How to Beat the Odds at Roulette


Roulette is one of the oldest casino games and still draws crowds. It is a staple in Monte Carlo and other European gambling resorts. Its enduring popularity is due in part to its glamour and mystery. It is also relatively easy to learn and offers a surprising depth for serious betters who study the game carefully.

Roulette consists of a circular table marked with red and black numbers and a revolving wheel. Players place bets on which numbered compartment the ball will come to rest in, or on various combinations of numbers and colors. Each bet is placed by laying down chips on a betting mat, the precise placement indicating the bet being made. Bets on six numbers or less are referred to as “Inside bets,” while those on 12 numbers or more are called “Outside bets.”

The game originated in Europe around the late 18th century. Its modern form is attributed to Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician and philosopher, who designed a rotor with a series of divisions that could spin endlessly. His design did not succeed, but a more practical wheel was soon in use. The modern European roulette wheel has 37 pockets, including the two green zeroes. The American version, popular in the United States, has an extra green pocket, boosting the house edge to 5.26%.

Despite the fact that roulette is a game of chance, there are a number of systems for beating it. These range from simple to sophisticated, and most claim a high win rate. Most of these systems are based on the principle that a player should increase his or her bet size after each loss. The Martingale system, for example, involves doubling the previous bet size after each loss and adding a unit to the total each time a bet wins. This system, however, is only effective for even money bets and has a high variance.

A few professional gamblers have claimed to be able to beat the odds of roulette. They found that some wheels are biased and rigged, and that by placing bets against the most profitable outside bets they can reduce the house edge to a low level. It is important to set a budget before playing, and choose a table that offers a minimum bet within your bankroll.

Aside from the traditional single- and double-zero games, new variations of roulette have emerged in both land-based casinos and online. These include multiball games that use up to three balls, no-zero versions that eliminate the extra pocket on the wheel, and mini-roulette versions that feature a smaller wheel and more limited bet options. In addition, live casino games allow players to play against a human dealer and communicate with the croupier via webcam. While this is not a true simulation of a land-based casino, it provides a fun and exciting way to play roulette from the comfort of your own home.