The Progression of Games and Technology

Virtual Reality Roulette

Roulette Today

These days, roulette is a hugely popular online casino game. It’s available at the vast majority of casino sites around the world. Join pretty much any iGaming site and you’ll find some roulette games to play.

While roulette started as a single game with just one variant, there are lots of different versions of it. The two main ones are the European and American versions.

In European roulette games, the wheel has a total of 37 numbered pockets: 1-36 plus 0. As for American roulette, its wheel has 38 pockets: 1-36 plus 0 and 00.

As we’ll see later, there are many ways in which roulette games can vary from the standard version. New features have been able to be added to roulette thanks to advances in technology.

Before we look at these, we’ll head back to the start of online roulette. Though digital versions of roulette haven’t been around for too long, they’ve certainly come a long way.

The First Online Roulette Games

It all started with Microgaming, a provider of online casino games. It’s known for many online gambling industry firsts, as well as popular games such as the Mega Moolah progressive jackpot slots.

In fact, Microgaming was responsible for developing the world’s first real-money online gambling software, which happened back in 1994. Two years later in 1996, the first proper online casino was launched, and so was the first online roulette game.

The first online roulette gaming software was understandably very basic. Though not available now, it would have no doubt followed the basic rules of roulette and offered no extra features of any kind.

The graphics, sound effects, and animations would have also been very simple; nothing like the advanced visuals and noises that you’ll find in today’s games.

As online gambling took off towards the end of the millennium, more and more digital casinos launched. They had few games, but roulette was among the most common ones.

Roulette Goes Mobile

A significant advance came in the mid-2000s with the development of mobile gambling software. Again, Microgaming was the pioneer of this, releasing the first mobile-friendly casino games in 2004.

Before online roulette came around, you could only play roulette for real money at land-based casinos. If there wasn’t one near you, tough. Thanks to web-based roulette games, you can now play from the comfort of your own home.

Mobile roulette software took things further, letting you play the game wherever you like. So long as your phone is connected to the internet, there are practically no limits to where you can play.

Live Dealer Roulette and Streaming Technology

Online games are entirely digital; live ones, on the other hand, are real-life games involving a dealer and physical props. Members of roulette casinos can play live dealer games through their accounts, no matter where they are.

The first live dealer games were developed by the provider Playtech in the late 1990s. However, the technology required to run these games was lacking and most computers weren’t capable of running them.

Fast forward a few years to 2006 and the internet, as well as the technology behind it, had become a lot more sophisticated and capable. Several providers attempted to launch live dealer games, including Microgaming and Evolution Gaming.

These newer live roulette games worked in the same way as the original ones that came out less than a decade previously. Even though they were developed with more advanced technology, their requirements were still too high for many computers.

Regular online games – ones that are fully animated – were taking off around this time and gaining in popularity. Digital versions of slots, table games, and other games were being enjoyed by lots of players.

They had reasonable loading times, performed to a high standard, and could run on a good number and range of computers. Live dealer games weren’t as easily accessible; they required too much bandwidth for many computers to deal with.

While digital games took off, live dealer ones had a much slower route to success. As computers and laptops became more advanced, a greater number of them were capable of running live games to a high standard.

Nowadays, most modern devices, including mobile ones, are built with software capable of streaming live broadcasts in high definition. The broadcast is crisp, the standard is excellent, and the result is an immersive gaming experience that brings roulette to life.

Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) Roulette

One of the more recent advances in online roulette technology is the development of augmented and virtual reality. The two are similar, yet there’s a key difference that separates them.

Augmented reality is where computer-generated imagery is placed over a live view of the real world. An example would be taking a photo on your phone’s camera and placing a digital image somewhere on the photo.

As for virtual reality, this is much more immersive. The aim of it is to make you think you’re in a completely different environment that’s generated by computer, but as realistic as possible.

With augmented reality, a fully rendered digital roulette wheel is placed onto your camera’s view of the world. It functions exactly like a roulette wheel in a fully digital game, except you see it alongside the real world.

The way virtual reality roulette works is straightforward. You wear a special helmet with a screen on the inside that makes it feel as if you’re in a casino, though it’s actually just a digital version of one.

When wearing your virtual reality helmet, you can walk about the casino environment and play games, just like you would in a real-life casino. The difference is that all of the games, like the casino you’re in, are digital.

Social Aspects of Online Roulette

Roulette is quite a social game. After all, it’s fairly common to see people in a land-based casino gathered around a roulette table, hoping for a win. People see others enjoying themselves and are encouraged to join in.

When it comes to online versions of roulette, live dealer games come close to capturing the social aspect you get in real-life casino venues.

This is because when playing live dealer roulette, even though you’re not with anyone else, you can still interact with the other players. You can also communicate with the dealer. This is thanks to the game’s chat system.

What’s more is that a growing number of roulette games take sociability to the next level. They have more ways of interacting with other people than a messaging system.

For example, some roulette apps have built-in leaderboards so you can track your progress alongside other players. There are also social casino games: these are free-to-play games you can play through social media platforms.

Social casino roulette is the same as regular roulette, except that there’s no real money involved. Plus, because it’s played on social media, it involves a lot more people and has a community feel.

With social casino roulette, you can invite your friends to play, interact with anyone else who’s playing, and have friendly competitions. Though there isn’t any gambling involved, social casino roulette can still be a lot of fun.

Security Enhancements and Fair Play

The internet, unfortunately, will always attract scammers, cheats, and crooks. It can be an unsafe place if you’re not careful. The good news is that security technology is constantly improving.

Online casinos use stringent, up-to-date software to protect their players’ data and money. A particular type of software that most reputable sites use is SSL encryption. What this does is it scrambles data and turns it into code.

Doing this makes it practically impossible for malicious third parties to get hold of what they shouldn’t and attack websites. If a casino uses SSL encryption, you can rest assured you’re safe there.

There’s also the matter of fairness. To ensure that games are unbiased at all times, casino sites use a type of software called a random number generator. What this does is it generates numbers randomly for games to use.

The outcome of each round is determined by the generated number. If it were to produce 1,000, for example, that could mean that in a roulette game, the ball lands in the 9 pocket.

Third-party companies such as eCOGRA regularly check casino sites to make sure everything’s above board and working properly. eCOGRA also checks the random number generator and ensures it’s doing what it should.

Finally, there’s blockchain technology. This is associated with cryptocurrencies, entirely digital currencies such as Bitcoin that aren’t connected to any sort of bank or financial institution.

It’s a public database that keeps records of transactions of cryptocurrency payments. But, it can also be used for casino games, namely keeping records of outcomes. A growing number of online casino games, including some roulette ones, use blockchain technology.

Thanks to this, all outcomes are logged and are available for people to see at any time. This is a way for players to prove the game isn’t being rigged.

Personalization and Customization

Customization has long been a key feature in gaming. Players like being able to change the appearance of a game, or even their own avatar, to suit their tastes.

More and more roulette games offer various customization options. You can change the appearance of the table or gaming area and can even adjust the way the wheel looks. Just a few clicks is all it takes.

In recent years, customization in regular gaming has become incredibly complex and vast. At first, the options were very limited; you might only be able to choose between three colours, for example.

However, today’s games offer a practically infinite number of ways of customizing something. The options are becoming more detailed and numerous. There are so many ways to change something that no two players will end up with the same result.

With roulette, we could well see customization become more commonplace. Games could have customizable avatars, and there could be an endless number of background settings and wheel designs.

Data Analytics in Player Experience Optimization

A look into the progression of online roulette games wouldn’t be complete without talking about data analytics. In today’s world, pretty much every piece of data you produce is kept and analysed.

Visit just about any website and you’re asked if you’d like a cookie – these are used to track your activity on the site, so it can save your preferences and show you content you’re more likely to appreciate.

With online casino games, including roulette, data analytics is used to personalize the time you spend at the casino. If you play lots of European roulette, for example, the site might show you European roulette games more often.

It goes a step further. Casinos can use data to tailor promotional offers to suit your needs. If you only claim bonus money offers and don’t bother with free spins, the site might only show you bonus money offers.

The point of data analytics is so that companies can give you a more enjoyable experience on their sites. If you’re able to access your favourite games more easily and earn better, tailored bonuses, you’re less likely to go elsewhere.

Roulette games play a small part in the personalization of the online casino experience. But they’re still affected by data analytics, just like all other games.

Technological Challenges and Future Directions

Even though online roulette has only been around for around three decades, it’s grown and changed a lot in that time. The question is: where does it go from here? What’s exciting is that no one quite knows for sure.

A lot of the technological developments we’ve discussed could improve and make roulette a better game to play in many ways. But the thing is, we don’t know what other technologies are around the corner.


Whatever happens with online roulette in the future, we’re here for the ride. Online roulette history has been full of growth, and there’s more than enough room for change in the future.

Who knows what else could be coming to online roulette in the next few years? We can’t say for certain what a typical roulette game will be like, but we’re excited to think about it.

About the author

James Gibson, Guest Author at

Name James Gibson
Job Freelance Writer Specialising in iGaming

James Gibson is a freelance content writer with passion for slot and game guides. He proclaims responsible gambling and aims at providing accurate and confirmed information.

Moderation is key. Gambling is best enjoyed when you stick to limits and you’re the one in control.

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