The History of Roulette

Roulette is a gambling game in which players guess the number on which a ball will land after a spin of the wheel. The wheel has a number of divisions numbered red and black alternately, plus a green compartment labelled 0 on European-style wheels and two extra green compartments on American ones (these carry the additional terms Pair and Manque).

Each table carries a placard showing the minimum and maximum stake per bet. The game is played with coloured chips purchased from the croupier.


There is no conclusive evidence that roulette originated in ancient Rome or Greece. However, there are some indications that Roman soldiers enjoyed playing gambling games. One of these games was a spin-the-shield game that was fairly similar to modern roulette. Soldiers would spin a shield with symbols on it, and then place bets on the symbol that would come up next to an arrow. The modern roulette wheel was introduced in the 17th century by French mathematician Blaise Pascal. His search for a perpetual motion machine led him to combine the gaming wheel with the Italian game Biribi. Roulette then became a popular game in France and eventually spread to other parts of Europe. The name roullete is thought to have been inspired by the French word for “little wheel.” Its popularity continued to grow throughout the 19th century.