A Closer Look at Roulette

Roulette has offered glamour, mystery and excitement to casino-goers since the 17th century. Its rules are simple and its betting options seem endless, but a closer look reveals a surprising depth of strategy that can help serious bettors reap high rewards.

The game revolves around a numbered wheel that spins while players place bets on which red or black numbered compartment it will enter as it comes to rest. Bets are made by laying chips on a special table that corresponds to the compartments on the roulette wheel. When the ball slows down and is about to drop, players must decide whether to continue betting or to collect their winnings.

A roulette is a solid, slightly convex disk with metal separators or frets around its rim and 37 or 38 compartments, painted alternately red and black (on European wheels a green compartment marks the zero; American wheels have two green ones). The wheel is spun by a dealer in the presence of a spectator to whom the croupiers explain the rules of the game.

The symmetries of the wheel and table are fascinating, especially the fact that there is no number between 19 and 36 and that the low red numbers and the high black ones are on opposite sides of the wheel. The symmetry of the wheel is further enhanced by the fact that the zero is always in one of the compartments with a 0 on it.

In the game of roulette, each bet has a different probability of winning. Players may bet on a single number, various groupings of numbers, the color red or black, whether they are odd or even, or the high and low values of the range (19-36). The game also offers a dozen bet that pays out at odds of 2:1.

Roulette can be an extremely exciting and addictive game, but it is important to keep in mind that the house has a large edge in this game. It is therefore best to choose a table within your budget and bet wisely. It is also recommended to avoid watching other players, attempting to gain an advantage by reading their actions or doing the opposite of what they do. A simple search on the Internet will return millions of systems for playing and supposedly winning at roulette, some easy to understand, others complicated and others well described, but none of them are foolproof.