It is true that for most of casino games we don’t even know where they came from; mathematically perfect and amazingly attractive games couldn’t just have been born randomly. Someone must’ve invented them and, sooner or later, improved and introduced them.
This is also true for roulette, but things are a little bit different. We have quite a number of historical accounts of roulette and what seems to be roulette; but some of them contradict the other ones (or even themselves), and there’s certainly no reliable theory as of where the roulette comes from.
The theories about the origins of roulette are vast and encompass ages of our history, though they are more urban myths than anything else and little actual research into the history of roulette was performed.
Most of them are of course speculations that originate from the Internet. The wild theories tell the tale of roulette being played by Roman soldiers on wheels of their chariots; some go as far as claiming that roulette is “probably” as old as the invention of wheel itself. And some are bold enough to assume that the modern roulette is unmodified ever since its first invention.
It would take too much effort to establish the truth about roulette. Unless some dedicated history scholar takes the matter into his hands and once and for all refutes all the legends of the roulette table, nothing is going to stop the dim allegations and random telltales that casino patrons have been passing one to another for generations.
There are more or less viable theories such as the one that prescribes the invention of roulette to the Chinese, who were adept to gambling ever since the inception of their culture. Supposedly the game travelled to Europe by proxy of traders or dominican monks. We don’t know how substantiated this theory is; what we do know is that it might be possible that it’s true.
Another theory is much more modern – it attributes the invention of roulette to Blaise Pascal, a famous sixteenth century French mathematician, inventor of first digital calculator and father of the computer technology. Pascal was very interested in contemporary mathematical challenges and there’s little doubt that if the concept of roulette haven’t had been invented by then, Pascal would be the man for the job. Intricate mathematical layout of the Roulette Wheel couldn’t have been randomly invented. It is clear that a mind of mathematician – perhaps even genius for his or her epoch – was needed for the creativity that such an invention would require. This theory is very sound to an amateur ear: Pascal’s work on gambling and infamous saying that the people are compelled to gamble may very well indicate that he was more than just a theorist when it came to casino games.