How to Beat the House Edge at Roulette


Roulette is a casino game in which players place bets on what number the ball will land in as it spins around a wheel. It has a number of distinct bet types, some of which are better than others in terms of odds. Players can also make a ‘basket bet’ which pays out a large sum of chips if the number wins. While the game has a reputation as being one of the most fair, it is still not without its flaws. Some professional gamblers, however, have been able to gain an edge over the house through a variety of methods.

A Roulette wheel consists of a circular disk with a series of divisions that appear to be randomly numbered, alternately colored red and black. In addition to the numbers, there is a green division labelled 0. There is a second extra zero on American roulette wheels. The wheel is spun, and the ball falls into one of the compartments when the wheel comes to a stop.

Before the dealer clears the table, a player places chips on a betting mat, with precise placement indicating the amount being wagered. Bets on individual numbers are called “Inside bets” while those on small groups of numbers (usually three or four) are known as “Outside bets.” The game has a number of different bet types and betting patterns, so it is important to understand the odds and house edge before putting any money down.

When the ball lands in one of the numbered slots, the player is paid according to the number and color of the slot. If the number is red, for example, a winning bet will pay out 36 chips. If it is black, it will pay out 35 chips. Other bets include the columns and thirds, which pay 2:1 and 1:1 respectively. The zero and the double zero, which are neither red nor black, do not pay out – so these bets lose.

There are a number of ways to predict where the ball will land, but the game is primarily based on luck. The best way to increase your chances of winning is to wager on inside bets. Outside bets, on the other hand, have a higher house edge and lower payouts.

While roulette is a popular choice among experienced gamblers, it has a comparatively small following in the United States compared to craps, video poker, and blackjack. Despite this, the game attracts big crowds in Europe, especially Monte Carlo, where it is one of the most popular games. The game is also a feature of numerous online casinos. Some have even reshaped the roulette wheel in an attempt to reduce its house edge. A single-zero wheel reduces the house’s advantage by more than half, making it a much fairer game. However, the house’s edge in European roulette is still higher than that of its American counterpart. This is due to the fact that the European game uses only a single green pocket, whereas the American version has an additional zero.