The Basics of Roulette


Roulette is a game of chance that is played by placing bets on a number, various groupings of numbers, red or black, odd or even, or whether the numbers are high (19-36) or low (1-18). A ball is spun around a numbered wheel and when it stops in a particular number, players who have bet on that number win according to their betting odds. The game has a certain amount of glamour, mystery and excitement that makes it popular in casinos around the world.

The basic rules of roulette are straightforward, but the game can be complicated for those new to it. A player places chips on a table in an area designated for bets and the croupier spins the wheel. The ball then lands in one of the numbered pockets on the wheel. When a bet is made, the player’s chips are locked in until the dealer announces that the game has ended and payouts have been made.

While a great deal of mythology surrounds the origins of roulette, it was probably derived from the older games of hoca and portique. The present layout and wheel structure of the game were developed in Europe in the late 1790s. A European-style wheel has thirty-six compartments that alternately are painted red and black, with a single green zero. On American wheels, there are two additional green compartments numbered 0 and 00.

In the United States, where roulette was first introduced, it was modified to prevent cheating by preventing devices from being hidden in the wheel and table. The game is now played in casino hotels, racetracks and private gambling establishments.

Before the wheel spins, players place their bets on which number or grouping of numbers they think will be hit by laying down their chips on a table mat, the precise placement of the chips indicating the bet being made. Bets on six or less numbers are termed “Inside bets” and those on 12 or more are called “Outside bets”.

Each roulette table carries a placard with a list of minimum and maximum bets. Set a budget before you play and choose a table within that range. Also, read the rules and the payoffs offered for each type of bet. Generally speaking, the best bets are those that cover most of the board.