Roulette is a casino game that involves a spinning wheel and a ball. Players place bets on a single number, various groupings of numbers, the color red or black, odd or even, and whether the number is high or low. When the wheel and ball come to a stop, the winning bets are paid out according to their odds of winning.
The roulette wheel consists of a solid, slightly convex disk divided into thirty-six numbered compartments alternately colored red and black. There is also a green division marked 0 on European-style wheels, and on American tables two green compartments mark 00.
Before the roulette game was ‘invented’ in France in 17th century by the mathematician Blaise Pascal, it had been around for centuries in many different forms. It is thought that the ancient Chinese played a version of the game, which was later transmitted to France by Dominican Monks.
Prior to the wheel spin, the croupier (dealer) places the bets by laying them down on a betting mat, which is used in casinos and some land-based gambling establishments. The precise location of the chips indicates the type of bet made. Bets placed on specific pockets, or groups of pockets based on their position are known as “inside bets” and those on the first, second and third dozen, or color (odd-even), or a combination of these choices are called “outside bets”.
After the player has staked his or her bets the dealer then spins the wheel. The ball then lands in one of the pockets. The player then determines how much he or she will win or lose by examining the sequence of the winning number, paying close attention to the ‘puck’ or small symbolled object that sits on the table and identifies which number won on the last decision.
In addition to the traditional inside bets, some players make ‘basket bets’. This is placing chips in the outer row between the zero row and the row featuring 1 – 3. In most cases this bet pays out 6 to 1, which makes it worse than other bets on the game.