Roulette History: A Guide to the Famous Game

Frequently Asked Questions

Who invented roulette?

World-famous scientist, physicist, and mathematician Blaise Pascal is considered the inventor of one of the most popular casino games. While he was working on his perpetual motion machine, he unintentionally contributed to the development of one of the best-loved casino games ever: a simple wheel with numbers, one ball, and loads of luck, all filled with adrenaline and anticipation. 

Pascal’s invention notwithstanding, there are many theories about the emergence of roulette in many different countries, maybe even around the same time. Many similarities have been found throughout the history of roulette, which helps explain roulette as we know it today. 

Did the inventor of roulette kill himself?

There are rumors that the inventor of the game killed himself because he was unable to win over the game itself. However, no viable information can be found to suggest this is true. In addition to a multitude of stories relating to the origins of roulette, it is widely accepted that a form of the game was brought from China to Europe by travelers, and that some form of roulette was also played in Persia. 

Still, the most viable evidence suggests that the old roulette wheel was probably a descendant of the English game “Roly Poly” and Italian game called “Hoca.”

What was roulette originally called?

There is ongoing controversy surrounding the origin of roulette, as well as its name. Some historians suggest that it used to be called Wheel of Fortune, for example. In China, there was a game with numbers that totaled 666, which was later discovered by Dominican monks. In Ancient Rome, there was a game played by soldiers that resembles roulette. 

The latter can be perhaps explained by suggesting that when soldiers weren’t fighting, they would come up with games using their shields or weapons. Regardless of how close this game was to the one we know today, it’s clear that roulette history is more complex than it appears at first glance.