Why Is Roulette Called The Devil’s Game?
By Alex Smith May 19, 2022
Roulette is arguably the most popular casino game globally, and it’s been around since the 17th century. Every day, millions of bets are placed by players on a roulette game, whether it’s in the renowned Monte Carlo Casino or at online casinos.
Have you ever heard roulette referred to as the devil’s game? There’s a good reason why it’s nicknamed this, and on this page, we will be showing you why roulette called for this unique nickname!
The Casino Game is Steeped in Ancient Legend
Roulette was developed in the 17th century by a French physicist, mathematician, and philosopher called Blaise Pascal. He inadvertently created roulette in his quest to create a perpetual motion machine! While he ultimately failed to develop a perpetual motion machine, Pascal did manage to create one of the most famous casino table games in history — here’s why it’s often called the devil’s game:
All of the numbers on the roulette wheel add up to 666. As you probably already know, 666 is closely associated with the devil. So, now you know why roulette is called the devil’s game!
However, keep reading if you’re curious about learning more about the devil’s wheel and some of the different types of roulette games you can play today!
Different Roulette Wheel Varieties (Devil’s Game)
Head to the Monte Carlo Casino or any online casino, and you’ll find a wide variety of roulette games to play. (Or should we say — the devil’s wheel!) Playing roulette has become so popular that land-based casinos and online game developers have created multiple variations of the roulette machine. Below, we will look at a few of the main types of roulette.
European Roulette (European Devil’s Game)
European Roulette is, without a doubt, the most popular variation of roulette you will find on offer at online casinos today. If you step foot into a land-based casino outside of the United States or load up an online casino, it’s almost certainly European Roulette that will be offered.
European Roulette is the most well-known game variation, featuring 37 numbers. European Roulette offers one of the lowest house edges (aside from French Roulette) and straight-up number bets payout at 35/1, which means a one-dollar bet returns $36 if placed correctly.
European Roulette wheels also offer various other betting options, including red/black, odd/even, and you can also bet on thirds.
American Roulette (Called ‘Roulette’) in the USA
Although there is one significant difference, American Roulette functions similarly to European Roulette. On an American Roulette wheel, there are 38 numbers, and this is because there is a zero and a 00. However, straight-up number bets still payout at 35/1, which means the house edge of American Roulette is significantly worse when compared to European Roulette.
Because of this, most players try to avoid American Roulette. If you have the option, you should always choose European or French Roulette over American Roulette, as the odds are more favorable.
While hard to find, French Roulette is the best version of roulette you can play as it offers the lowest house edge. This is because any even-money bets you place that lose when zero lands are not totally lost; instead, the casino will give you 50% of your wager back.
As you can imagine, casinos aren’t overly enthusiastic about offering French roulette to players. Still, if you see it offered, you should jump at the chance to play — especially in land-based casinos, where it is scarce.
Mini Roulette / Little Wheel American Roulette
Mini roulette is generally only found at online casinos, and it’s more of a novelty game than anything else. Still, it can be pretty fun, especially if you are looking for something different from conventional roulette.
As the name implies, Mini Roulette is simply a miniature version of conventional roulette. While each game developer has their own way of doing things, most Mini Roulette games tend to have a total of 11 or 15 numbers.
You place bets in precisely the same way you do when you play regular roulette, but, of course, the payouts are quite a bit lower as there are fewer numbers.
Double Ball Roulette Machine
Double Ball Roulette Is something that was first seen in bookmakers in the UK on their fixed-odds betting terminals, and it’s quite a unique take on the traditional Roulette game, with more action on every spin. As the name suggests, Double Ball Roulette is played with not one but two balls. Each time you begin a new game, both of these all spin the wheel, and once they have landed, payouts are awarded as per the result of the game.
Of course, because two balls are spinning (essentially, you have double the chances of winning), the odds are halved. Or, as is more commonly done, your total stake is simply split between the two wheels that spin.
No-zero roulette (mini roulette called the devil’s game)is an incredibly rare type of roulette that is offered at a few online casinos and a few land-based casinos throughout the world. As the name suggests, no-zero roulette is played on a wheel that does not have a zero segment. Naturally, this is incredibly beneficial for players, and it means that you can play the game without a house edge.
For example, when playing no-zero roulette, even-money bets (red/black, odd/even, for example) continue to be paid out at 1/1. But those are the true odds, so the casino doesn’t have a statistical edge over you in the long run.
Why online casinos choose to offer no-zero roulette is anyone’s guess. More than likely, it’s a marketing tactic. By advertising that they are offering a roulette wheel with no house edge, casinos can tempt players to sign up at their website. Even though there is no house edge, and the casino doesn’t have a mathematical advantage, there is still no guarantee that you will end up winning.
However, as you can imagine, zero-ball roulette is tough to come across, and you have to hunt incredibly hard to find it. If you do manage to, you will likely find that the maximum bet is relatively low, and some casinos may even limit how much money you can spend at the table.
History of Roulette: What You Need to Know About the Spinning Wheel Casino Game
Roulette is quite a complex topic for historians; experts cannot seem to agree upon exactly when the game of roulette was first created, and differing accounts date the game’s origins to either the mid-16th century or the early 1700s. However, one of the most credible and widely-accepted historical accounts of the game is that it was first developed in 1655 by a French philosopher known as Blaise Pascal.
Pascal, for many years, had been experimenting with perpetual motion, and he was desperate to create a device that could continue infinitely without external help. It’s believed that he ended up creating the roulette wheel in his quest to create a perpetual motion device. However, it’s important to point out that the roulette wheel created by Pascal looked nothing like the roulette wheel you would see if you stepped into a casino today.
That being said, Blaise Pascal had set the wheels in motion, and his early prototype would go on to become one of the most recognizable and popular games on the planet. Unfortunately, little is known about what happened next until the year 1842. Two French brothers, François and Louis Blanc, reportedly rediscovered Pascal’s old perpetual motion device. They took a great interest in this device, made some modifications, and used it to start taking wagers from wealthy French entrepreneurs and business people.
They named the game roly-poly, and, by all accounts, it turned out to be an immediate success, with many French business people coming from all over the country to try their luck playing roulette. Indeed, if you look at paintings and artwork from the period, you will see the roly-poly machine in action. Groups of wealthy men crowd around the table, reaching over one another to place chips on the betting area while smoking a cigar and drinking whiskey simultaneously.
In the early 1900s, roly-poly started to make its way to other countries, and, like many things in life, once it reached the American shores, it underwent further commercialization. At the turn of the century, roulette started to be placed in land-based casinos throughout the United States, and, just like the original roly-poly, it became an instant hit.
Today, roulette is found at virtually every online casino in the world. If you walk into a land-based casino that does not have a roulette table, there’s probably something wrong.
Roulette has not changed much since the early 1900s, although, as we saw earlier in this post, game developers have tried to get creative and come up with unique spin-offs. We have also seen the live iGaming industry booming in recent years. This has produced several innovative roulette games, some of which combine video slot features and others that offer progressive jackpots.
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