The Basics of Roulette

Roulette has offered glamour, mystery, and excitement to casino-goers since the 17th century. It is one of the most popular table games in Europe, and attracts large crowds in Monte Carlo and other casinos around the world. Although it has a lower profile than slots, video poker and blackjack, it is one of the oldest gambling games still played and offers a surprising amount of depth for serious players.

A roulette wheel consists of a solid, slightly convex wooden disk with metal partitions called separators (or frets) and compartments (called pockets by croupiers) that are painted alternately black and red and numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36. On European wheels, a green compartment, called the 0 (or the double zero), and two other green ones on American wheels carry the symbols 0 and 00. A croupier spins the wheel and drops a ball into one of the compartments, which is then rewarded to the winners according to their betting odds. Players make bets on a single number, various groupings of numbers, the color red or black, whether a number is odd or even, and on whether the number falls in the first, second or third dozen.

When a player wins a bet, the dealer clears that player’s chips from the table and places them in the winning number slot. Then the dealer places a marker on the winning chip, indicating that it has been won and that players are now free to bet again. The player’s wagered 40 chips remain their property in the absence of a request to the contrary, and the process begins again. It is important to set a budget before playing and stick to it. It is also advisable to begin by wagering on “outside bets” which are generally cheaper and offer higher payouts.