Roulette is a game of chance that has offered glamour, mystery, and excitement to casino-goers since the 17th century. It has a relatively low house edge and high payouts, but its rules are simple enough for novice players to grasp. It also provides a surprising level of depth for serious bettors.

In roulette, a small ball is released in the opposite direction of a spinning cylinder with numbered compartments around its edge. Bets are placed on which red or black numbered compartment the ball will enter as it comes to rest. The game originated in Europe, where it has long been a popular fixture in casinos and gambling houses.

Before each spin of the wheel, players place their bets on the outcome of a round by placing chips on a betting mat. The precise locations of the chips indicate the type of bet being made. Bets on six or fewer numbers are called “inside bets”, and those on 12 or more are termed “outside bets”.

A Roulette wheel consists of a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape with a series of metal partitions or frets around its circumference, with thirty-six compartments alternating between red and black. A croupier, or dealer, spins the wheel and a ball is dropped into one of the compartments. On European wheels, a single green compartment carries the number 0; on American tables, there is an extra green pocket marked 00.

After the wheel stops, the dealer places a marker on the winning number (or winning chips) and pays out winners. Losing bets are cleared off the table and the process is repeated. Many players like to watch the other players, hoping that they will pick up a hint of what strategy their opponents are using.

When playing roulette, it’s important to set a budget and stick to it. Each roulette table carries a placard describing its minimum and maximum bets, so choose a table that allows you to play within your budget. When you give the dealer your money, ask for “colour chips” with a value equal to the table’s minimum bet.

The Basics of Roulette