What is Roulette?

Roulette is a game of chance played on a table and a revolving wheel. Players bet on the numbers they think will appear by placing chips on a betting mat.

The roulette wheel has 37 compartments, 18 red and 18 black, with one or two green pockets (depending on the version). A croupier spins the ball in the opposite direction of the rotor’s movement.


Many fanciful stories surround the origin of roulette. Some say that it was invented by 17th century French physicist Blaise Pascal as part of his quest for perpetual motion. Others claim that the game was inspired by older games like hoca, portique, bassette, and even-odd. The word roullete itself is thought to be derived from the Old French word roelet, meaning “little wheel” or Latin rotella, which means anything circular that rotates on an axis.

Whatever the truth may be, it is clear that roullete evolved over time. As more Europeans made their way to America, roullete found itself following them, and it soon became the popular game it is today. In the process, it discarded its double-zero pocket and adopted the single-zero pocket that you see in modern roulette wheels.