The Mysterious Origins of Roulette

Roulette has one of the smallest followings of any casino game, nowhere near the popularity of slots, video poker and blackjack. But it still draws crowds in Monte Carlo and other casinos.

The game involves betting on a rotating wheel that contains thirty-six black and red compartments numbered 1 through 36 (on European wheels, there is also a green zero and a double-zero). Each bet pays differently depending on the odds.


The origin of roulette is a bit of a mystery. Some believe it was invented by 17th-century French physicist Blaise Pascal during his quest to create a wheel that could demonstrate perpetual motion. Others attribute it to Dominican monks who brought the game from China and passed it on to people they met along their travels. Still, others point to English E.O. games like Roly-Poly and even the Italian board game Biribi as possible ancestors of modern roulette.

There’s also a possibility that soldiers in the French army played the game during the revolution. This is supported by a reference in regulations for New France in the 1790s that prohibited roulette, dice, and faro. However, there isn’t enough evidence to support this theory.


Whether it’s the iconic European roulette wheel, or a triple-wheel variation like Lighting Roulette from Evolution Gaming that promises to deliver payouts of up to 500x your bet, players can enjoy numerous variations of this classic game. These unique twists make for a mesmerizing experience and add to the overall enjoyment of the game. As such, these variations can become quite popular in time. The good news is that online roulette offers the same fundamentals of standard roulette as well as the varying gameplay that makes each spin a mesmerizing adventure in itself.

One example of this is French roulette, which retains the traditional rules of European Roulette but also includes two additional betting options – ‘En prison’ and ‘La Partage’.

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