Roulette history, rules and fun facts!

Roulette history

Roulette had quite an accidental beginning! In the 17th century, French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal accidentally invented the game while trying to develop a perpetual motion machine. The earliest report of Roulette being played was in 1796 and was known as the game of choice of some of the wealthiest individuals in France, which also included royalty.

The initial roulette wheel featured no zeroes but when the game was introduces later to casinos, a zero was included to make roulette a profitable game for casino owners. In Germany in 1834, the shift to casino roulette happened when French brothers Francois and Luis Blanc started a gambling operation. The operation was a successful one but the move would quickly come to a halt when gambling became illegal in Germany. During this period, plans for a massive casino in Monaco were being drawn up and one of the brothers was persuaded to head the new casino, which would later become the biggest casino in Europe and also the site of 2 of the most famous tales in the history of roulette.

In 1875, Englishman Joseph Jagger came to learn something quite mind blowing; the game of roulette wasn’t completely random. His hired team of clerks recorded various results at the wheel and results showed that a group of 9 numbers showed up more than they should. Joseph and his team would later use this information to earn £60,000, which is about $5 million.

However the growth of the game stunted due to the lack of playing opportunities as gambling in casinos was still not legal. But that didn’t stop the game from being featured as a popular art during the mid of the 1900s. Casablanca, an academy award winning movie, Roulette played a key role. The film revolved around a young couple who was able to flee from Bulgaria because of the money they won at a roulette wheel. It is also said that James Bond has played Roulette on many occasions. The popularity of the game rose in the 1970’s when the laws against gambling relaxed all over the world, giving players an opportunity to enjoy roulette as well as blackjack.

Roulette rules and guide for beginners (how does it work)

The Wheel

American Roulette consists of a wheel with 38 slots, each having its own number, ranging from 1 to 36, 00 and 0. The numbers are alternative: pairs of even numbers with pairs of odd numbers and also alternate between red and black. The 00 and 0 slots are green in color. A croupier or dealer spins the wheel and then rolls the small ball in the opposite direction. As the wheel begins to slow down, the ball drops into one of the slots.

The Table

It is designed in such a manner that the numbers apart from 00 and 0 are lined up into 3 columns with each column having 12 numbers. 1,2,3 is the first row; 4,5,6 is the second row and so on. The remaining part of the table is dedicated to the bets the game entails, which is divided into 2 categories- outside bets and inside bets. The number of bets that one can play has no limit.

Which kind of bets can you make in roulette?

Inside bets

This bet involves betting that 1 of 2 numbers that lie close to each other on the table will win and is done by placing the chip on the line which separates 2 numbers. The bet is won if the ball lands on any of the numbers and payoff is 17-1.

Straight bets

This bet involves betting that one specific number on the wheel will turn up and is done by placing a chip on the number on which individual wants to bet. Payoff is 35-1 if the number wins.

Street/ three number/ trio bet

This bet involves betting that any number in a specific row will win on the next spin and is done by placing a chip within the outside line of the particular row on which individual wants to bet. Payoff is 11-1 if any number in the row turns up.

Corner bet, Square bet, or Four-Number bet

This wagers that 1 of 4 numbers will come up on the next spin and is done by placing a chip on the center of the four numbers that are touching each other. The payoff is 8-1 if any of these numbers come up.

Five-Number bet

This is wagering that 3, 2, 1, 00 or 0 will turn up on the next spin. This bet is placed by placing a chip on the outside line which divides the 1 and 0. Payoff is 6-1 if one of these numbers comes up.
Six Line bet
This is wagering that 1 of 6 numbers in two adjacent rows will turn up and is done by placing a chip in between the 2 rows on the outside line. Payoff is 6-1 if ball lands on any number in the desired 2 rows.

Outside bets


Player is wagering that the next number to turn up will be black and if the bet is won, individual is paid 1-1 or even cash. Bet is placed by placing a chip on the box that is marked ‘black’


Player is wagering that the next number to turn up will be red and if the bet is won, individual is paid 1-1 or even cash. Bet is placed by placing a chip on the box that is marked ‘Red’


This is betting that the ball will end up landing on an even number and does not include 00 or 0. Bet is placed by placing a chip on the box that is marked ‘even’ and payoff is 1 to 1.


This is wagering that the ball will land on an odd number. The payoff is 1 to 1 if the next number to come up is odd. To play this bet, place a chip on the box marked “Odd”.

Low bet

This is a wager that the next number will be between 1 to 18 and is bet by placing a chip on the box that is marked ‘low’ and payout is 1-1.

High bet

This is a wager that the next number will be between 19 to 26 and is bet by placing a chip on the box that is marked ‘high’ and payout is 1-1.

Dozen bet

This bet divides the table into the numbers 25-36, 13,24 and 1-12 and is bet by placing a chip in 1 of the 3 boxes marked ‘3rd 12’, ‘2nd 12’ or ‘1st 12. Payoff is 2-1

Column bet

This wagers that a number in a specific column will turn up in the next turn. It is bet by placing a chip at the end of your column where “2 to 1” is marked. Payoff is 2-1 if won.

English Roulette

The main difference between American and English Roulette is that the English version has only a single 0 instead of 00 and 0.

Roulette in modern online casinos

Till the early 2000s, those who wanted to play single 0 roulette had to make a trip to Europe, just to enjoy the game. If a player was interested in playing the double 00 Roulette, he or she had to head to the United States. But that has definitely changed with introduction of the game on online casinos. Now it doesn’t matter where in the world players live, playing a game of Roulette is now at everyone’s finger tips. Roulette along with its variations made a seamless move into the online world and the popularity rose as technology improved the quality of the experience with some great lifelike animations and graphics featured in the game.

Live casinos online with a live roulette dealer that streams directly to player’s desktop where he or she is able to interact with other players as well as the croupier, has enhance the experience fourfold! Most recently, the innovation seen in roulette is that the game has made the move onto smartphones, meaning fans of the game can now enjoy the experience as they go about their day.
Where roulette will go next, only time will tell. However, one thing is certain- roulette is here to stay!

27 fun facts about roulette!

1. The name of the game is derived from ‘little wheel’ and is often known as the King of casino games due to its strong connection with Monte Carlo.
2. Roulette is also called the ‘devil’s game’ as all the numbers on the wheel when added gives the number 666.
3. Blaise Pascal- probabilities whizz, came up with the roulette table concept while trying to create a perpetual motion machine that would enhance the Pascaline; his calculator.
4. Roulette may have been inspired by the English game known as Roly Poly, which was popular in the 17th century. It featured a ball spinning around on a wheel. The ban of this game lead to Beau Nash coming up with a simpler version known as Even-Odd or EO.
5. The popularity of gambling rose in the 19th century after the Blanc brothers made Monte Carlo the casino capital of the world. It was rumored that the successful Francois Blanc exchanged his soul to the devil for secrets to roulette.
6. In 2012, the concept of probability went for quite a toss. A wheel at Vegas’s Rio Casino hit the number 19, 7 times in a row. The probability of that happening is 3 billion: 1, which is quite extraordinary. However it isn’t clear whether this miracle was due to a seating issue.
7. Another version of Roulette known as California Roulette uses cards instead of slots to pick winning numbers. This variation was designed to get around the law that states that gambling was illegal.
8. Roulette may seem male dominated but facts state that 46% of online roulette players are actually female which makes it an equal opportunities game.
9. Though roulette players have found various illegal methods to beat the casino, Francis Farrugia was the king of con. He would use the ‘top hatting’ late bet way to win millions during the course of 20 years before finally ending up caught.
10. In 2004, Ashley Revell from the United Kingdom did something many might call crazy! He bet his entire life’s savings- 135,300 US dollars on red and to his stunned relief, he walked away with doublethe amount: 270,000 US dollars!
11. While Revell might have won the biggest on a single spin, Philip Green from the UK is known for a night of unbelievable winnings. He managed to take home more than £2 million at a London casino,at the roulette table.
12. Though many Roulette players claim that they have a winning method, the truth is that there is absolutely no way to legally beat the casino and win the game. But what many do not know is that the best wager is the simplest- bet black or red.
13. 2007 was quite an important year for roulette. This year gave UK residents a chance to play live roulette on their TV screens. Numerous casinos now broadcast the game on special channels including Freeview, SKY and Freesat, allowing viewers to wager on the action from the comfort of their homes.
14. Unlike most popular casino games, consuming food or beverages while playing the game is considered to be in bad taste.
15. Roulette is the only casino game where it is considered mandatory to tip the croupier.
16. The earliest reference to the game comes from La Roulette, ou le Jour- a 1976 novelby Jaques Lablee.
17. The popular Martingale strategy that requires the gambler to double their bet every time they do not win and to continue wagering on a 50/50 outcome such as even or black is mathematically proven to lose enormous amounts of money play roulette.
18. 2.7% is the house edge of European roulette. An usually the house edge of the game is somewhere between 3.5% of let it ride and 2.3% of 3 card poker.
19. Though 17 is the most commonly played number on the wheel, the reason for it is probably known by most James Bond fans! It is believed to be his favorite number and the one he usually plays. Also 17 is the number that is centrally located on the table. Another popular number among players is 22 which is famously associated with a scene that pops up in films Lost in America and Indecent proposal.
20. If a player wants to sound knowledgeable while playing the game, one has to be familiar with at least a couple of the basic terms used by professionals. The little walls that separate numbers on the wheel are known as a fret which is similar to that on a guitar. Dolly is the name of the tiny plastic thing that the dealer has in his hand while marking the number when the ball stops. Using the correct terms can make an amateur player seem like a true professional during the next visit to the casino.
21. Unbalanced wheels do not always spell bad news! Yes it is true that the game is entirely dependent on physics and anything that alters this, makes the ball move and land on certain sections more than others, which reduces a player’s chance of winning. But spotting an unbalanced wheel can also work to your advantage as it will land on certain numbers more than others. Knowing those certain numbers can help you walk away with an enormous amount of money and prizes.
22. Europe loves the game! In gambling areas such as the one sin the far east and other in the US, it is not uncommon to see very little attention being paid to roulette in a casino. However, in Europe and the United Kingdom, roulette is one of the most popular table games since the 1800’s. In fact, roulette us so popular that is a common site in casinos in Italy or France to find that here aren’t any slots and only a few blackjack tables that is accompanied by no more than fifteen roulette wheels.
23. Is it possible to identify an unbalanced wheel? In history and in present times, there have been several instances where individuals or groups have managed to come up with various ways to indentify unbalanced or defective roulette wheels in order to cheat the casino and win. A famous case is that of Cahrles Devile Wells. He managed to win twenty three spins in a row in a Monte Carlo casino and in the process broke the establishment.
24. Technology cannot always come to the rescue today as getting away with same strategies is simply impossible. Quite recently an incredibly gutsy group tried their best to crack the Ritz Club Casino by employing modern laser scanner technology which can be attached to computers and mobile phones, in order to find a possible imbalance or defect of the roulette wheel. However they did manage to find the defect and won £1 million in the process. But alas! The night didn’t end as planned as they were caught red-handed and had to pay a very heavy price!
25. This game is comparatively easy to win! Logically speaking, roulette is definitely not as easy game to win. However, when roulette is compared to every other game in a normal casino, it is technically easier to take home the prize money playing roulette than any other casino game. The reason for this is that a player has a close to 50% chance of winning, depending on the way the player bets. A player has a choice of eleven different ways of placing a bet and depending on which way the player goes, one can increase the odds of winning to 1.111 to 1. So statistically speaking, one is more likely to win at roulette than while playing most other casino games.
26. The 18th century the game of roulette saw a makeover! Elements of other games such as Even -Odd, Hoca, Ace of hearts, Roly Polym Biribi etc was introduced. The game of roulette then became quite famous in France as well as other European countries.
27. It is crucial to have secure seat! If a wheel isn’t seated properly, it can cause the ball to land on certain areas of the wheel more than other section. Thus reducing the probability of winning a bet. A player can easily detect a poorly set wheel by observing the way light bounces off the wheel. And if player detects a poorly seated wheel, it is wise to switch the table permanently.