How to Beat the House Edge in Roulette


Roulette is a casino game that has offered glamour, mystery, and excitement to casino-goers since its inception in the 17th century. It is a simple enough game for beginners to enjoy, yet has an amazing depth of betting possibilities for serious players.

The roulette wheel consists of a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape, with metal partitions called frets around the edge. Thirty-six of these compartments are painted alternately red and black, while a green compartment on European wheels carries the sign 0 and two green ones (called 00) on American wheels. In addition to these numbered pockets, there are also two other compartments that are neither red nor black and pay out at the same odds as zero.

During a roulette round, each player places his or her chips on a number, groupings of numbers, or colors on the roulette table map. The table maps contain different groups of numbers with higher or lower probabilities of hitting, and each number on the table has its own corresponding number on the wheel. The game is called roulette because the dealer – or croupier – will spin a small ball into one of the thirty-six pockets on the wheel. If the croupier’s ball lands in a winning number, the player will be paid according to his or her bet.

There are many systems claiming to beat the house in roulette, but they all rely on the same basic premise: that there is a way to predict where the ball will land. However, the physics of the game makes it impossible to guarantee that a particular number or color will hit.

Before you head to a roulette table, set your budget. Know what your maximum bet is and stick to it, especially when you’re starting out. Each roulette table will have a placard that describes the minimum and maximum bets allowed. The best bets to make are the outside bets, which cover larger groups of numbers rather than individual digits and offer cheaper payouts. Also, try to avoid betting on single numbers. These bets are more expensive and don’t improve your odds of winning much more than the outside bets do.