Roulette History

A look at roulette history discovering where the concept of the game began and how it became the roulette game we see in the casinos today.

Journey to the Beginning

Trying to find out exactly where and when Roulette came into being is a hard and confusing journey. The origins of the game have been credited to many different eras of time. Additionally, there is speculation surrounding the origin country. This makes roulette a game of chance as well as a game of mystery.

Roulette History by Country

Countries including France, Italy and China are all rumored to be the countries of conception. This depends on what you read or who you listen to. Taking credit for this popular casino game is as vast as the number of big winners who have been recorded throughout history all over the world. This mystery has helped make this a hugely popular and at times misunderstood game. No matter where it originated from or who developed the game it’s extremely popular in most casinos. This holds true both online as well as brick and mortar casinos in your favorite city.

One country that can stand up and be counted as the country to popularize the game might surprise you. It is our croissant eating, wine drinking French neighbors. But the credit for the “name” goes out to their close by neighbor “Italy”.

History of Roulette in Rome

The ancient Romans developed many games that included a “spinning wheel”. Some of these games even included their chariots from the chariot races.

This was used when it came time to divide the goods that were confiscated after a battle. Although it is speculation, they would spin the wheels of their chariots to determine the outcome and who was awarded what.

roulette history image

Rumors of China

China is another country that tries to take the credit for this game of wheel spinning numerological chance. Rumored to have been created in China and brought to the European countries through trade. The Chinese version of Roulette didn’t have numbers but had “animal” symbols on the wheel. These stood on a foundation that bore the numbers 666. Later in years it’s rumored that the Dominican Monks changed the animal symbols to number symbols. Hence giving us the Roulette wheel of today.

Here is a little tidbit of information not thought of by many, but the reason why the Chinese had their Roulette wheel based on a stone that was labeled with the numbers 666 is because when you add up the numbers on the wheel 0 – 36 the total is, guess what? 666!

Roulette History Enters America

Somewhere around the 1800’s America saw its first Roulette wheel and the game grew in popularity until what you see today. Now there is a Roulette wheel in every casino you walk into, more than one at most casinos and a table full of players standing around each and every table with a look of anticipation on their faces in hopes of that little white ball landing on the number or numbers of their choice.

Blaise Pascal

Back in the 17th century a French mathematician named “Blaise Pascal” who had a love of physics developed a roulette wheel while trying to create a machine of motion. Besides being a great inventor Pascal also was a lover of games of chance and would love to visit a place such as Vegas. It wasn’t until the 1800’s when the number “0” was added to the Roulette Wheel, which was done to give the house [casino] an edge over the players while at the same time the popularity of the game had grown enormously.

00 Added

During those early years when Roulette first came to America they looked at increasing the house edge. Casino operators added another number to the wheel, “00” to give the house an even bigger edge over the players. This number addition doesn’t make that much of a difference in the outcome of the game, or odds on winning for a single player, but, it does give the casino a little push of odds to its side, otherwise the game could end up costing casinos around America millions of dollars in player winnings because of its popularity and easiness of winning.

To this day, you can find 00 wheel roulette which is known as American roulette with many casinos also having the European variations with only a single 0 wheel.

Largest Winner in the 1800’s

In 1873 the biggest winner at that time on this game of chance walked away with over $325,000. Considering for that era in time, it was like walking away a millionaire today.

Obviously the news of such a big win helped with popularity everywhere the game was played.

The Game of Roulette Today

Today’s game of Roulette took hundreds and hundreds of years to perfect. With the origins being rumored from one point in the world to another, making it impossible to ever really know who actually made the first wheel or why.

The mystery of this popular game may never be known which enables the possibility of more stories and myths of mysticism and adventure, just like the wheel itself. Moving on from the past to the present, it’s obvious to see how much the game itself has evolved and matured. Now it’s common at most online casinos to see different versions and variations of the game. The three most common are American Roulette, European Roulette and French Roulette.


We find it interesting that there are a few schools of thought on the history of roulette. Whether you think the origins are from Italy or China, the game itself can really be fun to play.

Always remember to play the game for fun and entertainment. It’s great if you can win a few dollars when you play as that certainly makes the game more entertaining. Play responsibly.


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