How to Win at Roulette

Roulette is a casino game in which a small ball rolls around a wheel and people place bets on what number or types of numbers it will land on. It is a fast-paced and fun game, but it’s also one of the few casino games that can be considered purely chance. There are, however, a few strategies that can help players maximize their chances of winning.

To play the game, players place chips on a betting mat, with precise locations of the chips showing what kind of bet is being placed. Bets on six numbers or less are called “inside bets”, while bets on 12 or more are called “outside bets”. Players place their bets prior to the dealer spinning the wheel and rolling the ball. They can bet on individual numbers, groups of numbers (so-called ‘neighbor’ bets), colors, odds and evens, or whether the ball will land on zero.

The wheel consists of a solid wooden disk, slightly convex in shape, with a metal rim. Along its edge are metal compartments or frets, sometimes referred to as pockets by croupiers, in which the number 1 through 36 are painted alternately red and black. A 37th compartment, green and carrying the sign 0, is found on European-style wheels; two additional green compartments with the signs 0 and 00 are on American tables.

There are a variety of stories about how the game came to be, including that it was invented by 17th century French mathematician Blaise Pascal while he was trying to develop a perpetual motion machine. Regardless of its origin, roulette quickly gained traction and became a popular game in Europe by the 18th century.

As with all casino table games, players can make money by correctly guessing what number the ball will land on. In order to do so, they need to understand how roulette rounds work. After the dealer clears the table and pays winners, betting for the next round starts. However, players can minimize their exposure to the house edge by starting with outside bets that have a lower house advantage.