French Roulette - The Origins of Roulette
The term "Roulette" is derived from a French word meaning small
wheel, hence to many, the game is known as French roulette. The origin
of roulette is not very clear. While some sources state that Blaise Pascal,
a 17th Century French mathematician invented the roulette wheel, other
sources state that the game originated in China and was brought to Europe
by Dominican monks who were trading with the Chinese.
During the late 18th century the Roulette wheel became very popular when
Prince Charles (ruler of Monaco at the time) introduced gambling to Monaco
as a way of alleviating the financial problems of the region. For those
who don't know, Monaco is a small independent principality of Europe,
forming an enclave in southeastern France, and bordered on the south by
the Mediterranean Sea and surrounded on the north, east, and west by the
French department of Alpes-Maritimes. The principality, which lies east
of Nice, is particularly famous as a high-roller resort.
Back to the issue of French roulette vs. China roulette, the modern version
of the roulette wheel did not appear until 1842 when Frenchmen Francois
and Louis Blanc invented the single "0" roulette game. The game
was eventually brought to America in the early 1800s. However, the single
"0" modification was rejected in America and the two zeros "00"
were returned to the roulette wheel. From there, the roulette wheel gained
a great deal of popularity in America during the California Gold Rush
of the 1800's.
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