What is Roulette?

Roulette is a game of chance played on a table marked with numbers and a revolving wheel. There are thirty-six compartments on the wheel alternating red and black, plus one green (on American tables only).

Players place chips on various bet types to try to predict where the ball will land after each spin. Some bets pay better than others, but none of them are guaranteed to win.


There are many fanciful stories surrounding the origins of roulette. Some people claim that it was invented by 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal in his search for a perpetual motion machine, while others think that the game evolved from an old Italian board game called Biribi or from a Spanish gambling game known as hoca. However, these claims are unsubstantiated and most historians agree that roulette in its modern form was first played in France around the 18th century. It is thought to have been derived from the older games hoca and portique, which were already being used in some French casinos at this time.