The Basics of Roulette


Roulette is a casino game where a small ball rolls around a wheel and players bet on which numbered compartment it will land in when it comes to rest. Despite having a relatively low profile compared to other popular casino games like slots, video poker, blackjack and craps, this game provides a surprising level of depth for serious betters.

The rules of the game are simple and easy to understand. Bets are made by laying down chips on a betting mat which is clearly marked to indicate the number of bets being placed. The bets are divided into categories depending on the number of numbers being guessed, and those that cover multiple numbers or groups of numbers (such as the Dozens bet or Columns bet) pay out at higher odds. The simplest bets, which cover one single number or group of numbers are called “Inside bets” while those on 12 or more numbers are known as “Outside bets”.

Unlike most casino games, roulette is played against the house and not other players. The roulette wheel consists of a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape with metal partitions or frets, which are painted alternately red and black and separated by narrow slots referred to as pockets by roulette croupiers. Thirty-six of these pockets are numbered non-consecutively from 1 to 36 and a green compartment marked 0 is also present on the American version of the game.

There are many fanciful stories surrounding the origin of this game but it is believed that it was invented in the 17th century by French mathematician Blaise Pascal while he was working on a perpetual motion machine. Whatever the truth, the game rapidly gained popularity and spread throughout Europe.

Before you start playing Roulette it is important to set a budget and choose a table within that range. Each roulette table will have a placard explaining the minimum and maximum bet amounts. Once you have established the amount that you are willing to risk per spin, give your money to the dealer and ask for “colours”. They will then place coloured chips on the table which correspond with the value of the bet that you have given them.