The Basics of Roulette


Roulette is one of the most popular casino games worldwide. It is easy to understand and offers a surprising depth of strategy for serious betters. It has been around for centuries and continues to attract players from all over the world. The game is based on luck, but it’s also known for its glamour and mystery. Many fanciful stories have been written about the history of the game, including its invention by 17th century French mathematician Blaise Pascal and its ban in Europe and the United States.

The roulette wheel consists of a spinning, convex solid wood disc with thirty-six metal compartments (called frets or “canoes” by the croupiers) around its perimeter. The compartments are painted alternately red and black and numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36. On European wheels, a 37th compartment carries the number 0; on American wheels, two green ones carry numbers 00.

When a ball is spun in the opposite direction of the wheel, it drops into the desired compartment. The number of the pocket in which it lands determines whether the player wins or loses. The odds of winning vary depending on the type of bet. A single number bet pays 35 chips, while a straight up bet on the number 1 wins 392 chips.

Outside bets, which are placed on groups of numbers rather than specific digits, offer lower payouts but higher chances of hitting. They are a good choice for beginners, since they require less skill and are cheaper than inside bets. However, if you’re planning to win big, you should avoid placing these types of bets because the house edge is high.

The Dozens Bet: This bet, called douzaine in French, is placed on the number that appears in the first 12 numbers on the layout (the first, second or third dozen). A winning dozens bet pays 2-1.

The Line Bet: This bet, called sixain in French, is placed on a horizontal line that straddles the border between two rows of numbers. A winning straddle bet pays 5-1.

Choosing the Right Table

Every roulette table carries a placard with a description of the minimum and maximum bets. Set a budget before you play, and choose a table within your limits. It’s important to understand how much you can bet before you start betting, because your winnings will be added to the amount of money you have wagered.

Once you’ve decided how much you want to bet, choose the color or type of bet you want to make and place your chips on the roulette table. Once the dealer announces “no more bets,” the table is locked and you cannot place any more bets. This prevents cheating and other unfair advantages. It’s also a good idea to stay away from any complex strategies, because roulette is mostly a game of chance and luck. Having said that, it’s important to have fun and remember that you can always walk away if you lose too much.