Gambling is an activity that has accompanied human beings since the beginning of time, when the first societies began to be created, since playing is also a way of relating.
As it happens with many games today, especially casino ones, as soon as we dig around, we will realize that they are much older than we think. Although technological advances now make it possible to play online roulette from anywhere and at any time, the journey of this game is very long.
To find the origins of roulette we have to travel thousands of years back in time. Even today’s gambling, both online and in land-based casinos, is still essentially very much like an invention that emerged centuries ago.
It is difficult to determine who invented roulette because, despite its multiple transformations over time, it seems that it has always been with us.
Origins of roulette
It is said that the invention of the wheel is one of the great milestones in the history of humanity. In prehistory, almost all technical advances arose by imitation of what was in Nature. For this reason, the fact of not finding cylinders around them caused the invention of the wheel to be “delayed” a lot.
The first record of a wheel was found in what was Mesopotamia, and dates from 3,500 BC. C., so it is a relatively new invention. The really important thing about this invention is not the wheel itself, but the axle.
Rolling a wheel mechanically was a huge step forward. From there arise machinery and transport that represent the beginning of the Bronze Age, a new Era.
The invention of the wheel that rotates on an axis was key to the socioeconomic development of society. And it was also so that, years later, roulette was invented.
The wheel of fortune
In many of the world’s civilizations -if not all- there are deities dedicated to fortune and the “whims” of destiny. Higher entities were blamed for the randomness of life, inexplicable in another way.
One of these goddesses, Tique or Tyche from Greek mythology, ruled the luck and prosperity of humans. Therefore, he embodied fortune and destiny. Its allegory, that is, the symbol that represents it is the wheel of fortune.
It is in Ancient Greece when the game began to be fully introduced as leisure, forming part of social life on a large scale. This relationship between the ancient Greeks and the game has lasted until today, in which Greek mythology continues to inspire specific titles on digital platforms such as PokerStars Casino, such as the Age of the Gods slot, which stars Zeus, Hercules , Aphrodite and other icons of the time.
Our contact with Greek mythology, not only in the game, but in general, is maintained thanks to the Romans. Ancient Rome inherited much of the Greek culture and adapted it to its own circumstances and customs.
The goddess Tyche was renamed Fortuna in Rome, but only changed the name. Its symbol, which is sometimes represented as if it were a rudder (because it is the one that directs the destiny of humans), was maintained.
Throughout the centuries, many artistic representations of the Goddess Fortuna have appeared, and her allegory is another example of the influence of mythology in modern games. Although it is now called Wheel of Fortune here, it is still the same program that was invented in the United States in the mid-1970s under the name Wheel of Fortune.
The first roulette
We have the cylinder on the axis and the random element of fortune. To get to the current casino roulette, we lack the numbers. We owe those to Blaise Pascal.
We could say that Pascal was a genius. A prodigy to whom, despite his short life (he died at the age of 39, in 1662), we owe great inventions and mathematical advances; surely the best known is La Pascalina, considered the first calculator in history.
A restless man, this French mathematician wanted to invent a perpetual motion machine. To find the balance, he divided a cylinder into boxes from 1 to 36, without the zero.
This invention helped him to develop theories about the branch of mathematics that studies probability, but also to have a good time with friends. Casino roulette was born.
Roulette and casino
Once we have the invention, we have to make it known. And that was in charge of two twin brothers named François and Louis Blanc, who are considered the first big businessmen in the casino world.
They were the ones who introduced the zero in roulette to make it a little more interesting (years later, the characteristic double zero of American roulette would be added). It was this game that made them known in the mid-19th century; so much so that in 1861 they were awarded the concession of the famous Monte Carlo Casino for 50 years. Thanks to the Blancs, the Casino de Monaco became what it still is.
The rest is history.