The Basics of Roulette

Roulette is a casino game of chance that has offered glamour, mystery and excitement to players since the 17th century. Despite its apparent simplicity, the game provides a surprising level of depth for serious betters and a solid strategy can reap high rewards.

Before the ball is spun, players place chips on the betting table. A croupier then takes the ball, places it in the wheel and spins it around until it comes to rest in one of the numbered compartments. The wheel is a solid wooden disk, slightly convex in shape. Around its rim are metal partitions, called frets by croupiers, that form thirty-six red and black pockets. A green pocket with the number 0 is also included. On European wheels, there are two green pockets, whereas on American ones there are only one.

Each roulette wheel is unique. However, the overall pattern is the same across different types of roulette games. The symmetries are due to the fact that all the low red numbers and the high black numbers are on one side of the zero, while the high red and low black numbers are on the other. Additionally, all the numbers between 13 and 24 make up what is known as the second dozen, with odds of 2-1.

As the game is played with real money, it is important to set a budget before starting play. Each roulette table carries a placard describing the minimum and maximum bets allowed. To play within a budget, start with outside bets, which are cheaper and have a higher probability of winning than the individual number bets.

If you win a bet, the dealer will mark the winning number or chips on the table. The losing bets will then be cleared and the process repeats. Ideally, you should cash out winning bets as soon as possible to maximise your profits.

While there are numerous theories on how the game came about, the most likely is that it was invented by the 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal. It was adapted from the older games of hoca and portique. Eventually, it achieved its modern layout and wheel structure by the end of the 18th century. It was then introduced in Paris and quickly became a popular game throughout Europe.