The origins of the game known as ‘roulette’ are shrouded in mystery. The most widely accepted version is that the first incarnation of the game was created by French math wizard and accomplished nerd Blaise Pascal somewhere in the 17th century, while he was hard at work trying to create a perpetual motion machine.
Roulette is a casino game named after the French word meaning little wheel which was likely developed from the Italian game Biribi. In the game, players may choose to place bets on either a single number, various groupings of numbers, the colors red or black, whether the number is odd or even, or if the numbers are high (19–36) or low (1–18).
According to several pieces of literature, roulette was played in Paris in 1796. Early roulette wheels had both a single zero and a double zero. But in 1843, two Frenchmen created a single zero roulette wheel to help casinos attract business (a lower house edge is always great for business).
The Roulette wheel was invented by a French physicist, inventor, and mathematician named Blaise Pascal. Initially, Pascal wasn't trying to invent a casino game. In 1655, Pascal tried to invent a perpetual motion machine.
The Origin of Roulette. The tradition to use a spinning wheel in gaming goes back to the Greco-Roman period when Roman soldiers used to spin a chariot wheel to determine a winner. The mechanism of that "game" also included an arrow which pointed to one of 10 winning spaces on the ground.
roulette (n.) 1734, "small wheel," from French roulette "gambling game played with a revolving wheel," literally "small wheel," from Old French roelete "little wheel" (12c.), formed on model of Late Latin rotella, diminutive of Latin rota "wheel" (see rotary ). The game of chance so-called from 1745.
It is speculated to be somewhere between the 1850s — when there was a rapid increase in the number of revolver handguns in Russia — and the 1920s — when Russian adventurers first mentioned it in their Civil War accounts. We do know for sure, though, the origin of the term Russian Roulette.
The most popular is that it was invented in 1655 by a French scientist called Blaise Pascal during his monastic retreat and first played in a casino in Paris. The second is very similar and simply says that it was invented by a random French monk to alleviate the monotony of simple monastery life.