What is Roulette?

Roulette is a casino game in which players place chips on a table. The croupier (dealer) then spins the wheel and throws a ball into one of the pockets marked on the roulette board.

Outside bets are placed on specific numbers or propositions like high-low, odd-even, first and third dozen, etc. These bets offer higher payouts than other wagers.


There are a few different types of bets in roullete, and they all offer different payouts. The split bet (known as a cheval in French) involves placing chips to straddle the line between two numbers on the layout, and is one of the most risky wagers in roulette. If you make a correct assumption and win, the payout is 17-1. Another popular bet is the Street bet (known as transversal in French), which involves betting on a row of three consecutive numbers, and pays 11-1 if you win. Outside bets are more conservative and pay 2-1, but they also have a lower probability of winning.


There are many theories as to the origins of the game known as roulette. Fanciful ones include the belief that it was invented by 17th-century French math wizard Blaise Pascal as he sought to perfect a perpetual motion machine. Others claim that it was based on an ancient Chinese board game called hoca and was brought to Europe by Dominican monks. Still, the game as we know it today was first mentioned under its current name in 1716 in Bordeaux and quickly became a popular casino and gambling game across Europe. There is even a reference to it in regulations published for Quebec (or New France as it was then called) in 1758, which banned the game along with dice and faro.

In the modern version of the game, players place chips on a betting mat in front of a rotating wheel and spin it until it comes to rest in one of the 38 (or 37 on European/Latin American tables) divisions around the edge of the table. The bets are then placed on the number that will appear.