A casino game in which a small ball is dropped into a revolving wheel and bets are placed concerning which red or black numbered compartment it will come to rest in as the wheel spins. The game is played with one or more bets made against the house and the player can place a single number bet, various groupings of numbers, odd or even, high or low, or color red or black. The game emerged in the late 18th century in the casinos of Europe. There are many fanciful stories as to the origin of the game, including that it was invented by the 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal, by a Dominican monk, or by the Chinese.
The roulette wheel consists of a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape and around which are metal separators, or frets. Thirty-six of these, painted alternately red and black, form the numbered compartments (called canoes by roulette croupiers) from 1 to 36. On European wheels there is also a green compartment which carries the sign 0. Two other green compartments appear on American wheels and carry the signs 00.
When the dealer announces ‘no more bets’, players can no longer place any chips on the table and the betting layout will lock. This prevents the laying of bets that can be predicted by observing previous results, and helps to reduce the possibility of cheating or other advantages being used at the table.
There is, however, a way to predict the result of a particular spin by counting the number of times the ball has landed in a particular pocket. This is known as the James Bond strategy and it is one of the best systems for beating the house edge, but it can only be used with a reasonable bankroll.
The best approach to the game of roulette is to learn the rules and bet types, as well as understanding what the odds are for each. Generally speaking, outside bets offer lower house edges and higher payouts than inside bets, although the zero has a much lower edge.