Origin of Roulette

Roulette is a casino game in which a small ball drops into one of thirty-six red and black numbered compartments on a rotating wheel. There is also a green compartment labelled 0 on European wheels; and on American ones there are two additional green zeros.

Bets are placed by laying chips on the table’s betting mat. Outside bets cover groups of numbers and pay out higher odds if they win.


The origin of roulette is a bit of a mystery. There are many different theories but they all point to France in one way or another. It is claimed that it was invented in the 17th century by French mathematician Blaise Pascal as he experimented with probability. Other sources claim that the game was discovered by Dominican monks in China and then brought back to Europe where it took on its current form. Other sources even suggest that it was derived from the older games hoca and portique. Whatever the true origin, it is known that it would not be what it is today without two Frenchmen who removed the double zero pocket and gave the game its European name. This was done in 1842 when gambling was banned in France.

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