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Roulette History - THE GAME'S ORIGINS

Roulette is an instantly recognizable symbol for gambling in this world. It is also often Roulette History synonymous with opulence, due to the image that is created about those who have played this game in motion pictures and on television. There is plenty of roulette "lore," and while some of it is myth, much of it is true.

So just how did the game begin, and how did it evolve into the pastime we know it as today? Let's take a look and explore it.

According to some historical accounts, there was an amusement game played back in the days of the Roman Empire, where chariot wheels were actually spun, and the spokes were given numerical values. Chinese and Koreans may have also played games that closely resemble what we know to be roulette today,

Like a lot of other games that can be played in a casino, roulette may have had its origins in any number of different places.

The actual name of "roulette" is a translation of the French term for "little wheel," although there was a board game by that same name previously. It is said that roulette is a hybrid of a number of games. Two of those games from which roulette got its roots most prominently were called "E-O" and "Hoca." We'll take a quick look at them: :

  • E-O, an English game (where the E stands for Even and the O stands for odd), where there were 40 slots, each of them marked by either an "E" or an "O." On the circular table layout were two slots that were "bar" holes, in which any ball rolled on the table that landed into one of them gave the house all the wagers that were made on that round.

  • HOCA, an Italian game in which 40 cups were laid down on a table, three of which were marked by zeroes and the others marked by numbers. A ball is rolled and is followed until it rolled into one of the cups. If the ball rolled into one of the "zero" cups, the house kept all wagers. This is what constituted their "edge," and it was a big one.

Some gaming historians trace the actual invention of the roulette wheel itself to Blaise Pascal, the well-known French philosopher and one of the most influential mathematicians of all time, who was also a father of modern geometry (and known for "Pascal's Triangle"). In 1655, at the age of 32, the estimable Pascal, who was also quite an innovator in the physical sciences, sought to create a "perpetual motion device," and out of this research came the roulette wheel, which may not have had any purpose for eventually being used in a casino, but was used that way anyway. Years later, in the 1700's, the French came up with the name for the game.

So what made the game a commercial success? Well, two Frenchmen played key roles in the emergence of roulette as a pastime for the masses, and we're going to talk about them next.

European Roulette Vs American Roulette

Charles Wells

Joseph Jagger

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