What is Roulette?

Roulette is a casino game played on a table with a spinning wheel. Players place their bets by placing chips on a special betting mat. The croupier then throws a ball into the wheel. If the ball lands on a number, section or color, the players win.

Outside bets are those made on options found around the edge of the table and offer lower payouts than inside bets. They also have a lower probability of winning.


The game roulette, whose name means “small wheel,” emerged in 17th-century France from other gambling games such as Roly Poly and Even Odd as well as an Italian game called Biribi. It then gained popularity in Europe and eventually made its way to America. Numerous fanciful stories exist about its origin, including one that says the game was invented by the French mathematician Blaise Pascal and another that claims it originated in China before being brought to Europe by Dominican monks. However, the earliest written reference to the game is in a document about gambling regulations published in New France (now Quebec) in 1758.


The roulette wheel has a number of different bets available. The most popular is the Split bet, which pays out 17 to 1 if the ball lands on two numbers you have chosen. The next inside bet is the Street bet, where players place chips on three adjacent numbers in a row and get an 11 to 1 payout. The outside bets are the Dozens and Columns bets, which pay 2-1 and have slightly lower odds of winning.