Roulette is a game that adds glamour, mystery and excitement to casino gambling. Its rules are fairly simple and its betting system is relatively straightforward, but it can offer a surprising depth of strategy for those who want to dig in with serious study. However, the house edge on bets varies widely and can be a significant disadvantage.
The game of roulette features a rotating wheel with slots for numbers from 1 through 36, one or two zeros and other sections affording players different bets. The ball is spun into the wheel and then into one of the compartments, which are colored red or black to indicate odd or even, single or double-zero, or black or red. Roulette is popular in Europe and draws large crowds to casinos there, but it has a smaller following in the United States, where games such as blackjack, video poker and slots have become more attractive options.
Traditionally, people placed their bets by placing chips on a betting mat with precise placement of the chips indicating the bet made. The bets are grouped according to their probability of winning, and those on six or less numbers are called “Inside bets.” Bets on twelve or more numbers are known as “Outside bets”. The house always wins on even-money bets (bets that win money when the ball lands in a number with a value equal to the amount wagered), so it’s best to avoid them.
To start, you should choose a roulette table within your budget and decide what bet types you want to make. Each roulette table carries a placard with a minimum and maximum betting amount. If you’re new to the game, it’s best to start with outside bets that are cheaper but offer lower odds of winning. This will help you stretch your bankroll while allowing you to try out different strategies without worrying about running out of money.
After the dealer clears the table, players can place their bets. The dealer will then spin the wheel and the ball in opposite directions around the track that runs around the outer edge of the roulette wheel. When the wheel stops, the ball will land in one of the slots. The rules of the game are fairly straightforward, and there’s no room for cheating.
Once the ball has landed in a slot, the dealer will immediately divide any even-money bets in half, keeping half for the house and returning the other to the player. This is known as the “La Partage” rule. This reduces the house edge from 2.70% to 1.35%, making the game more fair for the players. Frank Scoblete grew up in Brooklyn and spent the ’60s getting an education; the ’70s in theatre and publishing; and the ’90s and 2000s in casino gambling. He authored 35 books and is a well-known casino specialist. He currently lives in Long Island, New York. He is also a professional speaker on the subjects of casino gambling and personal finance.