Roulette history online
Roulette, perhaps, is the most mysterious of all casino games. It has always been surrounded by different myths and legends. Nobody knows exactly when and where the game was born. Soldiers in ancient Greece and Roman Empire played games using wheels or round shields while having rest between battles.
The roulette invention is ascribed to the French mathematician, writer and philosopher, Blaise Pascal. He invented the wheel in search for the perpetual motion machine in 1655. His machine failed, but the casino received the roulette wheel. Some think the French Dominican monks brought roulette to Europe to play in their monasteries at the end of 17th century.
But according to other evidences, by the 18th century there had been a number of games very similar to roulette. The two of them are Hoca in Italy and E – O (Even and Odd) in England.
To play Hoca they used a circular table with 40 cups. The ball pushed from the centre of the table moved around the table and stopped in one of the cups. Players bet on those cups. There were three cups marked 0 which belonged to the casino. Cardinal Mazarin, chief minister of France, built Hoca casinos in the 17th century in order to collect money for the royal treasury.
E – O was widespread in England in the same century. An EO table was circular, without exact dimensions. Around the perimeter there were places for the stakes with the letters E and O. In the interior part of the table there was a gallery for rolling the ball. The most interior part was moved with the help of handles, whereas the ball moved round the gallery. This gallery had 40 niches: 20 marked with the letter E, and the other 20 had with the letter O on them. The ball stopped in one of the niches thereby determining who won. There were two bar holes belonging to the house.
Never mind how the game appeared the fact is that roulette had become very popular all over Europe by the end of the 18th century. The Russian Empress, Catherine the Great put a number of roulette wheels in her palace. In Turkey Sultan Selim III had several wheels in his palace and one in his harem. Roulette of that time had 36 black and red numbers, 0 and 00. Players could make the following bets – straight-up, odd or even, black or red, dozens, columns, etc., which are similar to the modern roulette.
Somewhere in the middle of the 19th century Francois and Louis Blanc introduced the roulette wheel with a single 0 style in German to compete against other casinos which had traditional wheels with 0 and 00. They say, the Blanc brothers sold their soul to the Devil to get the idea of roulette. The reason to this is that: the sum of all numbers on the wheel is 666 that is the Devil’s number.
French settlers brought the roulette to New Orleans and expanded westward. Many saloons in America set up roulette tables and the game became very popular. Roulette wheel had an extra slot labeled with either a green 00 or an American Eagle. This additional slot almost doubled the casino edge. However, we can see an earlier reference to the game published in regulations for Québec in 1758. It ran that the games of “dice, hoca, faro, and roulette were banned.