Roulette is one of the most popular casino games in the world. Its popularity stems from its simplicity and the fact that it is a game of pure chance. Players place bets on a special roulette table and hope that the ball will fall into one of the slotted pockets of the wheel after it stops spinning. However, there are a number of things that gamblers should keep in mind when playing the game, including which bet types offer the best odds and how to understand the rules of roulette.
The earliest known written mention of the game is attributed to 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal, but it has been traced back to the earliest gambling houses in France. It has since gained worldwide popularity, especially in Europe where the house edge is lower than in the United States. Roulette became a mainstay in Monte Carlo and other European gambling establishments following the French Revolution and is still a prominent feature of many Las Vegas casinos.
There are numerous theories of the origin of the game, but most agree that it is based on a combination of earlier games such as hoca and portique. It has since evolved into its modern form, with a revolving dishlike device in the center of the table on which bets can be placed and in which a small ball is spun around until it stops in one of the compartments of the roulette wheel.
In its original European form, the roulette wheel has thirty-six compartments painted alternately red and black and numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36. A 37th compartment, painted green, carries the number 0. On American wheels, there are two additional green compartments labeled 0 and 00.
The game can be played in brick and mortar casinos, as well as online. The gameplay is identical, regardless of whether you are playing in a real casino or at an online casino site. In addition, most online casinos have live dealers and a real roulette wheel to give players the same experience that they would get at a casino.