1842 AD: Roulette in Public

It was during this year that everything changed. Francois and Louis Blanc decided that they wanted to make roulette wheel that had a zero on it. They did this for King Charles of Monaco. This was simply to offer a little more in the way of a House advantage for the game (more numbers, more chances to lose basically). Charles was a bit of a gambling enthusiast and he decided that he would set up a casino in Monte Carlo, Monaco; simply because his aim was to bring more income to the royal coffers.

While the roulette wheel was very much the real thing and people were starting to use if for gambling before this period, it wasn’t until 1842 that the zero appeared on the wheel. A staple of the modern Thrills roulette wheel.

This was a significant issue, due to the advantage it brought to the house. On top of all of this, French law made gambling illegal at exactly the same time King Charles built that casino. This made Monaco an attractive spot for gambling, and it has very much kept that attraction right up to this day. Monaco has, since that fateful time, been associated with sophisticated gambling, and the roulette wheel has had a very large part to play in all of this.

At around the same time, the roulette wheel somehow found it’s way across the water to the United States. The Americans loved it, and decided to adapt the table game a little so that it suited their own tastes. They added a double zero to the table, bringing even more chance to the game, and therefore bringing the total number of slots on the table to 37. This is a major part of roulette’s history, and was entirely due to the US influence on roulette.

More reading: How the casino history began

This has been the subject of much controversy over the centuries. Europeans claimed to like the single zero, while Americans often claimed their table as being the better one to play on. If wealthy people could travel the world and they liked to gamble, they would simply play both tables, enjoying the better or worse odds they provided. But at the heart of it all was a little rivalry. Europeans maintained their table was fair, while the American table was ‘a fix’,a rigged game.