What is Roulette?

Roulette is a game of chance in which a small ball drops into one of many compartments of a revolving wheel. The players place bets on which red or black numbered compartment the ball will enter as it comes to rest. Each bet pays off at different odds. The game emerged in Europe in the 18th century. The house, or casino, profits from the game. Bets may be placed until the croupier announces “No more bets.”

A revolving circular dishlike device having in its center a numbering system of thirty-six red and black compartments alternately marked and alternating, with an additional green division numbered zero on European wheels, and two extra green numbers on American ones. Into this the croupier places a small ball, which spins and bounces until it settles into one of the compartments. The color, odd or even, and the value of the compartment into which the ball has settled indicate to the player whether he or she has won.

The croupier will then pay the winners and clear the table. If you win a bet, cash out your chips as quickly as possible. This will prevent you from dipping into your winnings for future bets and it is in keeping with the spirit of the game.

When the croupier clears the table, you can begin placing bets on which numbers will appear by laying chips down on the betting mat. You must mark where you want your chips to be placed with a pencil (or similar marking tool). Roulette is of French origin, and some casinos use traditional tables that use the French terms on the betting area. However, on most US tables English terms and a different style of betting mat are used. Bets on six or less numbers are known as Inside bets and bets on more than 12 are called Outside bets.

Each roulette table carries a placard listing the minimum and maximum bets allowed on that particular table. It is important to choose a table within your budget. If you have a limited amount of money to spend on a single round, try to avoid the inside bets, which generally carry higher minimum and maximum bet amounts than other bets.

Regardless of the fanciful stories about the game’s creation by the 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal or by a Chinese monk brought to France by Dominican monks, the truth is that it was developed in the casinos of Europe in the early 1800s. Several systems have been proposed that purport to give the player an edge over the house in the game, but in reality no such system can make a losing game profitable.

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