Origin of Roulette

Roulette is a casino game of chance. Players make bets on a number, section or color of the table (the layout) and the croupier throws a ball into the wheel. The winning wagers are then paid out.

More than 300 years ago, 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal invented the game. It quickly gained traction in Paris.


Despite its popularity in casinos and gambling houses, the origin of roulette is unknown. Fanciful stories include that it was invented by 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal during his attempt to develop a wheel that would demonstrate perpetual motion, or by Dominican monks who learned the game in China and brought it back to France with slight modifications. Another possibility is that roulette was derived from the older games hoca and portique, which appeared in France in the 18th century.

There is also a connection to Roman soldiers, who played games similar to modern roulette by spinning shields that were painted with symbols. However, there is no evidence that this is the case. The most likely explanation is that roulette was developed in France in the 18th century from a combination of a gaming wheel and the Italian game Biribi.