The Basics of Roulette


Roulette is a casino game that is played with a small wheel and a ball. A player can choose to place a bet on a single number, various groupings of numbers, the color red or black or whether it is odd or even. If a number is hit, the player will be rewarded according to their betting odds.

Roulette was originally developed in the 15th Century and formalized by the French mathematician Blaise Pascal in the 17th Century. It became very popular in France’s illegal gambling dens and eventually made its way up to New Orleans in the United States where it rapidly gained popularity among gamblers. In 1843, a single zero pocket was added to the American roulette wheel (also known as an American double zero) which massively increased the game’s appeal in America and around the world.

There are several types of roulette wheels and tables in use today; however, European roulette is by far the most popular version found both at physical casinos and online. This version uses a single zero pocket which dramatically reduces the house edge to an enviable 2.7%. It is recommended for novice players to play this variation because it offers a much more favorable chance of winning.

The game begins when a player places their chips on the table and the croupier (dealer) throws the ball into the spinning roulette wheel. The wheel consists of a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape with a circular base, a trough or bowl on the center and thirty-six metal compartments numbered from 1 to 36 in a nonconsecutive pattern and alternately colored red and black. There is also a green compartment numbered 0 on European roulette wheels and two green pockets numbered 00 on American wheels.

Once the ball has landed in one of the compartments, the croupier will signal its position to the table and players will make their bets. After a few rounds the croupier will announce that all bets have been settled and payouts will be issued to those who won. Those who placed outside bets will receive their winnings first, followed by those who bet on specific number combinations or the colors red and black.

Announced bets are special bets that only appear in some roulette games and they have unique names that you must memorize to understand them. Most of them are featured in the French roulette variant but are also present in some online European roulette versions.

These bets cover large groups of numbers and pay out in a higher amount than inside bets. Some of them are named after a famous opera, film or TV show while others are simply given their French names. One of the most common announced bets is the Voisins du Zero, which covers six numbers from 27 to 33 on the wheel. Another bet is the Tiers du Cylindre, which covers twelve numbers.