The exact invention and origin of roulette is a mystery. However, there are two theories on where it may have actually originated. The first theory is that the Chinese invented the game. The game was brought to Europe by Chinese traders. The second theory is that Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician, invented the game. Many support this theory since Pascal developed the concept of “probability,” and the word is French for “small wheel.”
In the late 18th century the game was present in the Paris casinos. However, during this time the 0 was colored red and the 00 was colored black. Even though these numbers were colored red and black, the casino forbid color bet wins if the ball landed on 0 or 00. Due to the confusion, they eventually decided to change the 0 and 00 to green. Another European concept for roulette is called “En Prison.” This deals with the 0 and 00 bets. If the ball lands in either of these spaces the player has two options. First, the player can choose to freeze their bet and wait for the next spin of the wheel. Second, the player can surrender half of the bet to receive the other half back. Even today some casinos like the ones in Atlantic City use the “En Prison” rule for 1 to 1 bets.
The game arrived in the United States around the 1800s. It was brought over by Europeans migrating to New Orleans. The game was originally changed to contain only 1 to 28 with 0 and 00. This change took place to give the similar odds but would pay the winners less. It eventually reverted back to its origins to contain 1 to 36 and a better payout ratio. Meanwhile in Europe, they were modifying the wheel to only have the 0 and not the 00. This enhanced the odds for the players and kept the same payout ratio. Patrons truly enjoy the game so this wheel with is used throughout Europe. It is interesting to note that roulette is the oldest game and is still enjoyed by many today.