The History of Roulette--American and European

American and European roulette are extremely similar but have one major difference--the European wheel has only a single zero pocket while the American wheel has a zero and a double zero, making for higher house edges.

The Original Invention

There are many theories that surround the initial invention of roulette, but many of those fall back to a French man by the name of Blaise Pascal. While many people state that Pascal's intuition and sense of logic played heavily into the game, there are other historians who state that Pascal got the idea from centuries-old writings that dated back as early as the Egyptians. Of course, as with many casino games, this theory is certainly rivaled by others.

European Roulette

The European roulette wheel is said to be a variation of the wheel originally developed by Pascal, but several European countries, including Germany and Italy, lay claim to the invention. It is quite possible that several variations of the game were developed over the course of a decade and that these were combined in casinos into the European roulette wheel that everyone knows and loves today. This wheel has only one zero pocket, separating it from other roulette games.

American Roulette

Roulette was introduced to Americans through the port city of New Orleans, and it is thought that the original French version made landfall before the more popular European variant. However, before it was introduced into casinos, the famed double zero pocket was added in an effort to enhance casino earnings. Afterward, the popularity of the game travelled up the Mississippi River and eventually headed west and incorporated into Vegas casinos.

Regardless of the type of roulette players enjoy, the history of the variation is likely steeped in mystery and not completely understood. Even so, players still prefer the European variant due to the low house edge.