The Basics of Roulette

Roulette is a casino game in which a ball is dropped into a revolving wheel with numbered holes. Players bet on which number, grouping of numbers or color the ball will land in by laying chips down on the betting mat. Roulette is a very popular game and the payouts are large for winning bets. But the house edge is relatively high compared to other games like craps. In fact, on American double-zero wheels the house edge can reach as high as 7.89 percent. Nevertheless, it is still a very popular and rewarding game for those who play smartly.

The modern roulette wheel consists of a solid disk slightly convex in shape with thirty-six metal compartments, called frets or pockets, around the perimeter. The compartments are alternately colored red and black and numbered 1 through 36. On European-style wheels there is also a green compartment numbered 0. In addition, some casinos use a second green compartment labelled 00.

Players make bets by placing chips on the betting table, which has a map of the table layout. They indicate their bet by announcing it before the dealer spins the wheel. The bets are either inside bets, which cover one or more numbers, or outside bets, which cover several numbers, the colors, or whether the number is odd or even.

Prior to the spin, the dealer clears off any losing bets and pays the winners. Roulette is played with special casino chips that are different from regular casino chips, to help distinguish bettors. The dealer gives each player a specific color of chips to help them identify themselves. Each person must bet independently, and spouses are advised to separate during most roulette games.

The game of roulette is easy to learn and the rules are straightforward. But there is a surprising level of depth and complexity for serious betters who have the right strategy. To be successful, you must correctly guess the number or type of number that the wheel will land on, and this is where the mathematics come in.

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