The Basics of Roulette


Roulette is a popular casino game with many betting options. Each option offers different odds for winning and different payouts based on probability. Players can choose to bet on a single number, or different groups of numbers, and the game is played using a wheel that contains 37 pockets marked with red and black and two green zeroes. The game has been around since the 17th century and is considered to be one of the most popular casino games in the world.

Roulette’s popularity stems from its glamour and intrigue. There are countless theories as to its origins, including that it was invented by 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal, by Dominican monks, or even the Chinese. It was later adapted and modified by French casinos, and is now widely available in online versions as well as live games at brick-and-mortar casinos.

Before the dealer spins the wheel, players place bets on what they think the ball will land in by laying chips on a betting mat with precise locations to indicate the bet being made. In European-style roulette tables, French terms are used for the bets and a different style of betting mat is used. The bets that cover fewer than six numbers are called inside bets, while those that cover more than 12 are called outside bets. Some bets, such as the Voisins du Zero and the second dozen (29-7-28-12-35-3-26-0-32), have special symmetries that make them easy to identify on the betting board.

The house edge of roulette varies according to the type of wheel and table being used, but is generally higher on American double-zero wheels than in European ones. The wheel consists of a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape, with a metal band around it and a series of compartments or “pockets” separated by metal frets or separators. Thirty-six of these compartments, painted alternately in red and black, are numbered consecutively from 1 to 36, while a green compartment on the American wheel and a 0 and 00 on the European wheel have separate symmetries.

The bets that are placed on individual numbers are known as inside bets, while those that are placed on other sections of the table are referred to as outside bets. Several bets that are not on specific numbers but cover groups of numbers or positions on the table are also available and known as announced bets, and some of these can be found in both European and double-zero American Roulette games.