Roulette is one of the most famous casino games in the world and it was among the first to reach its digital version as gambling moved online. It is played on a spinning wheel with a number of compartments, called pockets or canoes by croupiers, painted alternately red and black and numbered from 1 to 36. In addition, on European-style wheels a green compartment carries the sign 0. The wheel is placed on top of a table and the players place their bets within the table limits.
When the game is ready to begin, the croupier throws a ball into the wheel. If the ball lands in the compartment or area that was bet on, the bettors will receive their payouts according to their betting odds. Inside bets include individual numbers, groupings of numbers and colors. Outside bets cover various propositions such as high-low, odd-even, red-black, first, second and third dozen, etc.
In the United States, roulette has a small following when compared to other games such as slot machines, video poker, blackjack or craps. However, it still draws big crowds in Monte Carlo and other European casinos.
The game has been around for centuries and there are many different theories about its origins. Fanciful stories include that it was invented by 17th century French mathematician Blaise Pascal or by a Dominican monk who brought the game to France from China. However, it was only in the late 18th century that roulette achieved its current form.
A roulette wheel consists of a solid wooden disk, slightly convex in shape, with metal partitions or frets surrounding the edge. The compartments are numbered in a nonconsecutive pattern from 1 to 36, with the exception of a green pocket that carries the sign 0 on American-style wheels.
When playing roulette it is important to set a budget before you start. This will allow you to play multiple games without worrying about running out of money. It is also a good idea to start with small bets and then increase your wagers as you gain experience. It is also a good idea to make your bets on groups of numbers instead of individual digits. This will lower the house edge and your chances of winning.