Is it really American Roulette?

American Roulette

Most gamblers are familiar with the fact that the game of roulette has two main variations, European Roulette and American Roulette, presumably named for their country of origin. Each game is characterised by its own unique wheel layout, European Roulette with a single 0 and American Roulette with a 00 wheel.

But while the Americans would take claim for the American version of the game, it is interesting to note that wheels with the double zero appeared in Parisian Casinos as early as the late 1790's, long before it ever crossed the pond to America. In fact the double zero roulette wheel even predated the single zero wheel which was introduced in Germany in order to compete with other casinos offering the single and double zero wheel.

So while the Americans may have successfully modified the design of the table and layout later on, they didn’t invent the double zero wheel. So should the game really be called "American Roulette"?

The answer depends on why you think a name should be given, if it the origin of the wheel that should give the game a name, then it is not American Roulette after all!

The actual reason that the game inherited this name was not due to where it was invented but rather due to the style of the game which emerged after reaching the American shores which consisted of a single dealer standing at the table, being supervised by a single pit boss rather than the 3 to 8 staff members that were original required to run the double ended French Roulette Table. Also, having a single croupier on a smaller table design was more efficient in the bars and saloons where space was limited as the game became popular during the California Gold Rush. Most importantly though, the dealer was required to stand to ensure that he could better defend himself and the house's money, more easily pulling a gun if it was necessary.

Just a little fascinating Roulette trivia and history that really makes you think. For more fascinating facts about Roulette, visit our Frequently Asked Roulette Questions page here.