A game of chance, roulette (or roullete) is played on a table with a spinning wheel. Players make bets on the number, section or color they believe the ball will land on. If they win, they are paid according to the betting odds. Roulette has been around for more than 300 years and is a popular casino game worldwide. However, some people try to cheat the game by using illegal devices or simply ignoring rules. There are also many different ways to play roulette, including combining bets to maximize your chances of winning.
A croupier, or dealer, spins the wheel and then throws a ball into it. The ball then lands in one of the 36 compartments on the roulette wheel, which is painted red and black. The croupier will then pay out any winners and collect any bets made by other players. The game is played by a minimum of two players and a maximum of 10.
There are a variety of bet types in roulette, each with its own house edge. In general, inside bets have higher house edges than outside bets. Outside bets are usually on groups of numbers such as the first, second or third dozen, high-low, odd-even or red-black. Other bets can be placed on a single number or on the color black or red. The simplest outside bet is a Straight bet, which pays 35:1. Other bets such as the Dozens and Columns have higher payouts, but a lower chance of winning.
The Roulette wheel is a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape. It has a rim with metal separators called frets or ridges, and thirty-six compartments painted alternately red and black. These are numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36, with the exception of the single zero pocket, which is painted green on European-style wheels. In addition to the numbered pockets, there are also two additional compartments called en prison, which pay out even money bets if the ball hits them.
Roulette is one of the oldest games in the world, dating back to the 17th century and credited with being invented by a French mathematician named Blaise Pascal. The game quickly gained popularity throughout Europe and was introduced to the United States in the early 19th century.
While it has one of the smallest followings among casino games in the United States, roulette is a mainstay at casinos in Monte Carlo and other European resorts. It draws large crowds and is well-known for its glamour and mystique.
Despite its reputation for requiring little skill, roulette is actually one of the most complex casino games. Its rules are straightforward enough that a novice can pick up the basics quickly, but there is an enormous amount of depth to the game for serious bettors. In the long run, though, no system can overcome roulette’s built-in house edge. Nevertheless, a careful study of the game and adherence to basic strategy can reduce its impact.