Roulette is one of the most popular casino games in the world, offering glamour, mystery, and excitement to gamblers since its origins in the 17th century. While it might look simple at first, this table game has a surprising level of depth and serious bettors can reap high rewards with the right strategy.
The basic game of roulette starts with players making bets on a table map and the dealer clearing the table of the losing bets before the new round begins. A croupier then throws a ball into the spinning wheel and, depending on the type of bet made, winners are paid according to the betting odds. The roulette wheel is a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape with a metal rim divided into thirty-six compartments (known as frets or canoes by croupiers) painted alternately red and black. The rim is also pierced with two green compartments, labeled 0 and 00 on American-style wheels.
In addition to betting on individual numbers, players can make bets on groups of numbers known as “outside bets.” These bets cover specific propositions such as high-low, odd-even, red-black and the first, second and third dozen. Outside bets tend to have higher winning odds but lower payouts.
There are a number of different roulette rules that need to be understood in order to play the game properly. These include the house edge, which varies according to the type of roulette being played and the roulette table and wheel layout. Another essential aspect of the game is the physics of the roulette ball and the fact that it bounces in a particular way when hitting certain pockets on the wheel.