The Basics of Roulette

Roulette is a casino game in which the players place bets on the outcome of a spin of a wheel. The bets can be made on a single number, various groupings of numbers, the color red or black, whether the number is odd or even, or if the numbers are high (19-36) or low (1-18). There are many fanciful stories about the origin of the game, but it is probably derived from the French gambling games hoca and portique. It reached its present form in about 1790 and quickly became the most popular game in European casinos.

Roulette consists of a spinning wheel with numbered compartments around its edge, alternately painted red and black. On the 37-pocket European-style wheel, one of these compartments carries a green zero, while the American version has two extra green pockets on opposite sides of the wheel (marked 0 and 00). The ball is spun around the edge of the wheel, and, when it comes to rest in a pocket, the winning bets are paid out according to the odds.

Before the croupier spins the wheel, the players make their bets by placing chips on a betting mat in the precise location of the bet they want to make. The table map indicates what each bet is worth, and a numbered placard indicates the minimum and maximum bets allowed. Most bets pay out at the same time, except for split and corner bets, which must be placed separately.

Once the bets are in place, the croupier throws a small white ball into the wheel. The ball then drops into one of the numbered slots, and those bets are winners who correctly guess the number or type of number on which the ball will land. The winnings are then credited to the player’s account.

The game is easy to learn, but the house edge varies greatly depending on the type of wheel and bets chosen. As with other casino games, it is best to play sensible roulette by choosing outside bets rather than the more risky inside bets. It is also important to remember that probability is a continuous process and the chances of a particular number appearing remain the same regardless of whether it has appeared often in previous rounds. People who believe that a number is “due” to appear should consider consulting the published results of past spins before making a bet. This strategy is usually based on flawed logic and is not recommended.