Roulette is the casino game of chance in which a ball is spun around a wheel and a bet is placed on the number of red or black chips that will be won. The odds of hitting a single number on a straight-up bet are 37 to 1, but the payout is only 35 to 1. The discrepancy between the odds and pay-outs is where the house gets its edge in roulette. There are many fanciful stories about the origin of roulette, including that it was invented by French physicist Blaise Pascal in his attempts to create a perpetual motion machine and that it was brought to Europe by Dominican monks. However, roulette is a simple game and is played the same way in casinos or gambling dens throughout the world.
When play is ready to begin, the dealer clears the table of winning and losing chips. She then signals to the players that the game is about to start by placing a buck, puck or small symbol on the table. The player tells the dealer how much their chips will be worth and she parcels them out to them.
Before playing roulette it is important to set a budget. Each roulette table carries a placard that describes the minimum and maximum betting limits. It is recommended to choose a table that offers a maximum amount of bet for outside bets and a lower minimum for inside bets. This will help ensure that you do not lose more than your bankroll allows.
Outside bets are placed on categories of numbers, instead of individual digits, and offer lower payouts if you win. They are often a better choice for beginners who want to play conservatively and have a higher probability of winning.
The Dozens Bet (or Douzaine in French) is a wager that the winning number will be in one of the first dozen (12), second dozen (18) or third dozen (24) on the roulette layout. This is an even money bet, with a payout of 2-1.
The High or Low Bet (or Passe et Manque in French) is a bet that the winning number will be either one of the first 18 odd numbers (1-18) or one of the last 18 even numbers (19-36). This is another even money bet, with a payout ratio of 1-1. If the ball lands on 0 or 00, all outside bets lose.