As we all know, the roulette wheel was created by a French man who struck a deal with Lucifer, otherwise known as the devil, Satan, or Beelzebub. What, you didn’t know this? Oh, well then prepare your ears for a grand tale.
See, it was back in 1655, and a French physicist and mathematician named Blaise Pascal was hanging out, minding his business. When, alas, amidst a blinding bolt of lightening Satan did appear, brandishing a pitchfork and stroking his mighty beard.
“See here,” Satan did say, “I shall give to you the blueprints of a spinning wheel, and you shall create it, and hence shall you also have all of its secrets thrust upon your mortal mind. With these secrets, you shall know all the winning strategies of the wheel, and so shall your soul be mine.”
Pascal accepted, and set about making the infernal contraption, which would come to be known as the roulette wheel. But, in an inspired moment, Pascal decided to hide the origins of the wheel in its very design, so all those smart enough would identify the truth of the wheel. And so, to this very day, the numbers on a roulette wheel add up to, drum roll, 666. Chilling laughter.
The Perpetual Motion Machine
If I’m being honest, I didn’t actually check if the numbers really add up to 666 on a roulette wheel. I didn’t have the patience to manually go about adding them. But it seems like its true, and it gave me an excuse to write the above nonsense, so I hope it’s true.
The roulette wheel really was invented by a French man named Blaise Pascal in 1655, but, to ease your mind, there was no mention of Satan being present, with or without a pitchfork. At least there was no mention of Satan in the history article I was reading. So; phew.
The interesting aspect of the roulette wheel invention is that Pascal wasn’t trying to create a casino game. In fact, he was trying to do something a great deal more interesting. He was trying to defy the very laws of physics.
As we all know, kinetic energy has a pretty firm stance on the whole “objects in motion” thing. That is to say; an object in motion is going to come to a stop at some point, since there is no such thing as unlimited energy. Pascal, however, thumbed his nose at physics and its oppressive rules, and set about trying to create a perpetual motion machine. What is a perpetual motion machine?
Why, only an object that keeps moving, without any need for outside influence. In other words; the mad, mad Frenchman was trying to create something impossible, and actually committed time to it. I don’t know about you, but that thought is a great deal more fascinating than visits by a red guy with a pitchfork.
Failure Turned Success
So, making an educated guess, my thoughts are that Pascal was trying to create a wheel that would keep spinning for infinity. As I said; mad, mad Frenchman. His machine failed, of course, since physics doesn’t care how often you thumb your nose at it, it’s going to stick to the established rules. How sad Pascal must have been, having not defied the very fabric of the universe.
But, of course, his failed machine had some numbers added to it, and went on to be the roulette wheel. The history article I read didn’t mention if Pascal was happy about this turn of events, but if I were him, I would have been pretty damn pleased with myself. After all, a failed perpetual motion machine would surely not have made any appearances in future history articles. The roulette wheel, however, is known across the entire planet. If anything, maybe Pascal made a deal with the devil to turn a doomed experiment into worldwide success.
Adding A Zero
And this isn’t even where the fascinating facts about the roulette wheel end. Up until the 1800s the roulette wheel didn’t have a zero pocket. And if you know anything about roulette, you’ll know that the zero pocket is a pretty important aspect of its design, since It is, after all, what allows casinos to keep their doors open. It is the house edge. So why was the zero pocket added?
It turns out that Prince Charles III was in the process of rejuvenating a little area named Monaco. Charles and his bride, Catherine, had come up with a scheme to build casinos, which would draw wealthy gamblers into the area. Monaco had not been a wealthy region in the mid 1800s, and in fact had some hefty debts to deal with. The zero pocket was added to help the casinos built by Charles and Catherine draw in more profits, and so help Monaco out of its financial slump.