Roulette is one of the world’s most popular casino games and offers a unique combination of glamour, mystery and excitement. It is a simple game to learn, and yet it provides a surprising level of depth for serious players.
Fanciful stories about the origin of roulette abound, with some claiming that it was invented by 17th century French mathematician Blaise Pascal and others saying that it was borrowed from the Chinese and later transmitted to France by Dominican monks. However, it is clear that the modern version of the game was developed in the late 18th century and quickly became a favourite in the casinos and gambling houses of Europe.
The roulette wheel consists of a solid wooden disk, slightly convex in shape, with a number of metal compartments, called pockets or canoes, painted alternately red and black. The numbers, ranging from 1 to 36, are arranged nonconsecutively and two of the pockets, painted green on European-style wheels and 0 on American-style ones, are reserved for the zero and the double zero. The ball is dropped into the numbered pocket and, if successful, the player wins a sum equal to the amount of chips wagered on the bet.
In most roulette games, each player receives a specific color of chips to distinguish him or her from other bettors and help with table management. When the game ends, a dealer will clear all losing bets and collect winning chips. The winning bets will then be paid out. When the dealer collects all of a player’s winning chips, he will give them back in normal casino chips. This allows the player to start a new game with a fresh stake and gives him or her the opportunity to win even more money.