Roullete, or “wheel of fortune,” is a casino game in which a small ball is released in the opposite direction of a spinning wheel and players place bets on which colored (red or black) or numbered compartment the ball will come to rest in. A single number bet wins at the highest odds; other bets pay off at lower odds depending on how many of the numbered pockets the ball hits. The game originated in Europe, and the modern roulette wheel and table were developed after 1830.
The house edge in roulette is 5.26%, making it one of the most profitable games for casinos. The casino’s advantage arises from the fact that there is no skill involved in playing the game, so a player cannot improve his or her odds of winning. However, despite this fact, there are a number of different systems which claim to help a player beat the casino’s built-in house percentage. These include betting on specific dates or anniversaries, the numbers of lottery winners, and a variety of other methods.
Casinos know this, and are aware of the potential for cheating, but they will not ban the game altogether because it would cut into profits by reducing the amount of play and deterring casual gamblers. However, they will pay a premium to a few select people who can predict the outcome of a spin.
A roulette wheel consists of a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape with a metal rim and a series of compartments, or “frets” around the edge. The 36 compartments, painted alternately red and black, are arranged in three rows of 12 each. The center compartment, painted green on European wheels and red on American ones, is marked with a single zero.