From cavagnole and single zero casino games to Sands Roulette on the Las Vegas Strip - that’s the mottled history of roulette

Playing timeless casino games on a desktop or device is a fab way to spend the day.  It can also be time well spent especially if lady luck is on your side. 

One of the most interesting aspects of casino games like blackjack, baccarat and roulette is where they originally come from and how they have evolved.

In the Midst of a Casino Games Revolution 

As part of the current crop of gamblers who simply love to bet on the outcome of the cards, the reels and the ‘little wheel’ we are experiencing a gambling revolution - not in terms of the games but in terms of access.

Now, for the first time in human history we can tap into thousands of casino games at hundreds of casinos without moving more than our fingers.  Gone are the days when we had to get dolled up, flag down a taxi and travel downtown for a big night out.

From Tangible to Kind of Nebulous 

Gaming is instant, accessible and can we say kind of nebulous.  There is no tactile gaming paraphernalia to hold in the hands, no bright lights to befuddle the brain and no cunning croupiers waiting for tips.  Casino games have - for all intents and purposes - been reduced to a few lines of code.

Has technology softened the gaming experience?  No way Jose because at the end of the day casino games have pretty much retained the rules, layouts and all-round ambience that made them best sellers in the first place.

The Origin of the Numbers Game

With that in mind let’s take a look at the elegant numbers game alternatively known as roulette.  Who invented roulette?  How has it changed over the years?  Is it still evolving right now in the 21st century?

Roulette is French for ‘little wheel’.  On that basis gaming historians all agree that the etymology of the word points to the game being of French origin.  Quite who dreamt up this action-packed betting game is still a bit of a mystery.

Some believe it was a French monk who concocted roulette - along with mind numbing, tune humming absinthe - to alleviate the boredom of monastic life.  Others are of the opinion that it is a more sophisticated offshoot of a game known as cavagnole.

An Offshoot of Cavagnole? 

In this illegal first iteration popular in 18th century France, bets would be placed on a layout comprising 70 numbers.  A banker would then draw a ticket from a sealed bag to reveal the winning number.

The player who guessed correctly was paid out 64 x his stake - now that’s the kind of multiplier that would go down a treat right here at Springbok Casino.  The losing wagers were scooped up and shoved into the banker’s pocket.  Oh, to be a banker in long ago France!

There is a romantic twist to this early gambling game.  According to his autobiography, the notorious Venetian womaniser, one Giacomo Casanova allegedly broke the bank playing cavagnole.  Independent reports allude to the fact that he was in cahoots with the banker and had to share the spoils!

Introduction of the Wheel: A Double Zero Wheel  

The introduction of the wheel occurred in around 1796 and at this stage of the game it was a double zero wheel.  That obviously meant there were 38 numbers to wager on, an arrangement that is still used today in the American version of roulette.

As casino games go, roulette was hugely popular - not only in France but in Italy and Germany.  It became the mainstream offering at the high-end gaming halls populated by the merchant class and aristocracy.

The Single Zero Game with a Lower House Edge

Competition was fierce, so much so, a smart German casino operator in Bad Homburg upped his market share by lowering the house edge.  How did he do that?  By offering single zero wheel-based casino games.

These games, which were first introduced in 1843, are commonly referred to as European Roulette.  The house edge was - and still is - just 2,7 percent.  That means the odds were some of the best around.  If you want to exploit the odds, you can play the online version of European Roulette right now at Springbok Casino!

The Influence of Capitalist America: From Double Zero to Triple Zero Roulette 

The roulette that made the great leap across the Atlantic to New Orleans and up the Mississippi River to the rest of the States was the double zero game - a game with a 5,25 percent advantage to the house.  

The Americans with their capitalist bent weren’t satisfied with profits they could skim off the top so they promptly invented a wheel with the so-called Eagle Slot. 

In real terms this created the triple zero game and the house edge jumped from 5,25 percent to 7,68 percent!

Needless to say, the early version of the triple zero casino games didn’t quite fly.  In fact, they were quickly phased out and replaced with what is now known as double zero American Roulette. 

Sands Roulette on the Strip: The Awful Eagle Slot Recut 

Now to the jaw dropping part of roulette’s evolution in the US of A.  Right now, Vegas casinos like New York New York, Planet Hollywood and the Venetian are offering a variation of roulette known as Sands Roulette.

Guess what?  It’s a triple zero game but this time the Eagle has been replaced by an S!

What is even more astounding is legions of foolhardy gamblers are flocking to the Strip to play Sands Roulette – a variation that has the highest house edge in the history of the game.  The appropriate response has to be OMG! 

Play Roulette at Springbok Online Casino: It’s Good Value!

At Springbok Casino ZA we believe in offering good value casino games.  We also support and promote fair play. 

As a result, you won’t find triple zero roulette at Springbok Online Casino.  You will however be able to enjoy the European and American versions of the game!