What is Roulette?


A gambling game in which a small ball is spun around a rotating disk and bets are placed on the number or color in which it will come to rest when it stops spinning. It is a casino game of chance that originated in the 18th century and gained renown in Europe. The bets are made on a special table and must be backed by real money; winning bets receive their original stake back, but losing bets lose their initial investment. Roulette is available in land-based casinos and online.

There are thousands of systems, some complex and others not so, for playing roulette (or at least trying to beat the house edge). Some systems make specific bets, groupings of numbers or even a single number; while other systems focus on the odds of various combinations of numbers or on the high or low number (19-36) and whether they are odd or even.

The wheel used for roulette is a solid wooden disc, slightly convex in shape. Its rim is divided into thirty-six compartments painted alternately red and black. A croupier, who is also the dealer, spins the wheel and puts a ball into one of the compartments. The croupier then announces the winning number and pays the player his or her bet.

Roulette is a simple game that requires only luck to play, yet it is one of the most popular games in casinos and gambling houses. It is a fast and exciting game that can involve large amounts of money.

The history of roulette is a bit obscure, but it is believed that the first version was invented in the 17th century by Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician and scientist who was at work on a perpetual motion machine. The game evolved to its present form by the end of the century, when it became a standard casino game in Paris and throughout France.

During the game, players place their bets by laying chips on a special table-mat, the precise location of each chip indicating the bet being made. Bets on six numbers or less are termed “Inside bets”, and those on 12 numbers or more are called “Outside bets”. The precise layout of the betting area is determined by the style of table being used. For example, some European tables have a “call bets” section; this indicates the type of bet being placed, and is indicated by French terms on the betting mat.

The roulette wheel is a magnificent piece of engineering, and it is one of the most beautiful machines in any casino. But, it is not without its flaws, as some professional gamblers in the 1930s discovered by seeking out rigged wheels and making specific bets against them.