How to Play Roulette


Roulette is one of the most classic casino games and is found in every gambling establishment that offers table games. It’s easy for beginners to learn and offers a surprising amount of depth for serious players.

The game consists of a spinning wheel with numbered slots and a ball that is dropped into those slots. Bets can be made on single numbers, various groupings of numbers (the odds are higher for outside bets), the color red or black, or whether the number is odd or even. The roulette wheel has 37 compartments, or “pockets,” painted alternately in red and black, plus two green pockets on American-style wheels bearing the signs 0 and 00. A croupier spins the wheel, and the dealer places a marker on the winning number. The dealer then pays the winners and removes the losing bets from the table.

While many fanciful stories are associated with the game’s origin, it actually was developed in Europe from the older games hoca and portique during the 17th century. The game reached its current form in the 18th century and became a mainstay of Monte Carlo, among other European casinos and gambling houses.

There are many strategies for playing and winning roulette, but it’s important to know your odds before you lay down any chips. It’s also a good idea to avoid betting on outside bets, which have a higher house edge than inside bets and offer lower payouts. Instead, start by placing wagers on a small group of numbers—called “street bets.” These bets pay out more frequently than individual digits and are less expensive to place.

When you’re ready to play, choose a table within your budget. Each roulette table carries a placard with the minimum and maximum betting amounts allowed. It’s best to set a budget before you hit the tables and be sure to stick with it. It’s especially important to not dip into your winnings for future bets—doing so could put you at risk of losing all of your money.

Once the game is underway, give your money to the dealer by placing it on the table and asking for “color.” The dealer will then hand you a stack of colored roulette chips equal to the value of the money you gave her. If you’re at a PS1 table, for example, the dealer will give you 20 chips valued at that amount. The dealer will then clear the table and the game begins.