Roulette is a casino game that has a wide range of betting options. Players can bet on single numbers or various groupings of numbers, the color red or black, and whether the number is odd or even. Players can also place bets on whether a number is high or low, and if the bet is inside or outside the table. In addition, players can bet on a number being a neighbour of a specific number.
The game is played on a large circular disc, or wheel, with thirty-six numbered compartments – called pockets, or canoes by the roulette croupiers – painted alternately in red and black. A 37th compartment, painted green on European wheels and labelled 0 on American ones, is called a “zero”. A roulette ball, spherical in shape, is rolled into the wheel with the help of a small spindle mounted in the middle.
When a player has placed their bets, the croupier then spins the wheel and throws the ball into one of the numbered compartments. The winning bettors are then paid their odds by the dealer, and the losing bets are removed from the table. The dealers then give the players their normal casino chips and the process begins again.
While there are many myths about the origin of roulette, it is generally accepted that the game was invented in France in the early 18th century. Its popularity grew steadily, and by the 19th century it had become a major attraction in casinos and gambling houses throughout Europe.
As the number of casino players grew, so too did the need for more game variations. As a result, many different versions of roulette were developed. Some of these were designed to appeal to specific demographics, such as women or senior citizens. Others were simply variations on the theme of the original game.
Among these was the French roulette, which features two rules within the game that make it more advantageous to the player. These are the en prison and la partage rules. Both of these strategies allow the players to recover half their stake if the ball lands on zero. This reduces the house edge to 1.35%, which is among the lowest in all casino games.
Roulette is usually played with special roulette chips, which differ from regular casino chips in colour and size. This helps the croupiers to distinguish between players and to avoid mistakes when dealing out winning bets. Each player receives a number of chips that corresponds to the colour and number of their bets, and the dealer marks each winning bet with a marker on the roulette board. When the winning bets are settled, the losing markers are cleared off the table and the players’ remaining chips have their normal value awarded to them.
When the game is over, a player can ask the dealer to cash in their chips by placing them on the table and telling her how much they are worth. She will then parcel the chips out to them, giving them the value of regular casino chips.