Roulette is one of the most iconic games ever. People have been spinning the famous wheel for 200 years, and more than likely, hundreds of years before that in more basic forms. Over the centuries, roulette has evolved from its humble beginnings into a global game that has even gone virtual – who would have thought…

Let’s take a look at the journey of roulette from invention to the popular gambling game it is today.

It all started with a man named Blaise Pascal.

Pascal was no gambler, but rather a mathematician, physicist, and inventor.

In 1655 Pascal was trying to make a perpetual motion machine, or in other words a machine that operates without any external energy source. His experiment was not successful, at least not in the way he wanted it to be, but it did give way to roulette.

Between Pascals’ wheel and the mid-19th century, the number zero didn’t exist – at least on the roulette wheel. In 1842, Francois and Lois Blanc created a wheel with a single zero. This wheel was anything but random.

It was specifically designed for King Charles III of Monaco.

From Zero to Hero

The King was struggling financially and seeing that his new wheel could generate a lot of extra money, thanks to the higher house edge, he opened up a casino. The wheel generated bundles of money for the country and even today it is still an important symbol in their culture and upscale gambling market.

While all that was going on, France made gambling illegal and that led to affluent gamblers heading into Monte Carlo for some spinning action.

Moving on and roulette had made its way to the bayou of Louisiana. The game wouldn’t escape the influence of Americans, though. A new version of roulette came in the form of a double zero in addition to the numbers 1-36 and 0.

The new feature was welcomed by a few but loathed by many because it took the house edge to over 5%. It kept growing more and more in popularity over the years.

Let’s fast forward to the 2000s.

Not only had roulette made its way into nearly all land-based casinos, but European, American, and another 10+ variations could also be played online. The game was becoming more popular than ever, and not just with affluent gamblers, but every kind of player.

Today, you can enjoy all sorts of versions of roulette online, from European Roulette and French Roulette to Multi-Wheel Roulette and No Zero Roulette. It is generally popular because you can win a lot of money from a very small bet, there is little skill involved – and anything could happen!

The Physics of Winning

Two researchers Michael Small and Chi Kong Tse figured out how to beat the odds in roulette.

They did require the use of cameras to record results, so their findings couldn’t exactly be put into practice. But it’s interesting nevertheless.

What they did prove to any player is that roulette and physics go hand in hand. If you’re clever and willing to take time to learn, you could improve your odds with a roulette strategy.

The future of roulette looks bright. More than likely it will go beyond the live dealer games and broad variations and onto a truly virtual platform – we’re talking VR.