What Is Roulette?


Roulette is a game of chance played on a circular table with black and red chips. Players place their bets on individual numbers or groups of numbers. Some bets are called outside bets and others are inside bets.

The wheel has thirty-six compartments that are alternately colored red and black, with a green compartment labeled 0. On American roulette wheels there are two more green spaces marked 00.


The origin of roulette is somewhat unclear. One theory suggests that it was invented by 17th-century French physicist Blaise Pascal during his attempts to create a machine that could demonstrate perpetual motion. Another theory says that the game was inspired by the Chinese board games hoca and portique. A third theory points to a game called Roly Poly and the Italian E.O. (even/odd) game Biribi as possible ancestors. In any case, roulette is an ancient gambling game with a long history. Its current layout and wheel structure are largely unchanged since the 18th century. Even encyclopaedias in the 1800s still described the game as having 38 numbers, not 37. However, the zeroes on modern wheels are green rather than red. This is to reduce the chance of confusion with the number zero.


Roulette variations can include special betting rules and bets. These variations can also offer higher payouts compared to standard roulette games. Some of these variations are more suitable for experienced players, while others may be better suited for beginners. For example, Lightning Roulette is a game from Evolution Gaming that offers a multiplier of up to 500x. Another is Triple Bonus Spin Roulette from IGT, which boasts a payout of 1:12,000 for a straight bonus win. Other variations of the game include Double Action Roulette and Double Ball Roulette. These games use the European Roulette wheel and layout but come with a different house edge of 2.7%.