What is Roullete?

Roullete is a game of chance played at a table marked off with numbers from 1 to 36 and either one or two zeros, and having in the center a revolving dishlike device called a roulette wheel into which a small ball is spun to come to rest finally in one of the compartments, displaying the number and its characteristics (red or black, odd or even, or whether it lies within certain value ranges). Those who have bet on a specific number, section or color win according to the betting odds.

Roulette is said to have been invented by the 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal, or by a Dominican monk. However, it is more likely that it was derived from the older games hoca and portique. Its current layout and wheel structure was developed in the early 18th century, gaining popularity in casinos and gambling dens throughout Europe. In the United States, it was introduced through France, and eventually became a popular game in gambling halls across the country.

The game is played by placing chips on a special betting mat, with the precise location of the chip indicating the bet type. Bets on six numbers or less have a lower house edge than those on more than 12, which are known as outside bets.

Prior to rolling the ball, players place their bets by laying them down on the mat, with the dealer then distributing them around the wheel and table. The dealer also announces “no more bets!” before spinning the wheel, to prevent cheating and other disadvantageous maneuvers.

For nearly 25 years, the spacious TriBeCa loft that was once home to Roulette served as a critical laboratory for New York’s downtown-music scene. Its musicians—including John Zorn, Merce Cunningham and Zeena Parkins—remember the room as a vibrant hub where they could experiment with their music and share it with other artists who were eager to hear it. Now, after 45 years in operation, the venue is moving out of its loft and evolving into a bigger space on Greene Street.