A History of Roulette

The History of Roulette

Even though you can play a thousand different betting games on your PC and tablet in 2021, South African players still love to bet ZAR on one of the oldest around: roulette.

Casinos love roulette too as it gives them some of their biggest profits per square foot, but the game you know at Sun City or online casinos hasn't changed much over the centuries.

Let's take a look at the brief history of the Devil's Wheel and how best to enjoy roulette on your PC in 2021. We hope that after you've sat through our history lesson you'll download a great client today and get playing for real.

Roulette has a long and celebrated history:

  • Originated in England and France
  • Travelled to America in the 18th Century
  • The 0 and 00 variations exist almost unchanged today
  • Online roulette appeared in the late 1990s
  • The Internet revolution has spawned exciting variants

Early Versions of Roulette

Without physics, roulette may never have been invented. An early form of the game originated in France when a physicist called Blaise Pascal was developing perpetual motion.

The perpetual motion experiments may have failed, but Pascal's wheel with a series of slots that gradually slowed to a halt didn't. The roulette wheel ("roulette" means "small wheel" in French) was here to stay.

The Blanc brothers then took Pascal's design to the next level and included for the first time 36 numbers and a zero slot, but the English had already invented a game that featured Even and Odd bets.

Roulette Moves to America

The single-zero, European form of roulette became a firm favourite in the casinos of Paris and Monte Carlo, but it wasn't until French immigrants took the wheel to America that the game spread worldwide.

Despite the European wheel gaining popularity in the US, the Americans adapted the game in the 19th century with a wheel featuring just 28 slots. There was even a patriotic slot featuring an American eagle.

It was with this version that the now-familiar 00 slot made its appearance, and when American Roulette wheels were introduced, with the same number layout as European Roulette, the 00 stayed.

Online Roulette Arrives

Internet casinos arrived in the late 1990s and with them a range of roulette games which could be played for real money on PCs and Macs.

Early casinos on the net were crude, but in 2021 players in South Africa can access hundreds of betting sites with a full range of classic and new roulette variants.

European and American Roulette at all stakes can be played on the web, with many games playable without download: just log in to a SA site and play via your web browser.

Fans of more traditional land-based casino roulette can even find Live Dealer games which allow you to play against a human croupier. The dealer is using a real wheel and communicating to players via webcam. You place bets on your PC or Mac but the ball and wheel used are in a real-life casino overseas.

And Internet roulette gives you the chance to play variants you can ONLY find online, like Multi-Table Roulette and Multi-Wheel Roulette. The latter game has three balls spinning at once on a single wheel for three times the action.

Roulette Betting Systems

Roulette in itself is a game of luck with no recognisable patterns, but that hasn't stopped gamblers over the years developing various betting systems to beat the game.

Most famously, the Martingale requires roulette players to double their bets after a losing wager. Players keep doubling their bets until they win, before reverting back to their original stake.

The Martingale sounds fool-proof, but systems only work (if at all) in the long-term, and by then you could well have gone broke.

Ready to Play? Find the Best Roulette Sites in 2021

While there's gambling, there will be roulette, and in 2021 there are more places than ever to play online. Start off your SA roulette journey with OnlineRoulette.co.za. Our team of South African experts finds great casinos for real-money play to save you time and effort.

With our top links you can get playing European, American or Live Dealer roulette in minutes, and you can even take advantage of a superb real-money bonus when you join up.