Learn the Basics of Roulette Before You Start Playing

Roulette is a casino game in which a small ball is released in the opposite direction of a revolving wheel and players make bets on which red or black numbered compartment it will come to rest in as it slows down and comes to a stop. Each bet is made by laying chips on a betting mat with the precise placement of each chip indicating the bet being placed. Before the ball is rolled, players can place multiple bets by selecting different combinations of numbers or even groups of numbers based on their location on the table map.

The roulette wheel consists of a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape, with thirty-six metal partitions (called frets or separators by roulette croupiers) that are painted alternately red and black with one extra green compartment with the number 0 on European wheels and two green pockets with the numbers 00 on American ones. Between each set of colored compartments are the numbered slots, from 1 to 36, in a nonconsecutive pattern with alternately red and black.

When the wheel spins, the dealer puts a marker on the winning number and removes all losing bets. Once the losing bets are cleared, the winner is paid and the winning chips are kept on the table for future bets. It is important to have a clear budget in mind before you play roulette so that you can avoid gambling beyond your means.

A common mistake people make when playing roulette is to try to predict the results of the next spin based on what other players are doing. This can be tempting, but it won’t improve your odds more than just by luck. The best way to increase your chances of winning is to learn the rules and bet types of roulette before you start playing.

Choose the European version of roulette if possible, as it has a lower house edge than the American one. If the casino offers French roulette with a “la partage” rule, that’s even better — it will reduce the house edge to just 1.35%. Otherwise, stick with the standard European game and make sure to wager on the outside bets. These bets cover the most numbers on the layout and have a higher chance of hitting than the inside bets. A straight bet on the zero costs 17 chips and pays 235, while a straight bet on numbers 1 and 3 will cost you 36 chips and pay 392 in payouts. These are some of the best bets you can make in the game.