Roulette is a classic casino game that has offered glamour, mystery and excitement to gamblers since the 17th century. Despite its simplicity, the game offers a surprising level of depth for serious players and the right strategy can reap high rewards. In this article we take a look at some basic rules of roulette and the odds associated with each type of bet.
Before a single spin of the wheel is made, players place their bets by placing chips on a betting mat, with the precise location of each chip indicating the particular bet being placed. Players then watch as the dealer spins the roulette wheel and a small ball rolls around it. If the wheel stops with the ball in one of the compartments marked on the roulette table, that number is the winning number. The croupiers then pay out the winners, clearing the losing bets off the table and starting a new round.
The roulette wheel consists of a solid disc slightly convex in shape, with a metal or wooden bowl surrounding it. The outer edge of the wheel is divided into thirty-six separate compartments, called frets or compartments by croupiers, and are painted alternately red and black. A number of the compartments are numbered 1 through 36 and a single zero is featured on European-style wheels while American tables feature an extra green compartment labelled 00.
In some versions of the game, a player may also choose to make a bet on two or more groups of numbers, known as outside bets. These bets are generally easier to win and pay out at higher odds than those on individual numbers. Outside bets may include groups of three (streets), four (squares), six (colours) or seven (numbers).
If you have a lucky streak and manage to land on a winning number, your bet is paid out and the losing bets are cleared from the table. Then the next spin begins and a new set of chips is placed on the table map. In some casinos, the number that has been landed on is circled with a marker.
When playing roulette, the first rule is to always play within your budget. Setting a budget before you start gambling will ensure that you don’t spend more than you can afford to lose. Also, never dip into your winnings to make future bets; this will just reduce the amount of time you can play for. In addition, many people try to read the behaviour of other players or listen to the commentary of other croupiers in an attempt to improve their odds. This is not an effective strategy and it can actually increase your losses if you follow other players’ actions.