The term “Roulette” is derived from a French word meaning small wheel. The origin of Roulette is not very clear. while some sources state that Blaise Pascal, a 17th Century French mathematician invented the roulette wheel, other sources state that the game originated in China and was brought to Europe by Dominican monks who were trading with the Chinese.
During the late 18th century the Roulette wheel became very popular when Prince Charles (ruler of Monaco at the time introduced gambling to Monacco as a way of alleviating the financial problems of the region.
However, the modern version of the Roulette wheel did not appear until 1842 when Frenchmen Francois and Louis Blanc invented the single “0” roulette game. The game was eventually brought to America in the early 1800s.
However, the single “0” modification was rejected in America and the two zeros “00” where returned to the Roulette wheel. The Roulette wheel gained a great deal of popularity in America during the California Gold Rush.
There are two types of Roulette Games.
American Roulette Wheel
The American Roulette Wheel contains 38 numbers including 0, 00 and 1 to 36. Having two zeros (0, 00) gives the house a 5.26% advantage. In other words, for every $100 a gambler bets, the house will make $5.26 in profit.
European Roulette Wheel
The European Roulette Wheel contains 37 numbers including 0 and 1 to 36. Having one zero (0) gives the house a 2.70% advantage. In other words, for every $100 a gambler bets, the house will make $2.70 in profit.
Other differences between the two Roulette Games
One major difference pertains to the color of the gambling chips. While American casinos will give the players different colored chips which will allow the players to differentiate their chips/bets from other players, the European casinos will give the players the same coloured chips. Thus unlike the players at American casinos, gamblers at European casinos need to rely on memory to distinguish their chips/bets from those of other players.
Another difference between the two games includes the fact that in European casinos, croupiers use a long stick known as the Rake to sweep in all chips, while the American casino dealers will use their hands and arms to sweep the chips off the table.
The last major difference between the two types of Roulette games is that if the ball lands on the zero (0) in a European casino, then the gambler is offered the option of utilising the en prison rule, whereby he may choose to either surrender one half of his/her outside wagers or to leave them for the next game.
After purchasing the chips from the dealer, the player places them on the desired positions on the table in an attempt to predict where the ball will land after the wheel is spun and the ball comes to a stop.
Once the chips are placed on the table and the bets are made, the dealer spins the Roulette wheel while spinning the ball in the opposite direction inside the Roulette wheel. Players are allowed to continue placng their bets during the spin until the dealer says “No more bets”.
When the wheel slows down and the ball drops into one of the numbered slots, the dealer places a marker on the winning number on the Roulette table. The players who bet on the winning number or color are rewarded while the players who bet on the losing number(s) lose their chips to the casino.
Today, Roulette continues to be one of the most popular classic casino games, especially in Europe. This is due to the fact that European Roulette has only one zero and as a result offers a more appealing house edge.