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Roulette History

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I have written about tones of other things, but roulette history is and was hard to come by. There really isn't much documented out there on it. Some people speculate that it originated in Asia somewhere, maybe China, but no one really knows until about the 17th century.

In the 17th and 18th centuries the wheel was said to be invented in Europe. The first modern day roulette wheel and table that would be recognized by most of us was introduced in the late 18th century. This wheel had all of the characteristics that we are used to except the single zero was red and the double zero was black. This led to confusion amongst the players, thus the green ones we see today.

In the mid 19th century roulette history took another turn and modified the wheel by introducing a single zero game. With the reduction of the zero the casinos edge was dropped giving the player a better edge. This was highly regarded among players and kept them coming back for more.

The use of the double zero wheel is pretty much exclusive to the U.S., but they still have the single zero game among some of their casinos as well. For most players this is preferred because of the odds shifting their way.

The last bit of roulette history occurred when in Europe (also Atlantic City in the U.S.) the Casino's offered another refinement to the game that increased the odds yet again for the player, the option of "En Prison" was offered. With the en prison option if the player has bet an even money bet (Even-Odd, Red-Black, 1-18 or 19-36) and zero or double zero is the next outcome the player has two options:
  • The player can "imprison" the bet. This means the bet stays where it is and the next spin determines if the bet is lost or returned to the player.
  • The player may surrender half of the bet.
Most people exercise the en prison option so don't be surprised if the croupier assumes that you will also, be sure to tell him/her if you would prefer to surrender half of your bet.