in 1796. Early roulette wheels had both a single zero and a double zero. But in 1843, two Frenchmen created a single zero roulette wheel to help casinos attract business (a lower house edge is always great for business).
Roulette arrives in America
By the late 1700s, New Orleans becomes the gambling capital in the US. And thanks to French immigrants, roulette quickly became one of the most popular games in Louisiana. Early roulette tables in the US were a bit different than what you see today. Instead of 38 numbers including 1 through 36, 0, and 00, the roulette wheel has 28 numbers, two zeros, and a symbol of an American Eagle. The last symbol gave the house an extra edge. How big? A ridiculous 12.9%. Casino players weren't thrilled, so the American Eagle was quickly nixed.
But because US casinos wanted the extra edge, they opted for two zeros on the roulette wheel instead of the standard single zero used at European roulette casinos. The extra zero gives the house a bigger advantage, which is why many casino players prefer the Euro version to the American one.
Roulette goes online
In 1996, the first online casino hit the Internet. The available games were limited to a handful of slot machines and a couple of blackjack tables. It took a few years for roulette to follow, but once people discovered how thrilling betting on red could be from the comforts on home, playing roulette would never be the same.
No longer would players be forced to play just one type of roulette. The top Internet casinos offer the American, French, and European varieties, so you can literally feel like you're playing in a casino in any part of the world that appeals to you.
We've come a long way from a physicist trying to invent a perpetual motion machine. Today, roulette players can place bets from iPhones, iPads, Mac, PCs, or pretty much any other device they own.
But there are a lot of roulette players who still crave the type of human interaction that you just can't get from ordinary online casinos. That's why a lot of Internet gambling sites have evolved to include live dealers. Instead of computer-generated graphics for the wheel, a live dealer spins an actual wheel via a webcam. This isn't some live dealer in a dark warehouse. The top online roulette sites use real dealers based in actual casinos. It's the closest thing to being in a real casino.
Find the top places to play roulette
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