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History of Roulette

Roulette is one of the most popular games in the gambling industry, in land and online casinos alike. The name roulette’s literal translation is “little wheel” in French, hence it is easy to pinpoint its origins in the 18th century to Paris, France.

The legend of the origins of Roulette is one of massive popularity to this day. According do this legend, Francois Blanc had made a deal with the devil in exchange for the secrets of the Roulette machine. This is because the numbers from 0 to 36 add up to a total of 666 – the devil’s number. The story caused word to spread quickly across Europe of this mystifying new game. Was it an ominous tale just for the sake of it or a clever marketing tactic? You can be the judge of that.

The earliest records of roulette in its most primordial form predate back to the 17th century. Nonetheless, the first variation of roulette as we know it today, according to a French novel “La Roulette, ou le Jour”, was created in the late 18th century, and it included two numbers that gave advantage to the house; a zero and a double zero.


Taking place the other side of the globe, early American roulette variations also included a bald eagle as a third pocket in favor of the house – a rule that was dismissed not long thereafter. As the competition escalated along with the popularity of the game, European roulette tables accepted the norm of one zero per table. This was not the case in the USA, and you still find two zero roulette tables as the predominant choice among US casinos.

In the later part of the 20th century, Monte Carlo (Europe) and Las Vegas (USA) were the main casino hubs where you could experience Roulette play. As the century was nearing its end, casinos boomed in popularity, and starting with the 2000’s online casinos became to flourish. Today, all variations of roulette are available to players worldwide, but the differences between EU (one zero) and USA (two zeros) casinos are still present.

Roulette Variations

The 19th century was far from the age of information we are in today, so it was impossible to formulate a global standard of roulette play. Laws against gambling in certain countries, especially the US, lead to discrepancies and isolation of gambling, which is why we have multiple variations of roulette to this day.

French Roulette (37 numbers, half black, half red, one zero, La Partage)

The one that started it all. The main characteristic of French roulette is the La Partage rule. This rule means that even money bets that end up on a zero will return players half of their money back. This increases the odds in favor of the player by a small amount (1.32%).

Roulette types

European Roulette (37 numbers, half black, half red, one zero, En Prison)

European roulette is not all different to French roulette, and it is undoubtedly the most popular variation today. The French version has the La Partage rule for when the ball lands on zero, but the European version has the En Prison rule. This rule dictates that when a zero is hit, all even money bets are marked on the field they were originally in and “imprisoned” until the following turn.

If you win your original bet on your next turn, you will get your initial stake back, but nothing more than that. For example: You had $10 on Red and the ball landed on zero. Your $10 chip is now en prison, the ball lands on red on the next turn, you get your $10 back. If not, the stake is lost.

American Roulette (38 numbers, half black, half red, two zeros)

European and French roulette both have a single zero on their tables; American roulette remained unchanged from the original version and it has two zeros, hence the highest house edge and nothing to compensate for it. Nonetheless, American roulette is still very popular and available in casinos worldwide. If you are looking to maximize your odds, look towards other roulette variations during your gaming sessions.

Online Roulette

UK Online casinos became prosperous in line with the development of the Internet, starting with the 21st century. This was a time when roulette became accessible to players worldwide. Today, online casinos include most, if not all, variations of roulette, and some even offer customized versions such as Multi Wheel Roulette (up to 8 wheels) and Premier Roulette (more colors; green, yellow, blue).

Online roulette perfectly replicates the game in its physical shape. The game engine ensures randomness and is subject to regular audits that ensure its credibility. The only downside would be the isolation factor, which brings us to our next point…

Online Live Roulette

Thanks to advancements in technology, live roulette emerged as the most popular roulette variation today. Live roulette is also a perfect replica of regular variations, but it is streamed via cameras at live locations with professional dealers administrating the tables. This is all presented via a neat interface in online casinos, where multiple players can join in, place bets, and enjoy a more immersive experience. It’s the next best thing to actually attending a land casino.

Popular variations: Roulette, Multiplayer Roulette, Playboy Roulette

Roulette Software

Taking into consideration roulette’s popularity, all software providers in the industry haven taken to recreating this game and distributing it among online casinos. You will not find a difference in mechanics when it comes to choosing between providers, but some quality of life additions are present, such as statistics, hot and cold numbers, bet history and more. Some examples of the best roulette providers are Microgaming, NetEnt, Betsoft and Play ‘n Go.