The Basics of Roulette


Roulette is a casino game in which players place bets on the outcome of a spin of a wheel containing numbers. The game has a history of more than 300 years and is played in casinos throughout the world. Some bets pay out at much higher odds than others. A simple search on the Internet will return millions of roulette systems that claim to beat the house edge and give players a better chance of winning. Many of these systems are scams, but some work for a small percentage of players.

In order to understand how the game works, a player must know what each bet type entails. A bet can be placed on one number, various groups of numbers or the color red or black. Each bet pays out a different amount of chips depending on its success. For example, a straight-up bet on the number 37 wins 392 chips. Another popular bet is a corner bet, which places chips in the shape of a square on the betting table. This bet covers four numbers and pays out a lesser amount of chips, usually around 200.

The roulette wheel is a solid wooden disk, slightly convex in shape, with a metal plate on its surface. The outer rim of the wheel is lined with metal separators called frets and thirty-six numbered compartments, or canoes, alternately colored red and black. A 38th compartment, a green one on European wheels and a black one on American ones, carries the numbers 1 through 36 while two other green compartments carry the 0 and 00.

A dealer, who is a member of the casino staff, spins the wheel and drops a ball into one of the compartments. Those bets that correspond to the number on which the ball lands win. The game was derived from the older games hoca and portique, but it reached its present form about 1790. The game quickly became the most popular in Europe’s gambling houses.

Before the dealer spins the wheel, players set their bets by laying down chips on a special mat in front of the roulette table, with the precise location of the chip indicating the bet being made. Players can also make announced bets, which are special betting combinations that cover entire sections of the roulette wheel. These bets are known as Les Voisins du Zero, Les Orphelins and Le Tiers Du Cylindre.

Announced bets are not found in all versions of roulette and are a unique feature of the French game. These bets allow players to play against the house without having to wait for a ball to land in a specific pocket. They also allow players to make multiple bets in a single turn. In addition to these bets, some players may choose to make a special bet that covers five numbers and two neighbouring numbers (called the Neighbours bet). All of these bet types are explained in the article on this page.