The Basics of Roulette

Roulette is a fast-paced game that is found in every casino with table games. It is an easy game for beginners to learn and has enough betting options for the experienced players. There are many strategies to beat the house edge of roulette, but it is important to remember that this is a game of chance and no skill will overcome the built in house percentage. The best thing to do is play at crowded tables, which will slow down the action and help limit your exposure to the house edge.

The roulette wheel consists of a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape with a metal rim and a number of compartments or pockets (called canoes by croupiers) numbered 1 through 36. The rim is divided into 38 equal-sized sections, called separators or frets. There is also a single zero (which is green) located on the rim of the wheel and a red and black color scheme.

A croupier (dealer) spins the wheel in one direction and rolls a small ball around a tilted circular track that runs around the outside edge of the wheel. The dealer then announces no more bets to close the betting for that round, preventing any cheating or additional advantages by the players. The dealer then pays the winners and clears the table for the next round.

Once all the winning bets are paid, the dealer begins a new round by spinning the wheel and throwing the ball. The winner is determined by where the ball stops, and the winning bets are marked with a marker. Losing bets are cleared from the table first.

The game has several variants, but the basic rules are the same everywhere. The simplest is to bet on individual numbers, which is called a Straight Up bet. The payout for a winning Straight Up bet is 392 chips. Other bets include a Split bet, which is placed on two adjacent numbers, and a Corner bet, which is placed in the shape of a square. These bets have lower odds of winning but higher payouts. There are also specialty bets, such as the Five-number bet, which is a special bet that only pays out when the ball lands on 5 or 11. The house edge for this bet is 29%.