What's in the Roulette Numbers?

What's in the Roulette Numbers?

Blaise Pascal, inventor of the game of Roulette, was a famous mathematician. Pascal of France is one of the greatest mathematicians in the history of mankind. Pascal’s triangle is the subject matter of high school mathematics worldwide. A computer language is named after him, as well as the atmospheric pressure unit.

Origin of the Devil’s Legend

Around four hundred years ago, in the 17th Century, Pascal developed the fascinating game of Roulette. During the era of Pascal’s invention, the devil’s number was thought to be 666. It was called the Number of the Beast. Well, what do you think is the total of all of the numbers on the roulette wheel? Why, 666 of course. 

Pascal may have had a sense of humor. It is also possible that the mathematical genius developed his game without a thought in the world of the devil, and by sheer coincidence, the sum total matched the Number of the Beast. One will never know for sure. However, the fact remains that Roulette is a fascinating magnet for a large portion of the world’s population.

The Zero

Pascal was a fair-minded man. He did not place a house advantage into his game. Thus there were no zeros in Pascal’s Roulette. Approximately two hundred years after the invention of Roulette, two of Pascal’s fellow countrymen, Francois and Louis Blanc, thought to add a zero. That little nothing gives the casino its edge; and double zeros increase the house advantage. If any deal was made, it was between the devil and the Blancs. 

In fact one myth concerns specifically the French businessman and casino owner Francois Blanc. It was believed that in order to discover the secrets of Roulette, he had sold his soul to the devil. Hence the name for Roulette as the devil’s game. In any event, it seems rather nasty of Francois and Louis to have given the casino an advantage.


Casino gamers love the Roulette Wheel. In the French language, the word “roulette” means little wheel. Many historians believe that Pascal joined the pre-existing English games of Reiner, E.O., Ace of Hearts and Roly-Poly as the sources of his newly-minted game. Pascal’s Roulette was first played in 1796 in Paris. The game caught fire, and blazes in casinos today as strongly as it did hundreds of years ago.

There is nothing simple about the mathematical wizard’s game. You bet on a pocket, whimsically guessing what number, color, or area the little ball will stop on, after it has been rolled in the opposite direction of the spinning wheel. Each pocket has a number from 1 to 36. The pockets are color coordinated in regard to odds and evens, as well as the high or low range of the numbers. Even though the colors appear scattered on the wheel, Pascal had a mathematical method to his madness, which resulted in a fair and exciting game.  

The dolly is the winning Roulette chip marker. The definition of the word “dolly” reveals the reason for its use as the chip marker. A dolly can be defined as a wooden piece that is used to prevent damage by being placed upon the object to be protected.

One little tidbit of Roulette etiquette involves an unwritten taboo against drinking or eating at the Roulette table. To consume food or beverage while playing Roulette would be regarded as having poor manners.

The worst Roulette bet is found in American Roulette. A wager on 1, 2, 3, 0 and 00 would give the casino the large advantage of 7.89% and minimize the winning potential of the player. 

As to the early history of Roulette, even though the game was specifically invented in the 17th Century, games of luck that were wheel-based were first recorded during the era of ancient Rome. Therefore, Roulette is thought by many to be the oldest of the casino games.

The Dream of Something for Nothing

Roulette is a game of pure chance, aside from the small house edge created by the zero. No strategies exist. There is no skill to playing Roulette. The wager out of nowhere is the thrill of the game. The mystique of the risk excites the soul. Potential for huge pots from small bets is a magnet for the reckless nature of the human being. Throwing caution to the wind yields an exhilarating feeling of freedom. And then the once-in-awhile win!

The brilliant mathematician Pascal was experimenting with perpetual motion when he devised the fascinating game of Roulette. The game appears to have been accidentally invented through an unsuccessful experiment. That was a lucky turn of events for the gaming populace, as Roulette is one of the most popular of casino table games.

Luck Leads to Fabulous Wins

Of note is Mr. Ashley Revell, a risk taker who, in 2004 at the age of 32, liquidated every single thing he owned other than the clothes on his back.   He walked into the casino with $135,000, and bet every penny of it on one Roulette spin. Luck found him betting it all in Las Vegas on red, double or nothing, and smiled at him with a win!

Fame has also touched the life of Charles Wells, “The Man that Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo”. He ended up winning all the money at every Roulette table he played at. He has said that pure luck was the source of his amazing wins.

Albert Einstein, who developed the theory of relativity, has commented that it is impossible to beat the Roulette wheel other than by stealing money from it. Some mathematicians took advantage of an occasional accidental imbalance in the wheel itself. Casinos quickly caught on to the loophole, and today’s technology alerts the brick & mortars as soon as an imbalance arises.

Online Roulette

Online Roulette presents the opportunity to learn the game without the expenditure of real money, as well as the offer of pay-to-play games. The internet brings a new, technologically-advanced generation into the fold of Roulette players. 

American Roulette with a double zero and European Roulette with a single zero are both provided at every online Roulette site. Gamers find great software and large payouts at many of the online game rooms.

Ambiance at the Roulette Table

The Roulette wheel has been romanticized in hazy movies filled with fascination and mystique. Casablanca is such a movie, etching Roulette into the conscious awareness of history.