The Basics of Roulette

Roulette has offered glamour, mystery and excitement to casino-goers since the 17th century. A game based purely on chance, it is easy to play and provides a surprising level of depth for serious bettors.

Unlike some table games, the roulette wheel is a static device that does not change with each spin of the game. The wheel is a flat, solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape with innumerable metal pockets that are painted alternately red and black and numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36. On European wheels a 37th compartment, painted green, carries the number 0, while American roulette has two green pockets that carry the numbers 0 and 00.

Once a player places their bets, the croupier throws the ball onto a spinning wheel. Players continue to place bets as the ball bounces around the wheel and settles in a pocket, marking a winning bet. The table is cleared of losing bets and the winners are paid. The process then repeats.

Each table carries a placard listing the minimum and maximum bets allowed. To maximize your chances of winning, choose a table that limits your losses and gives you the best odds for your betting strategy. Also, be sure to set a budget before you hit the tables.

Inside bets are placed on individual numbers on the roulette layout, while outside bets are wagers on groups of numbers. The latter are more conservative plays, but they have a lower payout if you win.

You can also bet on a single color, odd or even, high or low, or the presence of a zero. Each bet requires a different amount of chips, which you can place on the betting board. If you make a straight-up bet (betting on a single winning number), it costs 17 chips to complete and pays 392 chips in the event of victory. You can also place a split bet, which picks two numbers, or a corner bet, which selects four adjacent numbers.