Roulette is a casino game that involves a spinning wheel and a ball. Players place bets on single numbers or groups of numbers, red or black, and whether the number is odd or even. Different betting combinations have varying odds for winning and payouts.
The roulette wheel consists of thirty-six compartments, painted alternately red and black. An extra green compartment labelled 0 is added on American wheels.
The history of roulette is a bit hazy. There are many stories about its supposed ancestors, from the English Roly Poly and Even-Odd, to the Italian game of Hoca and Biribi. Most of these fanciful stories have nothing to do with the modern game of roulette, which was first described under its current name in 1716 in Bordeaux. Its layout and wheel structure are derived from older games, such as portique and hoca.
Most historians believe that the game originated in 17th century France and began as a variation of Roly Poly, a gambling game invented by the French math wizard Blaise Pascal while trying to create a perpetual motion machine. However, there is also evidence that ancient civilizations played games similar to roulette.