Roulette is a casino game played with a wheel and a ball. Its origin dates back more than 300 years, with Frenchman Blaise Pascal being credited for its invention.
The roulette wheel has compartments numbered 1 through 36, alternately red and black, plus one green compartment labelled 0. European roulette also includes rules known as en prison and la partage, which reduce the house edge.
The name of roulette – ‘little wheel’ – suggests a French origin, but it is believed to have actually been invented in the late eighteenth century by mathematician Blaise Pascal. In his quest to create the world’s first perpetual motion machine, Pascal inadvertently developed a weighted wheel that became the basis for the modern game of roulette. From its inception, roulette was a favorite of the wealthy classes, who would gather in Paris’ gilded casinos to place their bets on the spin of the wheel. After a brief ban, roulette made its way to the United States, Italy, and Germany, where it continued to flourish. It finally returned to France in the early 1900s, where it now enjoys a global presence.
Many websites claim that roulette is derived from earlier games like hoca and portique. However, the evidence is slim.