What is Roulette?


A shady game of chance where players place bets on the number that will appear when a small ball drops into a compartment in a rotating wheel. There are many different bet types, but some bets pay better odds than others.

Outside bets cover groups of numbers, such as red or black, odd or even. These bets are easier to win, but they have lower payouts.


Despite countless theories, the true origin of roulette is not known. One popular story is that it was invented by the 17th-century French physicist Blaise Pascal, who was seeking to invent a perpetual motion machine. Instead, he came up with a wheel that had numbered slots and a ball that would eventually come to rest in one of them. The wheel became a popular game among the French, and by the 18th century it had spread to England, where it was influenced by English even-odd games such as Hoca and Biribi, and the Italian board game Lotto Reale. The game was not named roullete until 1716, though. Until then, it was simply called the little wheel. Various other names have been used, including hoca, portique and French roulette.