In its essence, roulette is a fairly simple game. You pick a number, column, or color from the board and hope the little ball falls on your pick. But, the reason why roulette games in gambling became so popular is much deeper, and there is a lot of strategy and psychology behind the wheel.
History of Roulette Games
Compared to some other traditional games that you might find in a casino, roulette is fairly new. It started in the 18th century, mostly because of the then French public’s infatuation with industrial-age machines.
Compared to cards, and especially dice, which were both around for millennia, that is basically yesterday. Still, now it is considered one of the core games in any casino that keeps to its name, regardless of whether it is digital or brick and mortar.
That is why all roulette sites for US players keep the game in front and center and have new players all the time. The popularity of the game passed from the industrial era in Europe to the digital age of America seamlessly.
The actual inventor of roulette is not known, despite the fact that many ascribe the game to Blaise Pascal. But that connection is tangential at best. What we know for certain is that the modern game, with its rules in 1796, was described in a novel called simply Roulette, or the Day (La Roulette, ou le Jour). This novel was published in 1801.
According to this, identical to what it looks like today, and with two zeros, the game was played in the Royal Palace in Paris, right opposite the Louvre. The two zeros were left as the house edge.
And that is how a single zero roulette came about, as people wanted to play something where their chances were better, as the single-zero roulette has the house advantage of only 2.7% compared to the 5.26% for double and 7.69% for triple zeros.
Still, roulette became popular quickly. For some, it was the fact that with only small stakes, you can win big. For others, it was the fact that there was technology involved. Finally, some were certain that there is mathematics in the game and that it can be cheated, just as the old books portray.
Why Is Roulette So Popular?
As is the case with all games, the reason why something might resonate with the player depends on the player’s sensibilities. For all of us, there is the allure of winning huge piles of money from simply having fun, but there always needs to be more.
Currently, there are four major types of roulette:
- American Roulette: two zeros and one ball with the standard table and options.
- European Roulette and French Roulette: one zero, lower house edge, standard table, and betting options.
- Double-ball Roulette: European roulette rules with two balls.
- Multiwheel Roulette: multiple wheels and multiple bets, with up to 8 wheels simultaneously
One of the biggest contributors to the consistent popularity of roulette is the scaling complexity. It can be as simple as just picking a number, or it can be a system — additionally, the patterns you can make with the numbers on the board intrigue the human mind.
Further, people have their favorite color. While this might sound childish, magic numbers and magic colors are something deeply ingrained in our culture and our understanding of the world, and gamblers are by default a superstitious bunch.
Finally, there is the aspect of strategy. Even with the house edge for roulette being bigger than in many other games, being 5.26% for the double-zero wheel, the ways a player can protect their bet are numerous.
Namely, a player can cover a single with a split, which would, in turn, be covered with a corner on the opposite side. This way, you can prevent your loss and give yourself more options to win.
Online gambling, also called iGaming, has brought many innovations to all games, including roulette games in gambling that have developed further. The software has allowed for the games to be truly random and to give you better oversight and even better options. That is why French roulette, which only has one zero, is so common online, as an online operator can allow an RTP of 98.65%.
That means that for each 1 million dollars spent by the players, the players will win back $986.500, leaving the rest to the casino. And that is not including the bonuses often offered.
When playing online, there is no chance for the ball to be magnetic, the wheel to be crooked, or for other players to edge you on against your strategy. However, in any case, this is a game, and you should consider it nothing more than the game. You should not play to be lucky or to become rich, but to have fun.