The Basics of Roulette


The game of roulette has brought glamour, mystery and excitement to casino-goers since the 17th century. Its rules are relatively simple and it provides a surprising depth of strategy for serious players. The game also has a number of other betting options, making it popular with gamblers. However, it is a game of chance and some people have tried to gain an advantage by securing specific numbers or types of bets.

The roulette wheel consists of a solid disk slightly convex in shape with a series of metal partitions or frets around its edge and the pockets, or compartments, between them. Thirty-six of these pockets, painted alternately red and black, are numbered 1 to 36. The other two green pockets, which are called separators or canoes’ by roulette croupiers, carry the signs 0 and 00 (on American roulette only).

A ball is spun around the wheel until it comes to rest in one of the numbered compartments. Before each spin, players place their chips on the roulette table in accordance with the bet they want to make. The bets are categorized as inside or outside. Outside bets are those placed on individual numbers while inside bets are those placed on groups of numbers or on the color red or black. The total amount of money won on any bet is then determined by multiplying the number of chips wagered by the corresponding payout.

Traditionally, roulette balls have been made of ivory but nowadays they are produced from resin, Teflon or ceramic. The size and weight of the ball have a significant effect on the way it moves around the track of the roulette wheel and how it bounces before landing on a number. A light ceramic ball makes more revolutions and jumps more unpredictably than a heavier ivory ball.

The wheel and betting table layout are important aspects of roulette. A good croupier will explain the different bets and their payouts before the game begins. It is also helpful to be familiar with the odds of winning each type of bet. Players should always bet within their predetermined budget and not dip into their winnings to make future bets. Some players try to cheat by watching other players and attempting to predict their actions but this is a fruitless endeavor and can lead to disastrous results.