Roulette is a casino game of chance that brings glamour, mystery and excitement to the table. Its rules are simple, but it provides a surprising depth of strategy for serious players.
It is said that a number of different systems can help you win at roulette. A quick Google search will return millions of supposedly foolproof betting strategies, many based on maths. But is it really possible to beat this subfair game?
A Roulette wheel consists of a solid wooden disk, slightly convex in shape. Around the rim are metal separators or frets, and in between these there are thirty-six compartments called ‘pockets’ by roulette croupiers. Thirty-two of these are painted red and the rest black, while a green pocket on European wheels carries the number 0.
Each player gets a set of colored chips to differentiate them from the other players at the table (so even spouses are advised to keep to themselves during most roulette games). Roulette chips do not have any value away from the table and they can only be used for placing bets. When you’ve won a bet, you must inform the dealer and they will clear your winning numbers off the table, paying you in normal casino chips.
The most popular version of roulette is European, which is played at physical casinos and online. It differs from the American roulette variant by having a single zero, which magnifies your chances of winning and reduces the house edge to a respectable 2.7%. You can also choose to play the French version of the game, which offers a couple of additional rules that increase your odds of winning: en prison and la partage.