How to Play Roulette

Roulette is a casino game where players place bets on a single number, various groupings of numbers, red or black, odd or even, and whether the number is high (19-36) or low (1-18). The croupier throws a small ball into a spinning wheel and the winning bets are paid out according to their odds. The house edge of roulette is about 5.26% on an American double-zero wheel and 2.70 percent on a European single-zero one.

Before you start playing, decide what your budget is and choose a table that’s within your limits. Each table carries a placard with the minimum and maximum bets allowed. The minimum bet is usually lower for outside bets, but the maximum for inside bets is generally higher.

When you’re ready to play, the dealer clears the table and you can begin placing your bets. Start by betting on “outside bets” (bets placed on groups of numbers instead of individual digits). These bets are cheaper and have a better chance of hitting than inside bets, which are the more expensive options.

Once the wheel spins and the ball comes to rest, the croupier will mark your winning bets with a marker. Then, the losing bets will be cleared off the table and the winners will get paid. You can then continue betting with your predetermined budget, but don’t dip into your winnings to make additional bets.

The roulette wheel consists of a solid wooden disk that is slightly convex and surrounded by a metal rim with 37 compartments that are numbered in nonconsecutive order from 1 to 36. On European wheels, a green section is painted with the letter 0 and on American ones there are two green sections that are marked with 00.

Roulette was invented more than 300 years ago by the 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal. The wheel and the game have become one of the most popular in casino gambling. There are many fanciful stories about its history and alleged methods for beating it, but the truth is that there is no way to consistently beat the game’s subfair odds. But the game is fun to play, and it can be very profitable for those who know how to manage their bankroll.