Most people don’t think about where things come from. They just focus on what they are and do. But everything has a history — every man-made invention had to come from somewhere! And when you dive into the origins of an item, you’ll typically find that the history is more interesting than you might expect.

In this blog, we’re going to focus on the roulette wheel. Even people who have never been to a casino can usually picture a roulette wheel. Is it the most iconic game in the casino? We think so. We’ll take a look at the background, the evolution, and how the roulette wheel has successfully made the transition into the digital era

The Background

A roulette wheel is a glorious machine. And we have one man to thank for it — Blaise Pascal. He was a French man (‘roulette’ is a French word) living in the 17th century. A mathematician by trade, Pascal originally intended the roulette wheel to be a perpetual motion machine. 

The roulette wheel was one of his first attempts. Pascal didn’t intend for the machine to become a game — but once a good invention exists, it usually takes on a life of its own. And that’s just what happened with the roulette wheel, which was soon adapted for gambling purposes and became a mainstay of casinos around the world. 

Evolution of the Game

As with most things, the roulette wheel has developed over the years. While the one you play on will be broadly similar to the one Pascal invented back in the 17th century, there will be some differences, and that depends especially on where you play. There are a few different types of roulette wheel, with each geographical region claiming one style as standard. There’s a standard North American roulette table and a standard European roulette table. 

An American table has two zeroes: 0 and 00, both of which are green. The numbers on the machine run from 1 – 36, which are alternate black and red. There’s also a slightly different sequence of numbers. The wheel is spun counterclockwise

In Europe, they use a single 0, which is also green. The numbers then run, again, from 1 – 36 and again alternate between red and black. The wheel is spun clockwise. 

Why is there a difference? No one’s quite sure. 

The Digital Era

The roulette wheel stayed pretty constant and steady for a while. But along came technology, and pushed the game further forward. There’s no element of life that the internet and tech haven’t influenced, so it makes sense that roulette would get the digital treatment, especially since it’s one of those games that is easy to replicate on a digital screen. 

Today, you’ll find a host of online roulette games to play. These usually take two different forms. One is the “pure machine”,; which means there’s no human activity involved in the process. An algorithm handles everything. The other digital roulette style is the “live feed” style of play. With this, users play online with a video of a live feed of a human spinning the wheel. This is the closest version to what you’d find in a casino (in fact, it’s exactly the same, it’s just you don’t need to be in the casino). 


And there we have it! Roulette has been popular since the beginning, and it’s easy to see why: it’s a fun and easy game to play that can bring plenty of rewards. It’s also a game that manages to evolve in line with modern standards and tastes. As such, it’s highly likely that roulette will be just as popular in two hundred years as it is today.