Roulette is a game in which players place bets on which of the 36 numbered pockets a ball will land in as it rotates around a revolving wheel. The wheel has a red and black section with a single green pocket marked 0. A fanciful legend credits 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal with inventing it. In fact, it evolved from older games such as hoca and portique. It became a mainstay of Monte Carlo and other European casinos after its arrival in the late 18th century.

Before the dealer spins the wheel, players wager on which number slot they believe the ball will land in by laying down chips on a betting mat. The precise placement of the chips on the mat is a coded signal to the dealer to begin the rotation of the wheel. Bets may be placed on a single number, groups of numbers (dozens), or the entire board. Bets on six or fewer numbers are called “Inside bets.” Bets on twelve or more are known as “Outside bets”.

A croupier, or dealer, oversees each game. Each table carries a placard with the minimum and maximum betting limits. The maximum limit is usually lower for inside bets, as the odds of winning are higher than for outside bets. A croupier may also help explain the rules of a specific game to beginners.

Before playing, players should set a budget and choose a table that allows them to play within their limit. It is also best to avoid dipping into your winnings for future bets as this will diminish your overall chances of success. When the wheel stops spinning, the dealer clears the losing bets from the table and pays the winners. Before the next spin, dealers will place a marker on the winning number and reset the betting area. It is important to remember that the house edge for even money bets is 1.35%. It is therefore crucial to maximize your bets on the numbers with the highest probability of hitting.