The Basics of Roulette

Roulette is a casino game that involves placing bets on what number will come up after a ball has been released from a revolving wheel into one of the compartments. Bets may be placed on a single number, various groupings of numbers, the color red or black, whether the number is odd or even, or if the numbers are high (19-36) or low (1-18). The game emerged in the late 18th century in Europe and continues to draw large crowds to casinos.

The wheel consists of a solid wooden disk, slightly convex in shape with a smooth surface that spins smoothly. Around its rim are metal separators, called frets or canoes by croupiers, that contain thirty-six numbered and colored compartments. The 0 and 00 compartments on European wheels are painted green, while American wheels have two green compartments marked 0 and 1.

After the dealer announces “No more bets,” players place their chips on the table (aka the layout). The dealer will then place a marker on the winning number on the layout, clear all losing bets from the table, pay the winners, and allow new bets to begin. When betting on Roulette, be sure to stay within your predetermined budget. It’s best to cash out your winnings as soon as possible. If you continue to use your winnings to bet, you will end up breaking even or worse.

Roulette has the highest house edge of all casino games. This is primarily because the American version of the game has a double-zero, which increases the probability of losing your bet. However, if you play the European Roulette version, your chances of losing are slashed by the La Partage and En Prison rules that give you half your bet back if you lose an even/odd or red/black bet.

Besides its low odds of winning, roulette is also one of the least popular casino games in America. Its following is dwarfed by those of video poker, slot machines, blackjack, and craps. However, in Europe, it draws huge crowds to Monte Carlo and other casino resorts.

Frank Scoblete grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and spent the ’60s getting an education; the ’70s editing, writing and publishing; and the ’90s in theater and casinos as a professional gambler. He has authored 35 books, including the Ultimate Roulette Strategy Guide, and lives in Long Island, NY.

When you walk into any casino, the first thing that strikes you is how brightly lit and clean it is. The second thing that strikes you is how many people are standing around, looking like they’re waiting for their turn to play the Roulette wheel. If you look closely at the game, you’ll see that this isn’t a coincidence. Casinos are paying a premium for a select few who know how to predict the outcome of a spin. But they’re unwilling to make any changes that would cut into their profits and deter casual players. This is why the game remains popular with some of the wealthiest people in the world.