What is Roulette?

Roulette is a gambling game in which a small ball is released into a revolving wheel. Bets are placed on which red or black numbered compartment the ball will come to rest in.

The roulette wheel has thirty-six red and black numbered compartments, as well as a green division that carries the number 0. There are also two extra green compartments on American wheels that carry the numbers 0 and 00.


Fanciful theories abound as to the origin of roulette. It is credited to the 17th century French mathematician Blaise Pascal but it is also believed to have been derived from the older games hoca and portique. Regardless of the specific ancestry, roulette developed into its current form by the mid 1800s and gained rapid popularity across Europe. It is still played today in the same manner, with bets placed on a roulette wheel and table.