How early was it used? By who? Were there such things as modern days roulette? Why did the ancient Greeks love to toss coins into roulette, gambling on things as trivial as “who would win?”
In the ancient past there existed more than 200 different names for the roulette wheel, the word itself dating back to an ancient Egyptian city in Egypt—about 2,000 years ago. Some scholars believe that it may have been discovered by the Romans some two thousand years ago, making it the oldest surviving wheel of any kind used in gambling.
The invention of gambling dates back more than 2,000 years ago to the time that Aristotle, father of Western philosophy, made his major contributions to the study of rhetoric. It had not been until the second century that the Greeks perfected the art of playing craps—the game played with two rolls of dice—so that the Greek word “chauz” literally translated as “wheel,” and “sakae” literally translated into the ancient Hebrew term “wakdai.” (Wakdai was also the name of a Persian idol, associated with divination and other rituals with pagan roots.)
Like gambling, the name roulette came about because of the wheel that came with the game—the wheel that spun on a roller-coaster of probability and luck. As with any casino-game, the gambling side of gambling requires the player to guess how lucky he or she will be at the end of the game. For those who don’t gamble, roulette is simply what casinos in North America call a “quick dice game” used to determine the odds for betting and jackpots, similar to the game of bridge.
Who invented roulette as we know it?
The early origins of the wheel of fortune are uncertain. Various ancient and medieval historians have credited the wheel to Phoenicians who lived in Egypt around 7300 B.C., a fact corroborated by the Ancient Greek text Theogony:
“…and it happens that this wheel has been discovered among the ancient Egyptians. And when the Egyptians were in Egypt they had found the very same wheel in the temple of Amon in Sesios, where is the great temple of Amon. They found it there and they inscribed it upon pieces of stone…”
But this story is very dubious. According to Herodotus:
“What I find most extraordinary is [the] saying of the Greeks that the Egyptians brought it with them into Hellas, and that
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