Roulette is a casino game where players place bets on a small wheel. There are three basic bet types: inside, outside, and double up. Each of these bets has its own rules and house edge, so it is important to know them before placing your chips.
There are many different variants of this classic gambling game, and each has its own unique set of rules and odds. European roulette is by far the most popular version among gamblers both at physical casinos and online. It also has a greater winning chance than its American counterpart, making it the best option for beginners.
The game’s wheel consists of a solid wooden disk, slightly convex in shape. It is covered with metal partitions known as frets, each of which has a compartment or pocket numbered from 1 to 36. On European-style wheels, the first of these compartments is painted red. The second has black markings, and the third is green.
Another major component is the wheel’s spindle, which is crafted from a thin piece of hardwood called a patte wood. The spindle is balanced to prevent overspins, and it spins smoothly.
It has a few other features as well, including a built-in wheel lubricant and air vents to keep the lubricant from drying out. The wheel also features a tilted circular track running around its outer edge, which helps the ball roll more easily and lessens spins.
Other major elements include a spherical rotor that rolls a small ball in the opposite direction, and a computer-controlled betting system. These features have made roulette a popular worldwide pastime for centuries.
Other innovations include the en prison rule, which allows players to get back half of their even-money bets if the ball falls on zero. Similarly, the la partage rule, which divides all even-money bets into two equal parts, reduces the house edge by a substantial amount.