How to Win at Roulette

Roulette, or Roullete as it is sometimes spelled in French, has been entertaining casino-goers for more than 300 years. Its popularity and allure stretches well beyond the chance to make money. The game’s basic objective is to predict which slot the ball will land in after the wheel has stopped spinning. The anticipation and excitement of watching the ball settle into a numbered pocket is what makes roulette so captivating.

Roulette has become synonymous with glamour, mystery and excitement, but the rules of the game are relatively simple to learn. The game also offers a surprising level of depth for serious players willing to study the game’s intricacies and develop a winning strategy.

The Roulette Wheel

The roulette wheel is a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape with a number of metal partitions (called frets) around the rim. The compartments between these partitions are painted alternately red and black and numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36. On European-style wheels a 37th compartment, painted green, carries the sign 0 and on American wheels two green compartments on opposite sides of the wheel carry the signs 0 and 00.

After the ball has spun in the wheel and landed in one of the pockets, a dealer places a marker on the winning number or winning chips. The losing bets are cleared off the table and winners are paid. A croupier then takes the wheel and spins it to start the next round.

While the house edge on individual bets is relatively high, a player can improve his odds by making multiple bets with small wagers and by choosing those bets that offer the best chances of winning. Some players even try to spy on their opponents in order to gain a competitive advantage, but this is a practice that can have devastating consequences when it fails.

The first step in understanding the game is to choose a table within your budget and select your bets. Each roulette table carries a placard describing the minimum and maximum betting limits for inside and outside bets. A general rule is to start by placing bets on “outside” bets because these have a higher probability of winning and they are cheaper than inside bets. Once you have a feel for the game, you can gradually increase your bets to match your bankroll.