The Basics of Roulette

Roulette is a casino game that involves spinning a ball around a rotating wheel. Players place bets on various groups of numbers, whether they are red or black, odd or even, high or low (1-18), or if the number is in the first, second, or third dozen (29-7-28-12-35-3-26-0-32). The payout varies depending on the type of bet. The game evolved from a variety of gambling games in the 17th century, and the modern table and wheel were developed by the French in the late 18th century.

The croupier (or dealer) spins the wheel, then tosses a small ball into one of the thirty-six compartments (known as frets or pockets by roulette croupiers) on the wheel. The compartments are alternately painted red and black, and numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36. There are also two green compartments on American-style wheels that carry the signs 0 and 00.

Once the wheel has stopped spinning, a croupier will announce, “No more bets,” and everyone will watch as the ball bounces around the wheel until it settles into a pocket that marks a number. The player who made that bet wins! The dealer will give the winning player a special set of colored roulette chips equal to the amount that he or she gave to the table.

Although many people think of roulette as a game based entirely on chance, the truth is that there are a number of betting systems that have been claimed to offer a guaranteed profit. However, a quick search on the internet will return millions of results for roulette systems—some simple and some complex—and most are unproven. Regardless of which system you choose, remember that roulette is a game of chance and the house always has an edge.