Origins of Roulette


Roulette is a casino game that involves spinning a ball around a roulette wheel. The ball lands in one of the 37 or 38 numbered slots on the wheel. Players make wagers on inside and outside bets until the croupier says no more bets.

There are several bet types in roulette, but they all boil down to two categories. The first is the outside bets. These are wagers on large groups of numbers such as the ‘neighbours’.


The game of roulette is several centuries old and its origins are unclear. While most experts agree that the modern game originated in France, there are conflicting theories about its ancestors. One theory links it to 17th century French mathematician Blaise Pascal’s accidental invention of the spinning wheel, while another claims that it was based on Chinese ‘Roly Poly’ and ‘Even Odd’ games or on Italian ‘Biribi’ and ‘Hoca’. A third theory links it to Dominican monks who brought the game to Europe from China. Whatever its actual origin, it emerged in the early 18th century and is now the centrepiece of casino and gambling games worldwide. The first written reference to it was in a 1758 document about gambling regulations in New France. It was later included on a list of banned games.


While the core rules of roulette are identical across all variations, there are some differences that can influence your win potential. For example, French Roulette shares a similar house edge with the European version but has two additional rules: ‘En prison’ and ‘La Partage’. Another difference is the payouts, with games like Lighting Roulette from Evolution Gaming offering multipliers up to 500x your bet and IGT’s Triple Bonus Spin delivering payouts of up to 1:12,000 for straight bonus wins.

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