Roulette History

Roulette History
Roulette History

Your appreciation of the intricacies of Roulette can be enhanced by understanding the game's rich Roulette history. The layout and wheel at a Roulette table have evolved significantly since the origins of the game in the 18th century. This evolution has also encompassed the rules and etiquette featured at the typical Roulette table. The term Roulette covers dozens of takes on the same game that have emerged due to geographical differences. We can start our journey back into the history of Roulette in the 18th century arcades of Paris.

The name Roulette came from a French slang term for little wheel that was applied to multiple table games. The French had been experimenting with a game similar to Roulette since the 17th century. The book La Roulette, ou le Jour written by Jaques Lablee in 1801 is cited by historians as the earliest mention of the game of Roulette. Lablee detailed a table game centered on a wheel with two zero spaces where players bet on the number where a small ball would settle. Later authors and gaming experts have found that Roulette was a combination of English, French and Italian games of the time.

The French were responsible for spreading the game of Roulette throughout Europe and North America. The French settlement at modern-day Quebec City strictly forbade gambling including the game of Roulette as it became incorporated into the British Empire. French gamblers Francois and Louis Blanc took a single-zero version of Roulette to Hmburg, Germany in 1843. This version was designed by the Blancs to offer an alternative to the more difficult two-zero version. French traders and merchants also brought Roulette to New Orleans in the early 19th century. The French also brought single-zero Roulette to Monte Carlo in the mid-19th century after gambling prohibitions by central European governments.

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Roulette History
Roulette History

The introduction of Roulette into the United States saw the development of a new version of the game. Roulette spread north from New Orleans thanks to settlements along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast. The gamblers and businessmen who spread Roulette in America maintained the original double-zero wheel dating back to 1796. This wheel has come to be known as the American Roulette wheel and the single-zero wheel from Monte Carlo is now synonymous with European Roulette. American Roulette operators experimented with fewer numbers, three house spaces and other features to increase the house advantage.

Roulette in the 20th century got off to an inauspicious start thanks to restrictions on gambling in the Western Hemisphere. The Progressive Era in the United States sought to rid the country of morally questionable activities like gambling. A few gaming outposts remained in Europe with Monte Carlo leading the way for continental players. This short-term loss for Roulette operators and players would subside by midcentury. Las Vegas legalized gambling in 1931 to increase revenues during the Great Depression and opened the flood gates for casino owners. Atlantic City followed suit in the 1970s and 1980s with dozens of casinos. These casino destinations thrived thanks to the ongoing popularity of Roulette.

The recent history of Roulette has involved the conversion of this table game into an online game available to players worldwide. The creation of the first online casino in 1994 brought Roulette into the Internet age. Online casinos have flourished in the past two decades due to virtual versions of American, European and French Roulette. These Roulette games are fast paced and lucrative for players at all experience levels worldwide. Roulette in the 21st century will forge a new path with 3D visuals, more intuitive user controls and online games that can be played using mobile phones.