Roulette is one of the most popular casino games in Europe. But it isn’t as popular in America as slots, video poker, blackjack and craps.
Players place chips on a layout, which shows the numbers 1 through 36 and various groupings of numbers. Each player determines what color their chips will be and the value they will represent.
While many fanciful theories exist about the origin of roulette, its roots can be traced to the 17th century and the search by mathematician Blaise Pascal for a perpetual motion machine. Ultimately, the modern game was developed in 18th century France as a combination of English wheel games Reiner, Ace of Hearts and Even Odd and Italian board games Hoca and Biribi. Its recognizable layout and wheel structure first appeared in the encyclopaedias around 1800. A written reference to the game came earlier, however, as part of a document outlining gambling regulations. It included a list of banned games, including the French wheel game.
Roulette is played in a variety of ways. The most popular variation is the European version which features a standard 38 pocket wheel with a single zero. This makes it easier for players to win, especially if they place their bets correctly.
Other roulette game variations feature unique bet types and special betting rules. These can be confusing for beginners, who should stick with the European roulette format with a friendly house edge. Other variations include Double Action Roulette which is based on the Mark VII wheel, and French Roulette which uses a special table layout and French names for bets.