Roulette is a staple casino game, with unknown origins – or hotly debated ones – until the 18th century when the roulette as we know it was born in France. Fast-forward a couple decades and roulette’s modernized to include online game-play and live real-time play. Let’s take a spin down memory lane and learn about the origins of this incredible game of chance.

The Primitive Versions of Roulette

In every corner of the globe, there are early concepts of roulette circulating. The Roman commanders encouraged gambling as a way to raise the spirits of their warriors for better battle outcomes, in particular, spinning their shield. While the Greek soldiers drew symbols on the inside of their shields and spun them next to an arrow, and the players would bet on which symbol it would stop on.

Two other more closely related games played that bar the same traits as classic roulette come from England and Italy. The English game of E.O – Even or Odd – that is remarkably similar to roulette with a circular board and 20 even and 20 odd markings that gamblers placed bets on; easy to spot the similarities to the game we know today. While the Italian game of Hoca was popular amongst the French church as a way to collect money for their treasury. Essentially, players placed bets on one of 40 cups, 3 were 0s (upping the house edge to 7.5%), and the game-play took place on a spinning board.

The Popularization of Roulette

Red and black roulette wheel

The accepted origin of the classic game of roulette is accredited to Blaise Pascal, a French scientist who accidentally created a casino game in 1655, in an attempt to create a perpetual motion machine. The name roulette means ‘small wheel’ in French. The game was a tremendous hit among monasteries that it didn’t take long before it was adopted into French casinos; thus, cementing its place in casinos worldwide as a popular gambling game.

21st Century Roulette

Closeup of roulette wheel with roulette ball.

The advent of the internet has revolutionized the casino, and with it, a lot of its classic games, like roulette. Nowadays, you’re not limited to having to physically go to the casino if you want to cast your bet on the spinning wheel. No, there are more playing options than ever before. Options that allow you to play the game on the go, or even from the comfort of your own home.

Play Online – Skip the casino altogether. Instead of a physical wheel, you’re playing on a virtual wheel. The perk of online game-play is that you can play conventional roulette or any of its varieties, such as French, American, European or any other derision available.

Live Play – If you’re more of a traditionalist and want to play against a real dealer, but you prefer not to go out to place your bet, live roulette was made for you. Live means you’re playing against a live dealer in real-time to emulate the casino experience.

The real question is whether you’d prefer to play on a physical roulette board or if you’d rather play on a virtual one?

The History of Roulette: From Physical Wheel to Virtual Ones and Everything in Between

Wooden roulette wheel with chips beside the wheel.

We may never know where Blaise Pascal drew his inspiration from to create this popular casino game, but roulette without question is one of the most popular gambling games around! And with more ways to play these days, at 138.com or in-house. Whenever you get the urge to spin the wheel of fortune, there is a roulette version for everybody.