The Basics of Roulette


Roulette is one of the most popular casino games in the world. It has offered glamour, mystery, and excitement to casino-goers since its 17th century inception. It is a simple game to learn, but offers a surprising level of depth for serious betters.

Roulette players do not use normal casino chips, but rather a special roulette version that is colored red and black. This is to help the dealer distinguish between bettors and also to ensure that all losing bets are cleared off the table before winning bets are paid out. Winning bets are then replaced with the player’s regular casino chips.

The roulette wheel consists of a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape with a number of metal compartments, or pockets, around the edge. Thirty-six of these compartments are painted alternately red and black and numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36. A central pocket carries a single green compartment (or, on American-style wheels, two green ones) displaying the numbers 0 and 00. The spindle is perfectly balanced so that the ball travels around the circumference of the wheel with almost no resistance.

A roulette wheel can be spun with the aid of a small cylinder containing a biased coil of springs, or it may be mechanically driven by a crank and pulley system. The latter type is usually operated by a croupier who stands behind the table and pushes the lever while spinning the wheel.

Roulette has a long history of popularity in both legal and illegal gambling dens. In the late 1700s, the French brothers Louis and Francois Blanc introduced the single-zero wheel format that is now known as European roulette. This reduced the house edge dramatically and increased the game’s appeal among gamblers worldwide.

The odds of a straight-up bet winning are 1 in 37. Players are encouraged to make a variety of other bets, including groups of numbers and the color of the individual numbers, to increase their chances of winning. In addition, players can take advantage of la partage and en prison rules that reduce the house edge.