The term "Roulette" is derived from a French word meaning small wheel. The origin of Roulette is not very clear. while some sources state that Blaise Pascal, a 17th Century French mathematician invented roulette wheel, other sources state that game originated in China and was brought to Europe by Dominican monks who were trading with Chinese.
During late 18th century Roulette wheel became very popular when Prince Charles (ruler of Monaco at time introduced gambling to Monacco as a way of alleviating financial problems of region.
However, modern version of Roulette wheel did not appear until 1842 when Frenchmen Francois and Louis Blanc invented single "0" roulette game. The game was eventually brought to America in early 1800s.
However, single "0" modification was rejected in America and two zeros "00" where returned to Roulette wheel. The Roulette wheel gained a great deal of popularity in America during California Gold Rush.
There are two types of Roulette Games.
American Roulette Wheel
The American Roulette Wheel contains 38 numbers including 0, 00 and 1 to 36. Having two zeros (0, 00) gives house a 5.26% advantage. In other words, for every $100 a gambler bets, house will make $5.26 in profit.
European Roulette Wheel
The European Roulette Wheel contains 37 numbers including 0 and 1 to 36. Having one zero (0) gives house a 2.70% advantage. In other words, for every $100 a gambler bets, house will make $2.70 in profit.
Other differences between two Roulette Games
One major difference pertains to color of gambling chips. While American casinos will give players different colored chips which will allow players to differentiate their chips/bets from other players, European casinos will give players same coloured chips. Thus unlike players at American casinos, gamblers at European casinos need to rely on memory to distinguish their chips/bets from those of other players.