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Roulette is one of the most enduringly popular casino games ever invented. All around the world, every day, gamers pit their wits against the famous wheel, and these days, roulette can be played online from the comfort of your own home. One of the best things about modern day roulette, is the fact that you can play a number of different versions of roulette both online and offline, so you can begin to learn how to take advantage of roulette hot spots , no matter how you choose to play. But of course, this wasn’t always the case. French roulette was one of the very first roulette games that you could play, and it has now evolved into a game that you can still play today. We will explore the history and the origins of roulette, from how it began and was said to have been created by a monk, to its popularity in modern casinos today.

Origin Story

As you might expect, there are many different ideas about where roulette came from, but there seems to be widespread agreement that monks were involved. The theory that crops up most frequently is that the mathematician Blaise Pascal invented the game while he was on a monastic retreat. Another story suggests that roulette was created by an unknown French monk to relieve the boredom of living in a monastery. It has also been suggested that the game was invented by French Dominican monks who were inspired by an old Tibetan pastime, based on arranging animal figures in a square, or even that roulette originally came from China, where it was invented by a mad monk .

Sweep through Europe

Roulette means ‘small wheel’ in French, so it seems reasonable to assume that the game has a French origin, but the story of the evolution of roulette also takes a detour to England, where two similar games called ‘Roly Poly’ and ‘Even-Odd’ enjoyed their moments in the spotlight.   It seems likely that roulette came to England from France in the early 18th century, but the name was changed to the more English (or less French) ‘Roly Poly’. The precise rules of the game are not known, but it seems to have been very popular with the aristocracy, until it was banned in around 1745.  

Perhaps as a way to get around this ban, gamers of the 18th century created another roulette-like game, called ‘Even-Odd’. This was played with a ball and a wheel, although there were only 20 areas marked E for Even and 20 marked with an O for Odd. Like Roly Poly, this game became an extremely popular pastime amongst the wealthy, until it met the same fate, being banned in England in 1782.  

Roulette continued to be played in France and other parts of Europe, but governments across the continent were frightened by its popularity and sought to ban it. It was such a ban, by the German government in 1860 that indirectly helped to create modern roulette, that we know love and play today.  From when roulette first originated the game has changed rather rapidly yet it has still remained as one of the most popular casino games in the modern era. The modern roulette wheel developed in Germany, Frenchmen Louis and Francois Blanc had created a roulette wheel with just a single 0 and this new version of roulette proved extremely popular. When the game was made illegal, the Blanc family moved to Monte Carlo, setting up a world-famous casino operation that kept the game of roulette alive, despite it being prohibited everywhere else in Europe. Eventually roulette spread to the United States and has grown in popularity ever since, being played by millions all around the world.


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