Roulette has offered glamour, mystery and excitement to casino-goers since the 17th century. While it may seem simple and easy to understand, the game offers a surprising level of depth for serious players and can reap high rewards if the correct strategy is used.
There are two major roulette games, American and European. The difference between these two lies in the layout of the wheel; the European version has one zero while the American version has a double zero. This difference significantly alters the odds of the game and is the primary reason why players should choose the European variant.
To play roulette you need to place your chips on a wagering mat that is located next to the spinning wheel. There are several different types of bets and the precise positioning of your chip on the mat will determine which number or type of bet you are making. Bets on individual numbers are called Inside bets and those placed on groups of six or less are known as Outside bets. Before the wheel spins you can change or retract your wager but once the ball is in motion no more bets can be made.
The roulette wheel is a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape with a metal rim. It has thirty-six compartments (or pockets) that alternate between red and black and are numbered non-consecutively from 1 to 36. The last compartment, or pocket, is green and carries the sign of zero. On some wheels there is also a second green compartment that carries the sign of 00.
Once the ball has landed in a slot on the wheel you are paid out according to the type of bet you have made. The only exception is if you have made a single-number bet which pays out 35x your bet, the closest thing that roulette has to a jackpot.
As you can see, the house edge of roulette is very low and as such it is one of the best games to play in a casino. However, the game is not without its problems and if you want to maximize your chances of winning it is important that you follow a simple strategy. You can use a number of different betting strategies but the most common ones are the Martingale and Labouchere systems. These both require you to increase your stake after every loss and decrease it after a win. This will ensure that you are not putting too much of your bankroll at risk.