The first roulette wheel was designed in 17th century France, by mathematician Blaise Pascal, who was inspired by his fascination with perpetual motion devices. The game was played in its present form from 1796 in Paris.
Two “Zeros” Boxes Or Just One?
We find a trace of roulette in the novel by François Lablé entitled “La Roulette” where he describes a modern roulette with 36 numbers and comprising a zero box and a double zero box in 1801. Astonishing, knowing that nowadays roulettes European countries offer a single zero box!
The disappearance of this second “double zero” box is due to François Blanc, director of the Hamburg casino, in 1843. In order to reduce the advantage of the casino and attract customers to this game, he decides to remove this box. However, the outright elimination of the double zero meant juxtaposing 2 reds one beside the other and imposed a total redistribution of the numbers on the wheel: new wheels had to be designed.
Birth Of American Roulette
At the same time, American casinos bought the roulette wheels from European casinos who gladly got rid of them: this is how the so-called “American” roulette wheel was born, when it was directly imported from Europe.