A fascinating history of roulette and how it journeyed across the globe. Play European Roulette at Springbok Online Casino!

Roulette has gone through a helluva journey before it finally reached our online casino. It’s a game that we all know has a rich and fascinating history – from its accidental beginnings to the many interesting modern adaptations that followed.

Although it’s common knowledge (at least, we think it is) that roulette originated in France, how did it journey across continents and finally land at Springbok Casino? What happened in between, how did it evolve along the way, and what variants were born in the process?

Keep reading for our truly fascinating look at how roulette travelled around the world before it reached South Africa – and Springbok Casino to be more precise!

Roulette’s Beginnings in France

As we mentioned, Roulette was born in France, the land of amour… and haute couture. It was however not a product of love, or fashion, but one of science instead. The ‘father of roulette’ was a brilliant mathematician and physicist named Blaise Pascal, who was trying to invent a machine that would never stop moving.

He failed in his quest, but he accidentally created the basis for roulette – a wheel with numbered pockets that spins and a ball that lands on one of them. Yep, it was a science project gone wrong that led to online casino roulette… How’s that for fascinating!

Pascal’s wheel had 36 numbers, from 1 to 36, and no zero. The numbers were randomly arranged, and the pockets were red and black. The game was first played for fun among Pascal’s friends, but soon it became a sensation among the French nobility and the public.

The game also became more complex and exciting with the addition of the house pockets – the zero and the double zero. These green slots gave the casino (or house) an edge over the players, but also offered more betting options and payouts – as they still do when you play at an online casino.

From thereon, special rules were developed, such as the “en prison” and the “la partage” rules, which gave the players a chance to get their money back if the ball landed on zero.

Long before the advent of the online casino, roulette was the king of the casino games in France, and it quickly spread to other European countries, such as Germany, Italy, Spain, and England. That said, different countries and regions had their own preferences and variations, which led to the emergence of different roulette variants…

From France to Germany… and Monte Carlo

One of the most important countries in the history of online casino roulette is Germany. Germany was the ‘it’ destination for fun and gambling in the 19th century, especially in the spa towns of Baden-Baden, Wiesbaden, and Bad Homburg. These towns attracted visitors from all over Europe who came to enjoy the healing waters, social life, and… the gambling opportunities!

Roulette was one of the main attractions in the German casinos, but it was different from the French roulette. The German roulette had only one zero, instead of two, which lowered the house edge and made the game more favourable for the players. This was the result of a clever marketing move by two French brothers, Francois and Louis Blanc, who introduced the single-zero roulette in Germany in 1843.

The Blanc brothers were casino moguls and visionaries who had a dream of creating a gambling empire in Europe. They tried setting up shop in France but had a lot of push-back as gambling was banned or restricted in many parts of the country. So, they decided to move to Germany, where gambling wasn’t taboo.

The brothers opened their first casino in the town of Bad Homburg and offered a unique feature that no other casino had – a roulette wheel with only one zero. This gave them a competitive advantage over other casinos, as players preferred the lower house edge and the higher payouts. The single-zero roulette became a huge hit and gained a massive following, even from famous gamblers.

The Blanc brothers also had a bigger ambition – to create a gambling paradise in a small and independent principality called Monaco. They had heard that Prince Charles III, Monaco’s ruler, was looking for a way to save his country from financial ruin. As masters of opportunity, they offered him a deal…

This deal takes us to Monaco, where the bros built and operated a casino and shared the profits with the prince. The Monte Carlo Casino became the most famous and glamorous casino in the world. The single-zero roulette was the star of the show, and it became known as the European roulette – the precursor to roulette at our online casino!


Next Stop… America!

We’re still a while away from online casino roulette. Keep reading! The next stop was America in the early 19th century, where it underwent some changes. The American roulette wheel had numbers from 1 to 28, plus a single zero, a double zero, and an American Eagle symbol, which acted as a third zero – not a great move at all.

Although the Eagle slot was later removed, leaving the double-zero wheel as the standard American roulette, the American roulette wheel still had more numbers and more house pockets. This increased the house edge and made the game more challenging for the players.

The players could also bet on single numbers, groups of numbers, colours, odds or evens, and even on the zeros. The game also had some different rules, such as the “surrender” rule, which allowed the players to get half of their bets back if the ball landed on zero or double zero.

Roulette gained relative popularity in America, especially in New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Atlantic City – US gambling hubs at the time. It couldn’t quite square up against other games like blackjack, poker, and slot machines though, which offered more variety and excitement. Legalities and social stigmas also became an issue as gambling was often outlawed or frowned upon in many parts of the country.

Roulette Reaches the Rest of the World

The issues roulette faced in America didn’t hinder its spread across oceans, and it soon reached other continents such as Asia, Africa, and Australia, where it was a hit. Different variants of roulette emerged, such as the triple-zero “Sands Roulette”, and “California Roulette” that uses cards instead of a wheel.

Then, the online casino world emerged in the late 20th century. Thank you, internet! Online casino roulette offers a variety of options, such as European, American, French, and live dealer roulette – and many more. Players finally had access to whatever roulette version they wanted, from anywhere!

Online Casino Roulette in South Africa at Springbok Casino!

Oh, South Africa… We only got television sets in the 70s but thank goodness we didn’t have to wait that long to access an online casino! Although roulette had been played at B&M casinos around the countries for a few decades, online casino roulette to South Africa by storm.

At Springbok Casino we offer the best variation of online casino roulette, European Roulette. This single-zero game has a house edge that’s in your favour with a wide variety of betting options, including red, black, inside bets, outside bets and more – with payouts of up to 35:1!