Discovering History: When Was Roulette Invented?

when was roulette invented

Roulette is one of the most popular casino games in the world. Its origins, however, remain shrouded in mystery. In this section, we will explore the fascinating history of roulette and answer the question that has been on every player’s mind: When was roulette invented?

From the earliest forms of gambling to the present day, roulette has evolved and adapted to different cultural contexts. Understanding the history of roulette can give us insights into the game’s enduring appeal and its continued popularity among players worldwide.

We will delve into the early origins of roulette and the gambling practices that may have influenced its creation. We will also uncover the birth of modern roulette and the individuals who played a significant role in inventing and popularizing this iconic casino game.

Finally, we will examine the evolution of roulette over the centuries and its global spread beyond its European and American origins. From the introduction of roulette in America to the modern variations of the game found in casinos and online, the history of roulette is a testament to its timeless appeal and enduring popularity.

The Early Origins of Roulette

In the world of casinos, roulette stands out as a timeless classic. But have you ever wondered where it all began? The origin of roulette can be traced back to several early games of chance that originated in Europe and China.

While the exact history of roulette remains somewhat shrouded in mystery, many historians believe that it was first played in 18th-century France. At this time, the game was known as “French roulette” and was almost identical to the version played today, with a wheel featuring numbered pockets and a betting layout.

However, there are indications that the early roots of roulette may stretch back even further. For instance, some historians have speculated that the game may have been inspired by ancient Chinese board games that used a spinning wheel and numbered tiles.

Others point to the Italian game of Hoca, which was popular in the 17th century and involved players betting on the outcome of the spin of a wheel. Some elements of Hoca, such as the use of a ball and a spinning wheel, bear a striking resemblance to modern roulette.

Despite the many potential influences on the game, it is clear that roulette has a rich and complex history. From its earliest origins to its modern-day variations, this iconic casino game has continued to captivate players for centuries.

“The origin of roulette can be traced back to several early games of chance that originated in Europe and China.”

The Birth of Modern Roulette

Although the origins of roulette trace back to an earlier time, it was in the 17th century that the modern version of the game was first introduced. The credit for inventing the modern roulette wheel and its layout is usually given to French mathematician and inventor, Blaise Pascal, who was working on creating a perpetual motion machine at the time.

However, it was not until the mid-19th century that roulette gained widespread popularity. Francois and Louis Blanc, two French brothers, made a significant contribution to the development of roulette by introducing a single-zero roulette wheel in their casino in Bad Homburg, Germany. This change gave players better odds and increased the appeal of the game, making it a hit across Europe.

“The Blanc brothers made a significant contribution to the development of roulette by introducing a single-zero roulette wheel in their casino in Bad Homburg, Germany.”

The game’s popularity spread quickly, and it was soon a favorite among high rollers and aristocrats in casinos across Europe. In fact, the game became so popular that it was soon referred to as the “King of Casino Games.”

As the game continued to evolve, it underwent several changes in the layout and the rules. Eventually, the double-zero roulette wheel was introduced in America, which gave the house a higher edge, and thus, the game’s popularity waned in Europe. However, it continued to thrive in America and became known as American roulette.

Despite its evolution over time, one thing has remained constant: the game’s allure. Roulette has captured the hearts of players for centuries, and its inventor, whether it was Pascal or someone else, deserves credit for creating one of the most iconic and beloved casino games of all time.

Roulette Through the Centuries

Roulette has come a long way since its early days in 18th century France. Over the centuries, the game has undergone various transformations and adaptations, expanding its reach and cementing its place as a casino classic. The roulette timeline is a rich and complex tapestry, punctuated by significant milestones and innovations that have shaped the game into what we know today.

The 19th Century: European Dominance

Throughout the 19th century, roulette spread across Europe, taking hold in countries like Germany, Austria, and Russia. French immigrants brought the game to New Orleans, where it quickly gained popularity in America. By this time, roulette had evolved to include a double zero pocket, which increased the house edge and made it a more profitable game for casinos.

The 20th Century: American Adaptations

In the early 1900s, American casinos began to introduce their own versions of roulette, which included new rules and features. The most notable of these was the addition of a third zero pocket, commonly referred to as the “triple zero” or “Sands” roulette. This variant was so unpopular that it was largely phased out within a few decades.

As the century progressed, roulette continued to evolve and adapt to changing cultural preferences and technological advancements. The introduction of online gambling in the 1990s marked a new chapter in the game’s history, allowing players to access roulette from the comfort of their own homes.

The 21st Century: Modern Variations

Today, there are countless variations of roulette available to players, both online and offline. These include multi-wheel roulette, which allows players to bet on multiple wheels at once, and themed versions inspired by popular movies and TV shows. Live dealer roulette has also emerged as a popular option, allowing players to experience the thrill of a real casino from their computer or mobile device.

The Evolution of Roulette: A Visual Timeline

Year Event
1655 Blaise Pascal invents a primitive form of roulette
Late 1700s Early versions of roulette appear in France
Early 1800s Roulette spreads across Europe
1860s Double zero pocket added to roulette
Early 1900s American casinos introduce their own versions of roulette, including “triple zero” roulette
1990s Online gambling becomes popular, allowing players to access roulette from home
2000s Modern variations of roulette emerge, including multi-wheel roulette and themed versions

evolution of roulette

As you can see from the timeline and the evolution of roulette, the game has undergone significant changes throughout its history. These changes have helped to keep the game fresh and exciting, while also preserving its timeless appeal. No matter what the future holds, there is no doubt that roulette will continue to captivate players for generations to come.

The Arrival of Roulette in America

Roulette made its way to America during the 19th century, where it quickly became a popular addition to the bustling casino scene. However, American roulette has a few key differences from its European counterpart.

Firstly, American roulette features an additional green pocket marked with a double zero (00), in addition to the standard single zero (0) pocket. This addition gives the house a higher edge, making it a slightly more challenging game for players to win.

Secondly, the layout of the table is different, with a unique set of betting options available to players. The inside bets are the same as in European roulette, but the outside bets are arranged differently, with some additional options available.

Inside Bets Outside Bets
Straight Red or Black
Split Odd or Even
Street 1-18 or 19-36
Corner Dozen Bets
Five Number Column Bets

Despite these differences, American roulette gained immense popularity among players, with many casinos offering both European and American versions of the game. Today, American roulette remains a beloved casino classic, with exciting variations available both in land-based casinos and online.

American Roulette Table

Roulette’s Global Spread

In the previous sections, we have explored the captivating history of roulette, from its early origins to its arrival in America and various adaptations over the centuries. In this section, we will delve into the global spread of roulette and how it became a beloved casino game worldwide.

Roulette’s popularity started to spread beyond its European and American origins during the 19th century, thanks to global commerce and the establishment of casinos in various parts of the world. It became a symbol of sophistication and elegance, attracting a diverse crowd of players, including celebrities, aristocrats, and business tycoons.

The international adoption of roulette led to various regional adaptations, with unique features and rules that reflected the cultural contexts where the game was played. For example, in Macau, the game combines elements of Chinese gambling traditions with Western-style layout and betting options, while in Japan, the roulette wheel spins counterclockwise and the game features special bets that pay homage to Japanese culture.

Today, roulette is a staple of casinos worldwide, with variations that cater to diverse player preferences. Online roulette has made the game even more accessible, with players around the world able to enjoy the game from the comfort of their homes.

The spread of roulette has also contributed to the growth of the casino industry, creating jobs and generating revenue for local economies. For example, in 2019, the Asia-Pacific region accounted for over 30% of global casino gaming revenue, with Macau alone generating over $36 billion in revenue.

“Roulette has a timeless appeal that transcends borders and cultures, making it a truly global game.”

Modern Roulette Variations

While traditional roulette remains a beloved classic, modern variations of the game have emerged to offer players even more excitement and diversity. Let’s explore some of the different types of roulette available today.

Online Roulette

Online roulette has become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing players to enjoy the game from the comfort of their homes. These virtual versions of the game offer various styles and themes, including European, American, and French roulette.

One exciting aspect of online roulette is the inclusion of live dealer games, where players can interact with a human croupier and watch the game unfold in real-time through high-quality video streaming. This immerses players in the game and creates an authentic casino experience from anywhere in the world.

Themed Roulette

Casinos around the world have begun offering themed versions of roulette to attract a wider audience. These variations include everything from Marvel superhero themes to holiday-themed versions of the game.

Themed roulette not only adds an extra layer of fun to the game but also incorporates unique features and bonuses to increase the chances of winning. For example, the Marvel roulette version has a bonus round where players can win a progressive jackpot by spinning a special Marvel-themed wheel.

Multi-Ball Roulette

Multi-ball roulette is a variation that allows players to bet on multiple balls in the same round, increasing their chances of winning. Typically, three balls are used in each round, and players can place their bets on any combination of the three.

This variation also adds an additional element of strategy as players must consider the probabilities of each ball landing on various numbers.

Mini Roulette

Mini roulette is a scaled-down version of the game that features only 13 pockets instead of the traditional 37 or 38. This variation is popular among beginners or those who prefer a faster-paced game with simpler rules.

However, it’s important to note that the smaller number of pockets results in higher odds for the house, making it more challenging to win big.

Regardless of the type of roulette variation you choose to play, the game’s timeless appeal remains unchanged. Whether you prefer traditional or modern versions of the game, roulette’s exciting gameplay and potential for big wins make it a favorite among casino-goers around the world.

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In conclusion, the history of roulette is expansive and rich with a variety of cultural influences. From its early beginnings in Europe, to its introduction in America, and its eventual global spread, roulette has consistently maintained its popularity throughout the centuries.

As the game evolved, so did the variations of roulette. Players can now enjoy themed versions of the game in land-based casinos or choose to play online roulette from the comfort of their home.

Despite the various changes, one thing remains constant; roulette’s timeless appeal continues to attract players from all over the world. Its enduring popularity is a testament to the game’s unique blend of skill, luck, and the thrill of the unknown.


When was roulette invented?

Roulette was invented in the 17th century by French physicist and mathematician Blaise Pascal.

What are the early origins of roulette?

The early origins of roulette can be traced back to various games and gambling practices in Europe and China, such as the Italian game Biribi and the Chinese game of Baige Piao.

Who invented roulette?

While the exact inventor of roulette is unknown, credit is often given to Blaise Pascal for his work in creating an early form of the game.

How has roulette evolved over the centuries?

Roulette has evolved significantly over the centuries, with the introduction of the single zero wheel by Francois and Louis Blanc in the mid-19th century and the subsequent spread of different variations around the world.

When was roulette introduced in America?

Roulette was introduced in America in the 19th century, where it underwent some modifications, including the addition of the double zero pocket, creating the American roulette wheel.

How did roulette spread globally?

Roulette spread globally through the colonization and trade routes of European nations, becoming popular in casinos around the world and adapting to different cultural contexts.

What are some modern variations of roulette?

Modern variations of roulette include online roulette, which offers various gameplay options, and themed versions found in land-based casinos, such as mini roulette and multi-wheel roulette.


In conclusion, roulette has a rich history that dates back centuries. From its invention in France to its global spread and modern variations, roulette continues to be a beloved casino game that offers excitement and entertainment to players worldwide.

Quincy Cremin
Welcome to Hoejcopenhagen, where I share insights and tips on all things related to gambling. Whether you're a seasoned gambler or a newbie to the world of betting, my blog will provide you with valuable information to help you make informed decisions and improve your overall gambling experience.