The Basics of Roullete

Roullete (pronounced row-let) is a casino game in which a small ball rolls around a spinning wheel and players bet on what number the ball will land on. Bets can be made on individual numbers, various groupings of numbers, red or black, odd or even and high or low. The wheel itself is a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape, with metal separators, or frets, that form compartments (called canoes by roulette croupiers) numbered nonconsecutively from one to 36. On European wheels, a 37th compartment, painted green, carries the sign 0. The ball is dropped into one of the compartments, and winners are paid according to their bets.

While fanciful stories about the origins of roulette have been advanced by philosopher Blaise Pascal, mathematician and inventor, it wasn’t until the 18th century that the game reached its present form in France. At that time it became the game of choice in gambling dens throughout Europe.

After each spin, the dealer clears the table and announces the winning bets, then begins new rounds of betting. Players should begin by making outside bets, which are cheaper and have a greater likelihood of hitting.

In the United States, roulette has a relatively small following and is quickly being passed in popularity by games such as video poker, blackjack and craps. But in Europe, the game remains one of the mainstays at Monte Carlo and other luxury casinos.

There are many systems of play, involving complex mathematics and a variety of charts and tables. But in the long run, any strategy will not improve your odds of beating the built-in house edge.

The best thing to do is to play at crowded roulette tables and to avoid the bad options, such as inside bets on single numbers or rows of adjacent numbers. Another key consideration is to set a budget for your roulette playing and stick to it. Once you hit a win, cash out your chips as quickly as possible. Don’t dip into your winnings to make future bets — that will only slow down the game and increase your exposure to the house edge.

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