The Secrets of Roulette

Roulette has been entertaining casino-goers with its glamour, mystery, and high rewards since the 17th century. The game is easy to learn, but offers a surprising level of depth for serious betters. The right strategy can reap big payouts. Read on to discover the secrets of this popular game.

Roulette is a casino game in which players place bets on one of 36 numbers, various groupings of numbers, the color red or black, whether a number is odd or even, and other auxiliary bets such as a dozen (three numbers in a row) or a column (three numbers in a vertical line). The dealer spins a wheel in one direction while a ball rolls around a tilted circular track that runs around the outside edge of the wheel. Each bet has its own odds of winning.

The roulette wheel consists of a solid, convex disk with metal partitions or “canoes” on both sides. Thirty-six of these compartments, painted alternately red and black, are numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36; a supplementary green pocket on the European wheel carries the number 0. American wheels have an extra green compartment marked 00, which significantly increases the house’s edge over the European version of the game.

Before the dealer spins the wheel, players place their bets. The layout is divided into sections for inside and outside bets, with each section offering different odds of winning. Before placing a bet, players should set their betting unit based on their bankroll. A unit should be enough to make a substantial amount of money, but not so much that it would increase the risk of going broke.

In the past, professional roulette balls were made from ivory, but modern manufacturers use Teflon or resin. Regardless of the material, the size and weight of the ball have a significant impact on how quickly and precisely the ball will come to rest after spinning on the wheel. A smaller, lighter ball spins more rapidly and jumps more unpredictably before coming to a stop than a larger, heavier ball does.

Depending on the variation of roulette being played, the house edge may be slightly higher or lower than in the European version. For example, a straight bet in French roulette pays 35:1, while the same bet in American roulette only pays 35:1. This difference is due to the additional green pockets on the American version of the game.

The best online casinos offer both European and American roulette games. Some even offer live roulette, which features a real-time dealer and allows bets through your keyboard or mobile phone. Live roulette is ideal for those who want to play with a more personal touch and feel like they’re in the casino. In addition, some live roulette sites offer the en prison rule, which lowers the house edge on even-money bets to 1.35%.