Roulette is one of the oldest casino games and, on a global basis, it is still among the most popular. It is easy enough for the novice to learn and can provide a challenge and a sense of accomplishment even for the expert gambler. When gambling moved online, roulette was there with it and continues to be a major part of the offering. Despite the game’s simple nature, there is a surprising level of depth and strategy that serious players can employ.
The basic goal of the game is to correctly guess what number or type of bet the ball will land on when the dealer spins the wheel. The rules are relatively simple, and the payouts can be high if you get it right. However, the odds are not in your favor, and it is important to understand them before you play.
There are three basic types of bets: straight-up, split and street. With a straight-up bet, you place your chips on one specific number. A split bet requires you to place your chips on two different numbers. Finally, with a street bet, you will place your chips on three consecutive numbers in the same row.
Each of these types has its own odds and payouts. For example, a straight-up bet pays 1-1, while a split bet pays 1:1. A street bet pays a bit more, but it’s important to know that the house has an advantage over all of these bets.
A typical roulette table will carry a placard listing the minimum and maximum bets allowed. It’s a good idea to set a budget before you head to the roulette tables and choose a table that’s within your limit. If you’re playing on a limited budget, consider betting less money and trying to win more than you lose.
The Roulette Wheel
The roulette wheel consists of a solid wooden disk, slightly convex in shape and surrounded by metal compartments, or “pockets” (known as separators or frets by the croupiers). Thirty-six of these pockets are painted alternately red and black, and are numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36. The outer edge of the wheel carries a zero sign, which is green on European wheels and red on American ones.
The 0 and 00 are not counted as red or black, or odd or even, and the house wins all bets placed on them. This gives the house a built-in advantage over other bets, which would otherwise be fair, like the odds-on and column bets. This is why most roulette bets are considered to have a house edge of 5.26%. Other bets, such as the odd-even and high-low bets, have a much lower house edge and offer better odds for the player.