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French Roulette - The Origins of Roulette

The term "Roulette" is derived from a French word meaning small wheel, hence to many, the game is known as French roulette. The origin of roulette is not very clear. While some sources state that Blaise Pascal, a 17th Century French mathematician invented the roulette wheel, other sources state that the game originated in China and was brought to Europe by Dominican monks who were trading with the Chinese.

During the late 18th century the Roulette wheel became very popular when Prince Charles (ruler of Monaco at the time) introduced gambling to Monaco as a way of alleviating the financial problems of the region. For those who don't know, Monaco is a small independent principality of Europe, forming an enclave in southeastern France, and bordered on the south by the Mediterranean Sea and surrounded on the north, east, and west by the French department of Alpes-Maritimes. The principality, which lies east of Nice, is particularly famous as a high-roller resort.

Back to the issue of French roulette vs. China roulette, the modern version of the roulette wheel did not appear until 1842 when Frenchmen Francois and Louis Blanc invented the single "0" roulette game. The game was eventually brought to America in the early 1800s. However, the single "0" modification was rejected in America and the two zeros "00" were returned to the roulette wheel. From there, the roulette wheel gained a great deal of popularity in America during the California Gold Rush of the 1800's.

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