Learn the Basics of Roulette

Roulette has offered glamour, mystery, and high rewards to casino-goers since the 17th century. It’s an easy game to learn, but there’s a surprising level of depth for serious players. The rules are straightforward and the payouts are fairly high, but winning requires correctly predicting which red or black numbered compartment on a revolving wheel the ball will drop into as it slows down and comes to rest. Players can place bets on single numbers, various groupings of numbers, the colors red or black, or whether a number is odd or even.

Before you start betting, set a budget and understand which bet types offer the best odds of success. Each roulette table carries a placard that describes the minimum and maximum bets allowed. A $5 minimum inside bet costs 10 chips, while a $100 maximum outside bet pays only 36 chips.

The roulette wheel is a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape, with a series of metal separators, or frets, around the perimeter that enclose 37 (European) or 38 (American) compartments, painted alternately red and black. There are also one or two green pockets on the American version of the wheel, which adds to the house’s edge.

Roulette tables feature betting areas that are marked with the varying odds of each bet type, and the payouts they offer. A straight bet on a single number costs the same amount as any other number, but pays only 35:1. A split bet costs 16 chips to complete and pays 293 chips; and a corner bet costs 40 chips to complete and pays 392 chips.

Once bets have been placed, the dealer spins the wheel and a small ball is launched into its arc on a tilted circular track that runs around the outer edge of the wheel. The dealer announces “no more bets” as the wheel comes to a stop, and this prevents players from placing bets after the ball has come to rest in a compartment.

When playing online, always play European roulette given that it has only one zero and therefore a lower house edge. If you can’t play European, look for a French roulette table that offers the “en prison” rule, which means that if your bet wins and the ball hits zero, it doesn’t immediately lose.

Learn the Basics of Roulette
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