The Basics of Roulette


Roulette is a gambling game of chance. The objective is to correctly guess which number or type of number the ball will land on when the dealer spins the wheel. It is a popular choice among casino-goers, and there is some surprising depth to the rules for those who want to be serious betters.

The history of roulette dates back more than 300 years, and the game has been a staple at casinos and other gaming establishments worldwide ever since. Its origins are disputed, but most scholars believe it was developed in the 17th century by French mathematician Blaise Pascal while he was working on his perpetual motion machine.

A roulette wheel consists of a solid, slightly convex wooden disk that has a grooved surface with thirty-six compartments (called canoes by roulette croupiers) numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36. On European-style wheels, one of the compartments carries the sign 0; on American roulette wheels there are two green compartments labelled 00.

Each roulette table carries a placard describing the minimum and maximum bets. Before playing, set a budget and choose a table within that range. The dealer will then give you coloured chips equal to the amount you have given him/her, and players place their bets by putting the chips on the designated areas of the table.

While many players employ a variety of strategies, none can overcome the built-in house edge. For this reason, it is best to play with a predetermined budget and to avoid betting on individual numbers or specific sections of the table. If you are interested in reducing the house edge, try placing your bets on “outside” bets, which pay 2-1 and offer higher odds of hitting. This is particularly true of bets on the Dozens and Columns. However, this strategy will not increase your chances of winning more than by chance alone.