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A Journey Through the History of Roulette

Everyone associated with gambling and casinos knows that one of the most popular games around is roulette. Whether you visit an American or a European casino, the biggest crowd can be seen around the roulette tables. Roulette first conquered Europe with its magic and then managed to conquer USA when it landed in the country, and all this started quite some time ago. Since the world roulette is derived from the French word meaning small wheel, it does not come as a surprise to know that the game originated in France. When Blaise Pascal was searching for a perpetual motion machine he introduced the earliest form of this game. Believed to be a combination of various games like the English Roly-Poly, Ace of Hearts, E.O. and Reiner, the Italian Biribi and Hoca and the existing French game of Roulette, the first known form of roulette came into being in the 18th century.

The earliest description of roulette was published in 1758 in regulations for Quebec, then called New France, where playing dice, hoca, roulette etc. were banned. Another of the earliest descriptions of the game of roulette in its present form can be found in the French novel written by Jaques Lablee that was published in 1801. In this novel, in Palais Royal the roulette wheel of 1796 was described. It is believed that the present form of the game started in 1796.

In the German casino and spa town of Homberg, the introduction of the roulette wheel containing 0 was introduced. This was done to compete with the other casinos that had wheels with 0 and 00. The earliest American roulette wheels were shown in the Hoyle gambling books of 1886 where apart from divisions from 1 to 28, there were additional divisions for 0, 00 and the American Eagle.

When Germany abolished gambling in the 1860s, roulette was moved to Monte Carlo by the Blanca family and it is here that the roulette wheels with 0 became hugely popular. The French 00 wheels started in Mississippi and went to New Orleans then continued to spread further west.

Roulette has always been one of the most popular casino games and the 00 tables can be found in South America, the Caribbean and the USA while the 0 tables are found in Europe and other parts of the world.

Tags : History
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