What is Roulette?

Roulette, or Roullete as it is called in French, is a casino game of chance that involves spinning a wheel with numbered pockets. Players place bets on either a single number, various groupings of numbers, the color red or black, or whether the number is odd or even. If the ball lands in one of the betting areas, the player wins.

The wheel, a solid disc slightly convex in shape, has 38 compartments or pockets – alternately painted red and black and numbered 1 to 36 – plus a green pocket marked 0. A second green pocket marks 00 on American wheels. The wheel is spun by a croupier (dealer) who announces each bet as it is placed.

When a bet is placed, the dealer places a marker on the winning chip and pays out the winners. Losing bets are cleared off the table first. The game is then repeated until the marker on the winning number disappears.

Before the wheel is spun, the players make bets by laying chips on a betting mat, the precise placement of the chips indicating the bet being made. The betting mats carry a placard describing the minimum and maximum bet amounts. In some jurisdictions, the minimum bet is $5 and in others it is $100 for outside bets. Those who bet on six or fewer numbers are known as “Inside bets”.

The game of roulette was brought to the United States in the 18th century, with French terms and a slightly different style of betting mat used on the tables. Because of rampant cheating involving both operators and gamblers, the wheel was changed to its current design in the 1890s. The house edge on even money bets is 1.35%.

There are many myths and legends about the history of roulette. Some claim it was invented in the 17th century by the French mathematician Blaise Pascal in his quest to create a perpetual motion machine. Others suggest it was derived from earlier games such as hoca and portique. Regardless of its origin, the game is still popular today and offers glamour, mystery, and excitement to gamblers around the world.