Roulette was created in France during the 18th century using the Pascal roulette wheel which was a perpetual motion machine produced in the previous century. This is nothe the first factor that roulette borrowed from previously known games including the English games of Ace of Hearts, Roly-Poly and Reine, and the Italian games known as Biribi and Hoca.
Roulette became popularized in 1796 and was played primarily by the wealthy upper class, since they were the only ones who had enough money to enjoy the game. The early wheel's single zero was colored red and the double zero was colored black. In the 1800s these two numbers were changed to the color green because of the confusion they added being the same color combinations as the rest of the selections.
The roulette wheel was brought to Germany in 1843 where the double zero was removed by Louis and François Blanc in hopes of using it to complete against the French casinos which had two zero options. In 1886 the United States got their first roulette wheel which also had the double and single zero, the numbers 1 through 28, and the American Eagle as an additional slot.
The eagle was also added to give the game some flare and differentiate it from other games. If the ball who land on the American Eagle all the chips on the table would be removed save the winner and he would receive twenty-seven chips for every one placed. The eagle was removed after a short time and the United States roulette wheel then only contained numbers. This was the form of the game which stuck the longest and is now seen all around the world. Just like in France the game was an instant success because of it was easy to learn and most places didn't have a high betting minimum.
In 1860s Germany abolished gambling and the Blanc family had to move their invention to one of the last standing casinos in Europe, Monte Carlo. This caused the location to become a hub for gambling and casinos, many of which still stand today. The single zero roulette wheel attracted numerous people, and became a premier game in Monte Carlo.
There wasn't a day that went by that roulette wasn't played and once the laws against gambling were removed from Germany the game was re-introduced and happily welcomed back by the locals. During the same time the American double zero version of the game had spread across most of the country, moving quickly from New Orleans, up the Mississippi and then heading west.
On its travels it became a custom to sit the wheel on top of a table to prevent both gamblers and operators from cheating. Eventually a table layout for the game was made, simplifying the rules and making every game more alike. By the time the roulette wheel settled in Las Vegas the game has been completely standardized. Even though the quick American style and the slow French style of the game were polar opposite the American style won out in the end and can be found in many European countries.
The layout of the roulette table and wheel are basically the same wherever the game is played. The table is cloth covered and has marked locations with all the numbers and blank spaces where bets can be made. The table is usually red to contrast the color of the betting chips. The wheel is normally located at one end of the table where the croupier will stand, though there are a few, rare models where the wheel is in the center of the table.
The wheel has the double zero and the single zero in green and the rest of the numbers in black and red. The two zeroes will be across from each other and the rest of the numbers alternate black and red, two evens and two odds at a time. A white or gold ball is rolled around the outside of the wheel and it will land in one the the numbered slots. A player's chips are normally color-coded to help indicate who's chips belong to who.
There are a variety of options for the players when it comes to betting. Bets can be put onto a color, evens or odds, a specific number or any number of those options. Betting in certain number ranges is allowed as well, meaning that the chances of winning can be anywhere from very high, 50%, to as low as 3%. Choosing even, odd, black, red, and the number ranges of 1-18 and 19-36 have a pay out of 1:1. Choosing the number ranges of 1-12, 13-24, and 25-36 have a payout of 2:1 and all single numbers have a payout of 35:1.
Of course the higher the payout the less likely it is for the ball to land on. Players are able to continue placing their bets until the ball stops or the croupier calls the betting to stop. Once the ball lands on a number the croupier will mark the winning number on the table with a dolly which delays any plays, including betting or collecting bets. All the losing bets will be removed from the table and all the winning bets will be converted based on the ratios of winning.
The marker is removed after all payouts are made and betting can resume again with the previous winning bets remaining on the table. This whole process can be done in under a minutes. There are maximum and minimum bets but each place has there own rules on what they are.
California Roulette is a newer form of the game that was created in 2004. Instead of using a wheel with slots it uses cards as the betting options. When the card is selected it is removed after payouts are finished. Red and black colors are used but numbers are optional and there hasn't been much regulation yet. The winning ratios are about the same. This version of the game is mostly found on the western coast of the United States. It is not very popular in many other places.