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The Basics of Roulette

Roulette has brought glamour, mystery and excitement to casino-goers since the 17th century. It’s a simple game to learn, yet offers a surprising level of depth for serious betters and can provide high payouts if correctly predicted.

The Roulette Wheel

A revolving, convex disk of wood or metal, the wheel is divided into 38 compartments painted alternately red and black, plus two green compartments marked 0 and 00 on American wheels. These compartments, also known as “canoes” by croupiers, are separated by metal frets or separators. Thirty-six of the compartments are numbered consecutively from 1 to 36; the other six are labeled odd or even, high (19–36) or low (1–18).

Prior to rolling the ball, players place bets by laying down chips on a betting mat. The precise location of the chips indicates the type of bet made. Bets on six numbers or less are termed “Inside bets”; those on 12 numbers or more are called “Outside bets”. If the same number hits multiple times, this is a “Repeating number”, and is considered by some players to be a good bet.

Roulette was introduced in France in the early 18th century, possibly based on earlier games such as hoca and portique. It achieved its modern layout and wheel structure by the late 1790s, and soon became one of Europe’s most popular casino games. In the United States, however, it has always occupied a much smaller niche than games such as slot machines, video poker and blackjack, and is in danger of being passed over by newer games such as baccarat.

The game is played by putting coloured roulette chips into the desired bet areas on the table. Between spins, the dealer will collect the bets and pay out winnings. Whenever you lose a bet, your coloured roulette chips remain on the table and are available to win again in the next spin.

There are several different types of bets in roulette, and each one offers different odds for a winning combination and different payouts. The simplest bet is a straight, which is placed on a single number and pays out 35:1. Other types of bets include the split, which places chips on two adjacent numbers, the corner (square) bet, which puts chips in the corners of four adjoining numbers, and the street bet, which places chips in three adjacent rows.

In the case of online casinos, there are both European and American roulette games to choose from, though most experts recommend sticking with the former given its lower house edge. Regardless of which game you play, the most important step is setting a budget and sticking to it. This will ensure that your bankroll lasts longer and gives you the opportunity to try out a few strategies without worrying about running out of money. The best way to do this is to start small and increase your bets gradually. By doing this, you’ll be able to establish which strategy works best for you.