Roulette is a game of chance that has fascinated people since its invention in the 17th century. There are many variations of the game, but the basic block is a table for placing bets and a wheel with a ball that determines the winning number or color. Players make their bets by placing chips on various propositions such as one single number, groups of numbers, red or black, the first or second dozen and more. The croupier (or dealer) then throws the ball into the spinning roulette wheel and any winners are awarded according to their betting odds.
The Roulette Wheel
A roulette wheel consists of a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape, with a metal rim around which are mounted separate compartments or pockets, called frets by the croupiers. Thirty-six of these are painted alternately red and black, with a separate green compartment on European wheels and two on American ones bearing the numbers 0 and 00. The spindle is perfectly balanced, allowing the roulette wheel to rotate smoothly and without friction.
When the bets are settled, the croupier announces that no more bets can be made and everyone watches as the ball bounces around the wheel until it settles into a pocket marked with a number. The croupier then removes the marker, pays the winners and resets the table for the next round.
The Outside Bets
There are several types of outside bets in roulette, including high or low, odd or even, red or black, and the first, second, or third dozen. These bets have higher payouts than those placed on individual numbers, but they also have lower probabilities of winning.
Another type of outside bet is the Split Bet, which can only be made on a single row of numbers on the layout. This bet is based on the idea that the winning number will be either the first or last of the three consecutive numbers, and it pays 17-1. The Dozens Bet, known as a douzaine in French, is a similar bet that pays 2-1 if the winning number is in the first or second dozen, but it loses if the winning number is in the zero pocket. A Straight Up bet is the most expensive and most popular bet in roulette, paying out 37-1 if it wins.