Roulette is one of the most popular casino games in the world, and for good reason. It’s easy to understand and can be played by players of any skill level. Players can choose to place bets on individual numbers, various groupings of numbers, red or black, high or low, odd or even, and more. There are also a number of different variations on the game, including American roulette, European roulette, and French roulette, each with their own subtle differences.
The game is played on a small wheel with thirty-six compartments numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36, alternately red and black (on European-style wheels, a green compartment carries the number 0; on American wheels there are two green ones, marked 0 and 00). A ball is dropped into each of these slots, and when it lands in a winning combination the player’s bet pays out the amount indicated. All losing bets are collected by the dealer, who places them in the casino’s income. Except in rare cases, no betting system can overcome the built-in house edge of the game. However, some skilled players have been able to gain an edge by seeking out rigged wheels. The history of roulette is clouded by legends, including the claims that 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal invented it.