The Basics of Roulette


Roulette is one of the most famous casino games and a symbol of everything that makes gambling so exciting. It’s a simple game based entirely on luck where players place chips on a special roulette table and then predict which number or color the ball will land in once the wheel has stopped spinning. The resulting bets can be hugely lucrative, but you’ll need to know the rules and understand the probabilities of winning in order to make the best choices.

Before a spin, the dealer clears the table and pays winners from the last round. He then pauses for a bit, giving players time to wrap up their bets and then announces “no more bets!” It’s at this point that the croupier throws a ball into the spinning wheel and everyone watches as it bounces around the surface of the wheel until it finally stops in one of the pockets marked with numbers.

The Wheel

A roulette wheel consists of two basic parts: the static bowl and the rotating wheelhead. The bowl is made from a solid block of wood and includes a track for the ball to roll along. The head rotates on a central shaft and has a number of red and black slots arranged nonconsecutively. There are also two green compartments marked 0 and 00, which appear only on American-style wheels.

The layout of the wheel is designed to be balanced and the numbers randomized. The 0 and 00 slots are colored green, while the other compartments are red or black depending on what type of bet you are placing. Each of these bet types has different odds of winning.

Outside bets are a good choice for beginners, because they offer a lower house edge and higher payouts if you win. They are also easier to place than inside bets, which require you to pick specific numbers or groups of numbers.

The Dozens Bet (Douzaine in French): In this bet, you’re wagering that the winning number will belong to either the first 12 numbers on the table, the second dozen, or the third dozen. This bet pays 2-1. The Line Bet/Six Number Bet/Sixline Bet: Known as a Sixain in French, this bet involves placing your chip(s) to straddle the line between two rows of three consecutive numbers on the table. The payout is 5-1. The Odd or Even Bet: Known as impair et pair in French, this bet is placed by placing your chip(s) on the outside border of a row of 18 odd or even numbers. If you win, the pay-out is 1:1.