Roulette is one of the casino’s oldest games, with a storied history. It has a comparatively small following in American casinos and does not draw crowds like blackjack, video poker, craps, or slots. But it has long been a popular game in Europe, where it is among the mainstays of Monte Carlo and other casinos.
The game consists of a spinning wheel, a betting table, and the dealer or croupier. The wheel consists of a solid, slightly convex wooden disk with thirty-six compartments painted alternately red and black and numbered non-consecutively from 1 to 36. A 37th compartment, painted green, carries the number 0; on American-style wheels there are two additional green compartments. A croupier or dealer, who is also the game’s dealer, spins the wheel and then throws a ball into one of the compartments. When the ball lands in a number, section, or color, winners will be rewarded according to their bets.
While there are a variety of different betting options, it is important to know which bet types offer the best chance for success. As the name implies, inside bets are placed on the numbered part of the table, while outside bets cover the entire table and can include various groupings of numbers, or color combinations (red-black, odd-even, high-low, first, second and third dozen). Inside bets have lower house edges than outside bets.
But as with most casino games, there is no way to overcome the built-in house edge, which is based on probability and is a factor of both how much you bet and when you play. The only way to improve your odds is to make the smartest bets possible, and to avoid playing at crowded tables.