A casino just wouldn’t be a casino without the roulette wheel. While this elegant spinning table game is a familiar fixture in the gambling world, we’ve discovered a few hidden facts that you may not be so familiar with. The first form of roulette originated in France during the 17th century, so we dug deep into this long history to come up with five interesting little tidbits.
- Roulette is sometimes referred to as “the Devil’s Game.” Why the ominous nick name? Legend has it that the father of roulette made a deal with the devil in order to create the first roulette wheel. His name was Blaise Pascal, a renowned French mathematician who made key contributions in developing the theory of probability. One day a fellow mathematician challenged him to create a casino game that had no house edge. At the time, Pascal had also been attempting to build what he called a “perpetual motion machine.” He fused these two ideas together to create the world’s first, albeit very primitive, roulette wheel. Because the numbers on his wheel added up to 666 (the number of the beast), and because his genius was so astounding, it was thought that Pascal had bargained with the devil to achieve mathematical prestige.
- The Eagle Slot is an antiquated feature that appeared on early American roulette tables. Unlike the original European tables, the first American tables featured a single zero, a double zero and also an “Eagle Slot” which was larger than all the other squares and increased the house edge significantly. Eagle Slot tables quickly went out of style because it offered players very unfavourable odds.
- The main difference between European and American style roulette is that Europeans feature a single zero while in America it’s the double zero.
- Roulette is a game of luck and while the house does have a long term advantage there have been some pretty impressive winnings on record. Some of these winners have even made a name for themselves in history. “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo” is a song about a real man named Charlie Wells who went to Monte Carlo with a $4,000 bankroll and bet up to 2,000 francs a spin. The story goes that he busted table after table before walking away with a few million francs.
- July is said to be a lucky month for roulette players. At Caesars Palace on July 14, 2000 the number seven came up six times in a row. The odds of this happening are over three billion to one. In another recorded case, the number ten appeared six times in a row on July 9 in 1959 in Puerto Rico.