The Basics of Roulette

Roulette is one of the world’s most popular casino games. Featuring a spinning wheel and a ball, the game is based solely on luck. Players place chips on a special betting mat and watch as the ball falls into a slot on the wheel. They can wager on a single number, various groupings of numbers (such as red or black), the color (odd or even), whether the number is high (1-18) or low (19-36), or if the wheel has a 0 or double 0 pocket. The game is a staple at physical casinos and online gambling sites alike.

There are many variations of the game, but most feature a French wheel, which has a single zero and cuts the house edge to a coveted 2.7%. Some also have en prison or la partage rules, which return half of your original stake on even-money bets if the ball lands on zero.

The game was invented in France in the early 18th century from older games such as hoca and portique. The wheel and table structure was standardized in the 1790s, and the game quickly gained popularity in European casinos and gambling houses. It was then introduced to the United States, where it quickly became a popular casino game.

Before the dealer clears the betting area, players can place their chips on a special roulette mat. Each player receives a different color of chips to differentiate them from other players at the table. This makes it easy to see who has placed which bets and prevents confusion. Roulette tables have a specialized layout with the numbers 1 to 36 and two 0’s, one marked in red and the other in green. The 0’s on American roulette wheels are numbered 00.

While a straight up bet offers the best payout in the game, its odds are relatively low at 35:1. The simplest bet is a column bet, which involves placing chips on any of the three ’12’ rows on the roulette table. If the ball stops on any of these numerals, you win. You can also make a dozen bet, which involves placing chips on the first, second, or third dozen rows. The payout is 2 to 1 for a column or dozen bet, and 6 to 1 for a straight up bet.