The Basics of Roulette


Roulette is a gambling game that offers glamour, mystery, and excitement to casino-goers worldwide. Despite its simplicity, roulette provides a surprising level of depth for serious betters, and the right strategy can reap high rewards. The first step in successfully betting on roulette is to understand how the game works and when to walk away.

Roulette consists of a spinning wheel with compartments painted alternately red and black, which are numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36. A green pocket carries the number 0. There are also two symmetries in roulette: all the low red numbers and all the low black numbers are on one side of the wheel, while all the high numbers are on the other.

Once the ball has settled, all losing bets are cleared from the table and the winning ones paid. The dealer then places a marker on the winning number slot and begins the next round of play. Players can start by wagering on “outside bets” (groups of numbers instead of individual digits), which are cheaper and offer higher odds of hitting. Some players like to watch the other gamblers, hoping to spot patterns and doing the opposite of their opponents’ actions, but this won’t improve your chances any more than a random coin toss.

There are many strategies for playing roulette, some easy and some complicated, but most of them fail to beat the house edge, which is a mathematically guaranteed percentage of the total return on all bets. The best way to win at roulette is to choose a table that is within your budget, avoid the high minimum bets and the expensive “inside” bets, and always walk away when you have won.

Although roulette is a popular game with the general public, it is not as widely played as the games of chance such as slot machines and video poker, blackjack, or craps. However, it still draws big crowds in Monte Carlo and other European casinos.