The Basics of Roulette


Despite its iconic status in Monte Carlo, roulette has a relatively small following in America compared to slots, video poker, blackjack and craps. The game is purely a matter of chance and there is no strategy that can overcome the built-in house edge.

Players place bets on the numbers, groups of numbers, or colors until the croupier announces “no more bets”. Each table has a placard describing its minimum and maximum bets.


The exact origins of roulette are unknown. The most common story is that it was invented in 17th-century France by a man named Blaise Pascal, who created the wheel as part of his efforts to develop a perpetual motion machine. Other theories suggest that the game originated in China and was brought to Europe by Dominican monks.

The modern version of the game probably evolved in the early 18th century, combining elements of the French games hoca and portique with the English even/odd and Italian board game Biribi. It is also believed that it may have evolved from a gambling game played by Roman soldiers, who spun shields with symbols on them as they marched. The first written reference to roulette appeared in published regulations for Quebec in 1758 (or New France, as it was then known). It was on a list of banned games.


There are a few different types of roulette. The most common is the European variation, which has 38 pockets and a single zero. It has a lower house edge and is easier to play than other variants. Some variations also offer special betting rules and additional bets. These games can be confusing for beginners but experienced players find them fun and rewarding. If you are a beginner, try to avoid roulette variations that have special rules or additional bets.