Roulette is a casino game named after the French word meaning little wheel. In the game, players may pick to put bets on either a single number, different groupings of numbers, the colors red or black, whether the number is odd or even, or if the numbers are high (19– 36) or low (1– 18).

To determine the winning number, a croupier spins a wheel in one direction, then spins a ball in the opposite direction around a tilted circular track running around the outer edge of the wheel. The ball eventually loses momentum, passes through an area of deflectors, and falls onto the wheel and into one of 37 (single zero French/European style roulette) or 38 (double zero American style roulette) colored and numbered pockets on the wheel. The payouts are then paid to anyone who has placed a successful bet.

History of Roulette

The first form of roulette was devised in 18th century France. Many historians believe Blaise Pascal introduced a primitive form of roulette in the 17th century in his search for a perpetual motion machine. The roulette mechanism is a hybrid of a gaming wheel invented in 1720 and the Italian game Biribi.

The game has been played in its present form since as early as 1796 in Paris. An early description of the roulette game in its current form is found in a French novel La Roulette, ou le Jour by Jaques Lablee, which describes a roulette wheel in the Palais Royal in Paris in 1796.

In the 19th century, roulette spread all over Europe and the US, becoming one of the most famous and most popular casino games. When the German government abolished gambling in the 1860s, the Blanc family moved to the last legal remaining casino operation in Europe at Monte Carlo, where they established a gambling mecca for the elite of Europe. It was here that the single zero roulette wheel became the premier game, and over the years was exported around the world, except in the United States where the double zero wheel had remained dominant.

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