The History of Roulette


In roulette, players place bets on different groups of numbers. Each group offers a different probability for winning and lower payouts when won.

The wheel consists of a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape. Around the rim are metal separators or frets that are numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36. There is also a green compartment on American wheels that carries the number 0.


The history of roulette is a bit murky, and there are many theories as to how the game came into being. One of the most popular is that it was invented by 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal as part of his quest to create a perpetual motion machine. Another theory is that it was derived from older games such as hoca and portique, which were then transmitted to France by Dominican monks.

Other possible ancestors of roulette include English games such as Roly Poly and Even-Odd, as well as Italian games like Biribi. Regardless of the exact origin, it is clear that roulette emerged in the 17th century and was widely adopted by gambling houses and casinos throughout Europe. By the early 1800s, it had become a fixture in the gambling scene across Paris.