The invention and evolution of the Roulette wheel


One of the most popular games of chance, Roulette, in forms, has been around for centuries. In fact, historians believe that similar games were enjoyed by Ancient Greeks and Roman soldiers as they spun weapons and chariot wheels whilst betting on the outcome. It’s clear the idea of Roulette has stood the test of time, but it wasn’t until the 17th century that the primitive form of the wheel we know and love today was created.

In the modern-day, you can play online Roulette at Paddy Power, or your other favourite casino site, from the click of a button and from any device, as long as you have a stable internet connection. The game has come a long way, so, join us as turn back time and take a look at how modern-day Roulette came to be.

Read on to find out more.

Blaise Pascal

As previously mentioned, it was in the 17th century – 1655 to be precise – that a primitive form of the Roulette wheel was born. But it wasn’t intentional. Thanks to French mathematician, physicist and inventor Blaise Pascal and his failed attempt to defy physics and create a perpetual motion machine, the Roulette wheel was developed by accident.

The Blanc Brothers

In the mid-19th century, French brothers Francois and Louis Blanc came up with an idea that would revolutionise Roulette. After joining a circus and travelling across France, the brothers laid roots in Marseilles and began working for a casino. They used their earnings to open a bank in Bordeaux, but used questionable practices which would later be outlawed, to make a fortune. After being arrested and forced to pay a fine for bribing local officials, the duo moved to Paris, where they went back into the gaming industry.

At this time, King Louis Philippe outlawed gambling throughout the country, and so the brothers opened a casino in Hamburg, Germany. Here, the Blanc brothers created what would later become known as the European Roulette wheel, removing the double zero pocket and leaving only the single green zero. This not only lowered the house edge and boosted players’ winning chances, but helped to boost Hamburg’s income as the popularity of the game spread like wildfire.

The Monte Carlo Casino

After Frankfurt outlawed gambling in the early 1860s, which affected Hamburg and the surrounding areas, Germany decided they no longer needed the help of casinos and the Blanc brothers to draw in tourists and help their economy. It was at this time that Prince Charles of Monaco was struggling financially, and had caught wind of the popularity of the Blancs’ unique Roulette wheel.

It took some convincing, but in 1963, Francois Blanc agreed to help Prince Charles, building the Monte Carlo Casino in his honour. This would become the first modern casino of its time, making history as an iconic landmark and helping Monte Carlo to become a hotspot for gambling, arts and culture.

Spinning to the future

To this day, the European Roulette wheel still sits in the heart of the Monte Carlo Casino. And it was thanks to the game’s newfound popularity, and the new royal casino setting the scene for a classy and glamourous industry, that casinos all over the world started to boom. Roulette became more popular than ever, and when online casinos opened in 1996, it was one of the first games to be introduced to digital gameplay. Now, playing Roulette has never been so easy, with the ability to spin anytime, anywhere, from the tip of your fingers.


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