The Basics of Roulette

Roulette is a casino game that involves spinning a ball around a wheel and placing bets on the color or type of number that will come up. The game has a long history of glamour, mystery and excitement, but it also offers a surprising level of depth for serious betters.

The wheel consists of a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape, with thirty-six metal compartments painted alternately red and black and numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36. On European wheels, a 37th compartment painted green carries the number 0. Two of these green compartments on American wheels carry the numbers 0 and 00.

A player may choose to place bets on individual numbers, various groupings of numbers, whether they are odd or even, or on the color red or black. Bets placed on the numbers are called inside bets, while bets made on other sections of the table are called outside bets. Each type of bet has a different payout odds based on its probability.

Split Bet

This bet, which is known as a cheval in French, lets you place your chip(s) to straddle the line between two numbers on the layout. If either of these numbers wins, the payout is 17-1.

Dozens Bet

A bet on a dozens bet (douzaine in French) lets you wager that the winning number will belong to the first or second dozen on the layout, which each pay out 2-1. If the ball lands on a zero, all bets lose.

Some players attempt to beat the math by betting against large bets or analyzing the movements of other players. However, the mathematician Patrick Billingsley has concluded that no betting system can consistently convert a subfair game like roulette into a profitable enterprise. Instead, it is best to set a budget before you play and not dip into your winnings for future bets.