History of Roulette – Rovigo.News

Roulette is a game of chance that takes its name from the French ‘small wheel’. The game, now predominantly present in casinos, most likely developed from the Italian game Biribi. Roulette is based on luck, the player can choose a single number, groups of numbers, a color between black and red, odd or even numbers or if the number is high – from 19 to 36 – or low – from 18 down. The simplicity of the game and the ability to make the same bet as other players make the game a fun social activity among the most popular in casinos.

A fun physics experiment

The roulette mechanism probably comes from the research on perpetual motion machines carried out by the physicist, inventor and mathematician Blaise Pascal in 1655. A perpetual motion machine is a machine that continues to create energy by moving, creating a continuous movement. This was deemed impossible and Pascal’s intent was to challenge the rules of physics without success. The first mechanism of this machine probably derives from a hybrid of Biribi, an Italian game from 1720.

One of the first mentions of the game as we know it today is from 1796, in which the author Jaques Lablee describes in his book Roulette, ou le Jour a wheel present in the Royal Palace of Paris.

The invention of the Blanc brothers

The wheels used in Paris casinos in the 1890s used red for the single zero and black for the double zero. In 1800, to simplify, the toll-free number was selected for zero numbers in roulette.

In 1843 in the casino city of Bad Homburg, two French men – François and Louis Blanc – introduced – in honor of King Charles III of Monaco – single zero roulette to compete against traditional double zero style casinos. Adding zero to the machine meant a significant advantage for the dealer. The popularization of roulette was very important for the realm, which was experiencing a period of financial crisis, and roulette soon became a symbol of the rise of Monte Carlo. Also relevant to the city’s success was France’s ban on gambling, making Monte Carlo the main gathering place for gambling enthusiasts.

In the 19th century, roulette became one of the most popular games in Europe and the United States. In the 1960s, single zero roulette spreads across Europe. In fact, in those years gambling was abolished by the German government and the Blanc family was forced to move the last remaining legal operation to Monte Carlo.

American horizons and double zero roulette

However, double zero roulette remains popular in the United States, spreading to Mississippi, New Orleans and the western states. This is where the machine is moved over the table to prevent cheating from happening.

During the early 20th century the only places where roulette could be played was Monte Carlo, with the French single zero wheel, and in Las Vegas, with the traditional American double zero.

Roulette in popular culture

We can therefore safely assume that over the years, in Europe and in the world, particularly in the United States, roulette has greatly established itself in popular culture.

Roulette has been associated with the casino since its inception, becoming one of its most popular games due to its simplicity and sociability. The game’s popularity also stems from its representation in popular culture itself, with appearances in numerous films. One of these is A cascade of diamonds from 1971, in which we see the legendary James Bond playing various gambling games including roulette. But still the great classic Casablanca of 1942, in which Rick (Humphrey Bogart) plays in his cafe making sure to win number 22, and then run away with his partner. More recently, however, we have seen the game appear on the screens in 7 Strangers in El Royale, in which the life of Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson) depends on where the ball lands.

So let’s see how much the game of roulette has remained unchanged over the centuries, born from an experiment it quickly became one of the most popular casino games, making the fortune of Monte Carlo and then Las Vegas. Hence its diffusion in pop culture, through iconic filmographic representations.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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