A game of chance, Roullete (French for small wheel) is a casino gambling game that emerged in the late 18th century and became a mainstay of casinos and other gambling houses throughout Europe. Bets are made on which red or black numbered compartment a small ball will drop into as the revolving roulette wheel comes to rest. While the game is based on pure chance, there are various strategies that can be employed to reduce the house edge and maximize your chances of winning.
The game consists of two major parts: the wheel and the table where players place their bets. The wheel is a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape with a metal separators or frets around the circumference. Thirty-six of these compartments, painted alternately red and black, are numbered 1 to 36. On European-style wheels a 37th compartment, painted green, carries the sign of 0, while on American wheels there are two additional green compartments labelled 0 and 00.
As the wheel spins, a small ivory ball is spun in the opposite direction. The ball will fall into one of the compartments, and a number is determined by its location on the roulette table map. A player can choose to bet on a single number, a grouping of numbers, the color red or black, or whether a number is high (19-36) or low (1-18).
When a bet is placed on a specific number, the dealer will place a white chip of the same value in front of that position. The dealer will then remove the marker that indicates where the last decision was made, allowing players to place their wagers for the next spin. As the wheel continues to spin, players can change or retract their bets until the croupier announces, “No More Bets, Please.”
Once the wheel has come to a stop, the dealer will place a ‘buck’ on top of all even-money bets to keep track of how many chips are left to pay out. This process is known as “La Partage.” When the buck is removed the dealers will distribute the remaining chips to the players.
Although there are numerous betting systems and strategies for the game, the odds of a successful outcome are always the same – 50/50. It’s important to remember that roulette is a game of chance and you should always play within your bankroll. The best strategy is to start with a smaller bet and gradually increase your stakes as you gain confidence in your ability to win. Avoid using grandiose or complicated bets. They will most likely cost you more money and may not have the same likelihood of winning as a simple bet on a 3-number street. Frank Scoblete grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and has been an English teacher, author, editor and publisher for over 33 years. He has written 35 books and is considered a casino specialist. He currently lives in Long Island, NY.