The History of Roulette


When a player arrives at the table he tells the croupier how much each of his chips will be worth and she parcels them out accordingly. Players can make bets until the croupier indicates that they cannot anymore.

Afterwards a small ball is released into the compartments of a revolving wheel and bets are placed on which number it will come to rest in by placing chips on a betting mat. The odds are calculated according to a mathematical formula.


The history of roulette is somewhat hazy, but it’s widely thought that the game came from France. There’s also a suggestion that it was inspired by the ancient Greek game of alethia, which involved using shields with symbols on them to bet on which symbol would land next to an arrow. Another theory is that the game was invented by a 17th-century French mathematician named Blaise Pascal during his search for a perpetual motion machine. Others say that it may have come from an Italian board game called biribi. In any event, the wheel and layout of modern roullete are distinctly French.