The Basics of Roulette

Roulette is one of the oldest casino games in existence. Although it does not draw as many players as slots, video poker or blackjack, it is still a mainstay at Monte Carlo and other European resorts. It is a simple game to learn and has enough betting options that it can appeal to novices and experts alike.

The object of roulette is to correctly guess which numbered compartment the ball will fall into as it spins around the wheel and comes to rest in a pocket on the table. The wheel consists of a solid, slightly convex wooden disk with 36 separate, numbered compartments (called separators or frets by roulette croupiers) and two green ones numbered 0 and 00. The rim of the wheel is painted red and black, with the numbers in alternating groups of high and low (1-18, 19-36).

When the dealer announces that play for this round has ended, all losing bets must be removed from the table and winners paid. Then, the dealer will pause for a few seconds, giving everyone a chance to adjust their bets. When she is ready, she will remove the buck and then the betting begins for the next round.

The house edge of roulette is based on pure luck, and barring exceptional circumstances no system can overcome it. However, there are ways to limit the house’s advantage by playing crowded tables or betting on outside bets rather than individual numbers. Frank Scoblete, who grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and spent the ’60s getting an education and the ’70s in the theatre and in casino gambling, is author of 35 books including “The Ultimate Casino Strategy Guide.” He lives on Long Island, NY. His website is He is also an accomplished juggler and magician. He is a member of the Society of American Magicians and has performed in clubs in New York City, Atlantic City, and Monte Carlo. He has also been featured on several television shows and radio programs.