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Roulette is perhaps the best known casino game. A croupier spins a round roulette wheel which has 37 or 38 separately numbered pockets in which a ball must land. The main pockets are numbered from 1 to 36 and change between red and black, with number 1 being red. In addition there is a pocket numbered 0 of green color. In most roulette wheels in the United States but not in Europe, there is a second zero compartment marked 00, also colored green.

If a player bets on a single number and wins, the pay is 35 to 1. This means the bet is multplied by 35, while also the bet is returned; in total it is multiplied by 36. A player can bet on numbers, combinations and colors.

Board depiction (American Roulette)

0 00
1-
18
1st
12
1 2 3
4 5 6
odd 7 8 9
10 11 12
red 2nd
12
13 14 15
16 17 18
black 19 20 21
22 23 24
even 3rd
12
25 26 27
28 29 30
19-
36
31 32 33
34 35 36

Bet odds table (American Roulette)

(in addition to the mentioned payout the bet is returned)
Bet name Winning spaces Payout
0 0 35 to 1
00 00 35 to 1
1 1 35 to 1
2 2 35 to 1
... ... ...
36 36 35 to 1
Row 00 0, 00 17 to 1
Row 3 1, 2, 3 11 to 1
Row 6 4, 5, 6 11 to 1
Row 9 7, 8, 9 11 to 1
... ... ...
Row 36 34, 35, 36 11 to 1
Column 1 1, 4, 7, ..., 34 2 to 1
Column 2 2, 5, 8, ..., 35 2 to 1
Column 3 3, 6, 9, ..., 36 2 to 1
First 12 1, 2, 3, ..., 12 2 to 1
Middle 12 13, 14, 15, ..., 24 2 to 1
Last 12 25, 26, 27, ..., 36 2 to 1
Odd 1, 3, 5, ..., 35 1 to 1
Even 2, 4, 6, ..., 36 1 to 1
Red red numbers above 1 to 1
Black black numbers above 1 to 1
1 to 18 1, 2, 3, ..., 18 1 to 1
19 to 36 19, 20, 21, ..., 36 1 to 1
five number bet 0, 00, 1, 2, 3 6 to 1
Note also that 0 and 00 are neither odd nor even in this game.

Number Trivia

Roulette has been known as the devil's wheel since the total of all numbers adds up to 666, the legendary number of the beast.

Betting Strategies and Tactics

Albert Einstein is reputed to have stated, "You cannot beat a roulette table unless you steal money from it."

And yet, the numerous even money bets in roulette have inspired many players over the years to attempt to beat the game by using one or more variations of a Martingale betting strategy, wherein the gamer doubles the bet after every loss, so that the first win would recover all previous losses, plus win a profit equal to the original bet.

Various attempts have been made by engineers to overcome the house edge through predicting the mechanical performance of the wheel, most notably by Joseph Jaggers, the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo in 1873.

To try to prevent exploits like this, the casinos monitor the performance of their wheels, and rebalance and realign them regularly to try to keep the result of the spins as random as possible.

More recently Thomas Bass, in his book The Newtonian Casino 1991, has claimed to be able to predict wheel performance in real time. He is also the author of The Eudaemonic Pie, which describes the exploits of a group of computer hackers who attempt to use computers in their shoes to win at roulette by predicting where the ball will fall. In 2004, it was reported that a group in London had used mobile cameraphones to predict the path of the ball, a cheating technique called sector targeting.

Famous Bets

In 2004, Ashley Revell of London sold all of his possessions, clothing included, and brought US$135,300 to the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas and put it all on "Red" at the roulette table in a double-or-nothing bet. The ball landed on "Red 7" and Revell walked away with his money doubled to $270,600.
 
 
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