Casinos have always found themselves at the cutting edge of technology. From virtual reality (VR) to live streaming services, the gambling industry has always been an early adopter, and the game of roulette is no different.
Roulette, meaning “little wheel” in French, originated in 18th century France and combined a gaming wheel—which some believe was developed by Blaise Pascal in his search for a perpetual motion machine—and the Italian game of chance, Biribi.
A roulette wheel is turned counterclockwise, and the croupier spins the ball in the opposite direction in a channel around the bowl. As the ball loses momentum it falls from the channel onto the wheel and comes to rest in one of the slots.
A wheel is divided into 37 or 38 black and red slots numbered from 0 to 36 with an additional 00 on US wheels. Before each spin, players place wagers on where they think the ball will land, either the specific number, groups of numbers or the color black or red.
If the player is successful, they are paid out pro rata the odds of their bet, 35:1 for a single number. Most roulette bets carry a 2.7% house advantagedue in part to the inclusion of the 0 (and the 00).
Traditionally you would have to visit a brick-and-mortar casino in order to experience the game of roulette but now, far more people participate through a screen of some sort. The first big technological advancement came in the form of automated machines. They allowed for wheels to keep spinning, unmanned well into the night.
You no longer need to visit a casino establishment to play a game of roulette, the game is now easily accessible from the comfort of your own home.
Following the introduction of touch screens, it became more common to see automated wheels surrounded by six or more betting terminals where players could pay in their money and place their bets somewhat more privately.
The biggest development within the industry occurred with the advent of the internet. Online casinos first appeared in the 1990s and for the very first time, people could enjoy the gaming experience from the comfort of their own home.
The small Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda were the first to grant online casino licenses in 1994 in the same year that the Liechtenstein International Lottery began ticketing online—the first recorded instance of online gambling. Today, the market is worth around $40 billion annually.
Video Lottery Terminals (VLT) and Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT) were introduced at the same time and would appear in licensed venues internationally. Video roulette would become a mainstay of these machines which used random number generators to create a simulated version of the game.
Roulette on these machines differs from previous versions of the game since now the player could dictate their own pace—often spins would occur more frequently. They tempered some of the intimidation factor that many casino novices experience during their first visits to the table but it also detracted from the social aspect of betting alongside other players.
Whereas a physical roulette wheel is truly random, video roulette is based on a fixed odds system. The longer you play the machine, probability dictates the closer you will arrive at the predetermined odds of winning. Online casino games that are available on computers and smart devices work on the same principle.
The next big evolution would come in the form of live casino. Bridging the gap between a real world establishment and a digital online casino, live casino involves a real dealer/croupier broadcast live to players’ devices.
Often live casino arrangements resemble professional TV studios with a realistic casino set, HD video capture from multiple angles and a producer managing the operation. Anyone with a stable internet connection can join the room and place bets remotely on their device. The social element made a return since most live casino rooms have accompanying chat rooms where players can interact.
Online live roulette games were found to be more interactive.
It can be encouraging to some players to see a physical ball and wheel rather than a computer-generated outcome that some feel is liable to fixing. Since its emergence, cryptocurrency has shown its attractiveness at online casinos—utilizing blockchain technology that demonstrates transparency and the outcomes of wagers that are ‘provably fair’.
After showing initial promise, public interest and investment in VR technology slowed for a period. Recently, however, there has been a VR resurgence and the tech has markedly advanced. For the first time, consumer products have warranted well-funded software development.
VR Casinos are already a reality,with the Oculus Rift headset offering just one of many titles. The VR experience places the player within a fully 3D modeled casino and they are free to navigate around the tables and slot machines taking in the sights and sounds.
Augmented reality (AR) can also put players in a digital casino world—either through a screen or a VR type transparent lens, the replicated model is projected into the room where the user is. These can feel less claustrophobic than a full VR setup and integrate more seamlessly with the real world.
Being such a competitive market, many casinos are willing to take risks on new technology for a chance to get ahead of the pack. It’s a buoyant and exciting industry to watch develop and often a great indicator of more general advancements across other sectors.
The post How technology has transformed a game of roulette appeared first on California News Times.