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The Basics of Roulette


Roulette is an exciting game of chance that has offered glamour, mystery, and excitement to casino-goers since the 17th century. The rules of this popular game are simple, and while there is no doubt that luck plays a significant role in the outcome of a spin, it’s also true that some players are able to use strategy to maximize their winnings.

There are many different types of gambling games that involve skill as well as luck, but at face value, it seems as if roulette is completely a game of chance. A ball spinning inside a wheel and landing in a number is certainly beyond anyone’s control, so the vast majority of roulette bets are placed on red or black, with the odds on these bets being 1 to 1. It can therefore be difficult for players to reconcile their own decisions with the fact that the house has a built-in advantage.

The wheel:

A roulette is a convex-shaped wheel with thirty-six compartments (on European-style wheels, the pockets are numbered in nonconsecutive order from 1 to 36; on American-style wheels, there is an additional ’00’ pocket). Each of these numbers alternates between red and black, except for the zero, which is green. The compartments are separated by metal partitions, known as separators or frets to the croupiers, and each has its own color. The croupiers make bets by placing chips on the table map that corresponds with each of these compartments.

The betting table:

In most casinos, the table is covered in a cloth with a map of the wheel and the numbers that are used for bets. This map is a very important tool for the gambler, as it shows the various bets that can be made on the game and their payouts. The table also contains a section for the zero, which is usually colored green to distinguish it from the other pockets on the wheel.

The simplest bets to place are the outside bets, which pay out 2-1 for correctly guessing the number or type of number the ball will land on when it is spun. There are several variations of these bets, which can be found on the table map, but they all pay out at a rate of 2-1. Some casinos offer the option of betting on a ‘basket bet’, which is similar to an outside bet but is staked on a group of numbers rather than individually. This bet is not recommended, as it has a much higher house edge than other bets. Some European roulette tables also feature the La Partage or En Prison rules, which reduce the house edge on even-money bets to just 1.35%. This is considerably lower than the 2.70% for any bet other than the single number. This is a very small difference, but one that can significantly improve your chances of making a profit.