Roulette is a casino game that has provided glamour, mystery and excitement to gamblers since the 17th century. It is a simple game to play and yet provides a surprising amount of depth for serious bettors who use the right strategy.
The game is played on a spinning wheel with numbered slots ranging from 1 to 36, plus a 0 (on American tables there is an extra green division numbered 00). The croupier spins the wheel and then a ball is sent into one of the numbers. Bets are placed on the table correlating to the number slots in which the ball can land. There are a variety of different bets including single numbers, various groupings of numbers and colors as well as odds-on propositions such as high/low, odd/even, red/black, first, second and third dozen.
Before the croupier spins the wheel, players place their bets by laying chips down on the table. Each table carries a placard that describes the minimum and maximum bets allowed. The minimum bets are usually lower for inside bets and higher for outside bets. Players must always bet within their budget and cash out winnings as soon as possible to prevent the temptation of dipping into your winnings to make additional bets.
Many bettors attempt to “game the system” by watching previous wheel results and betting accordingly. Probability, however, states that the odds of hitting a particular number on a given spin remain the same regardless of whether the same number has shown up frequently in the past or not. In fact, if you are betting on a single number you should avoid straight bets completely, as the odds of hitting that particular number will be higher if it has not appeared in a while but this is an unproven strategy.
There is also a temptation to watch the other players, hoping that they will tell you something you can do to improve your chances of winning. Unfortunately, this is an activity frowned upon by casino management, although some players continue to try and cheat the game. Cheating at roulette is more difficult than in other games such as craps, as the house edge on a single number is quite low. Even so, there are still some people who try to gain an advantage in the game by using illegal devices or by simply trying to beat the odds.