The Evolution of Roulette: From Land-Based to Online Gaming

The Evolution of Roulette: From Land-Based to Online Gaming

Roulette is one of the most popular casino games in the world, and you can expect to find a wide choice of roulette tables at every land-based and online casino you visit. The rules are simple: place your bet on the desired number, hold back until the croupier spins the wheel; and let the miniature white ball do its magic.

However, the roulette game we know and love today has significantly changed since its origins in 17th-century France. From its appearance to its gameplay, roulette has evolved and adapted to the digital era. Join us on a journey through the evolution of roulette; and discover how modern technology has forever transformed this classic game.

The History Behind the Roulette Wheel

While pinpointing its exact origin can be challenging, the invention of Roulette is widely credited to France; and the French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher Blaise Pascal. In the 17th century, Pascal spent most of his days solving complex equations and theories in advanced mathematics. The Roulette wheel resulted from his experiments while trying to create a perpetual-motion machine. Although his attempts at perpetual motion were unsuccessful, his invention, the roulette wheel, entertained people across Europe for centuries.

In the 19th century, the enterprising brothers Francois and Lois Blanc introduced the zero to the traditional 36-number roulette wheel, enhancing the house edge to the pleasure of King Charles III of Monaco. The king established a gaming venue, attracting both the aristocracy and the general public and generating revenue to alleviate his financial difficulties. The timing was opportune, as gambling was banned in France, positioning Monaco as the premier destination for entertainment.

Roulette Crosses the Atlantic

The French version of roulette featured a wheel with 37 playable numbers. When the game reached the United States, Americans added an extra number—the double zero—to increase the house edge further. Today, all game variants are still played in their respective countries, with each number alternating between red, black, and green colors on the wheel.

  • Red – 32, 19, 21, 25, 34, 27, 36, 30, 23, 5, 16, 1, 14, 9, 18, 7, 12, 3 
  • Black – 15, 4, 2, 17, 6, 13, 11, 8, 10, 24, 33, 20, 31, 22, 29, 28, 35, 26
  • Green – 0 and 00 (double zero only used in the American version)

The Digitalization of Casinos 

The rise of the internet at the end of the 20th century contributed to the digitalization of casino games. The first digital gambling platform was launched in 1998, marking the start of a new era in the gambling industry. Since then, we’ve witnessed tremendous developments in online casinos regarding hardware and software improvements; payout methods, and diversity of gaming options.

Online casinos have completely transformed the way we play casino games. RNG (Random Generated Numbers) tech allows you to play with completely randomized odds, introducing the element of luck in each game. For those who prefer a traditional Roulette experience, live dealer games are available, featuring a real croupier streamed directly to participants. In the past, players used to make a hefty trip to France for what was a traditional game of Roulette.

Gone are the days when players had to travel to France for a traditional game of Roulette. Now, you can play Roulette online at French casinos from the comfort of your own home! Let’s explore some of the most popular online Roulette games available at online casinos:  

RNG-Based Online Roulette

Random number generators allow for a 0% margin of error, with the same house edge and RTP rates always applied. Also, These types of games are strictly digital and require no human factor involvement. You can join in on a table of your favorite game in just seconds from any device and spin the wheel by pressing a button on the screen. 

Live-Croupier Online Roulette 

A live-croupier version of Roulette can also be found on most gaming websites. This type of roulette match consists of a live-streamed croupier controlling the wheel while players place their wagers digitally on their screens. The game is interactive because you can communicate with the croupier and all the other players in the group live chat. 

Sought-After Roulette Variants

The French version of the game paved the way for today’s more popular types. On most tables, you can now find American and European Roulette variants differentiating in several ways.

A clear distinction can be seen in the layout and RTP (Return to Player) and house edge odds. American Roulette’s odds lean toward the house, while the European and French variants have higher RTP rates, benefitting the players. Let’s take a look at what makes each roulette type different from the other:

European Roulette

The European variant is considered a player favorite, widely available in both online gaming platforms and traditional brick-and-mortar casinos. It initially featured the double zero, but operators decided to remove the extra pocket, lowering the house edge to 2.70% and increasing players’ winning chances. Seasoned gaming veterans will always advise you to place your stakes on European Roulette rather than the other two, as the statistical chances of winning are simply better.

American Roulette

It’s impossible to mistakenly join in on a game of American Roulette, as the additional green pocket instantaneously catches your eye. The double zero was added to the wheel in the 19th century, increasing the house edge to 5.26%. 

The extra pocket, however, offers some player-friendly rules, which are only available in the American version of Roulette. If the ball lands on zero or double zero, you can return a large portion of your losses to your bankroll. This is called the surrender rule, where the house edge is lowered to 2.63% on even-bets.

French Roulette

French Roulette holds its own set of rules that make it stand out from the crowd. The La Partage rule is quite similar to the American Surrender rule. The En Prison rule, however, is a bit more complex but can and will benefit you in the long run. 

En Prison allows you another chance to secure the money you’ve just lost. Your previous bet is placed in prison, and if you win on the next spin, all of your money from the previous loss will be returned to your pot. While the chances of finding an operator that allows this rule are quite slim, it can reduce the house edge to 1.35%.

The Evolution of Roulette: Final Thoughts

The online gambling market is on a steady upward trend, with a global annual growth rate of 6.51% and an expected reach of 243 million users by 2028. In parallel, the technology behind online gaming is constantly evolving, providing players with increasingly reliable and enjoyable systems. Today’s technology enables a seamless online roulette experience, but visiting a traditional brick-and-mortar casino to enjoy a spin of the wheel remains a popular option for those who crave the old-school casino atmosphere.

Leave a Reply