Skip to content

The Basics of Roulette

Written by



Roulette is a casino game in which players place bets on what number will come up on a spinning wheel. The wheel has divisions numbered from 1 to 36 and alternate red and black, plus a green 0 on American tables. Bets are placed by laying chips on a betting mat, the precise location of each chip indicating what bet is being made. Each bet pays out a fixed number of chips if it wins. The player’s original wagered chips remain on the table unless they specifically request them back.

The game has been around for over 300 years, but it was only in the 17th century that mathematician Blaise Pascal developed the first standardized roulette wheel. From there the game gained popularity and was adopted by casinos and gambling houses across Europe. When it arrived in the United States, cheating became rampant and the game evolved into its American form with a double zero wheel.

While a great many people have tried to beat the odds of roulette by developing complex strategies, there is no known method that can consistently turn the game into a profitable enterprise. The house edge for a straight-up bet is about 6% and even the best odds for a dozen bet (or “Dozens”) are just over 2-1.

The rules of the game vary from country to country and even between casino sites, but there are some basic rules that must be observed. The most significant variation is in the La Partage rule, whereby half of any losing bets are returned to the player. This significantly lowers the house edge on even money bets, but is not available at all online casinos.

Most roulette games are played on a circular table marked off with different sections affording the players a variety of betting opportunities. At the center of the table is a revolving dishlike device into which a small ball is spun, to eventually come to rest in one of the compartments that contain numbers from 1 through 36 and either red or black, or odd or even.

The game is most popular in Europe, but the game has spread worldwide to countries where casino gambling is legal. In the US, the game has a somewhat ambiguous legal status and some casinos have removed it from their menus because of this. It is still offered at some of the top online casinos.

Previous article

What is a Mobile Gambling Game?

Next article

The Basics of Poker