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Roulette: More To The Wheel Than Meets The Eye

Roulette is a casino game that uses an elegant-looking wheel spinning in a bowl laid horizontally on a specially designed table where bets could be made. Sometimes called "The King Of All Casino Games," its very furniture seems to be one no gambling house must be without.

The famous wheel is divided into thirty-seven slots numbered from zero to thirty-six, and alternately colored red and black. These numbers are not arranged numerically, so that there are occurrences wherein several numerically consecutive slots have the same color. The zero slot, however, is either green or white. This is the European standard wheel. In the American version, a double-zero (00) slot is added, and is commonly colored green. The significance of this supplement is in the way a player loses his money twice as fast than when playing a standard European. The American was created to provide more than a five percent advantage against the player, twice the chance - 2.7 percent, specifically - possessed by the European.

The slots are there to capture a small-sized ball that can fit into any of them. While the wheel spins, the roulette dealer rolls this ball from the top of the bowl and into the opposite direction of the wheel's turning. The ball bounces several times around the wheel until finally resting into a particular slot which ultimately determines the winner's.

Printed on the large table is a betting layout equivalent to the organization on the wheel. Colored chips are used that represent varying denominations. Money is converted into stacks of these chips according to the denomination desired by the player to play with. A stack of one-dollar chips, for example, is worth $20 and is issued to a player who wishes to play with it.

In beginning the game, the roulette dealer or croupier announces the game's opening for bets. Even as bets are being placed, he begins to spin the wheel and rolls in the ball. Bet entries will be stopped upon the official announcement: "No more bets." After waiting for the ball to stop, the croupier announces the slot number that contains it, takes a marker - usually looking like a glass pawn - and places it on that part of the table layout. He then pays out the winning bets, after which he removes the glass pawn from the last winning number on the table to restart the game anew.

There are numerous betting methods. When a player bets on a single number and wins, the payout is 35-to-1, meaning, every dollar bet is worth an additional $35.00. This player has employed the "Straight Up" bet, in which the bet is normally laid on the center of the number printed on the table. Another is the "Split" where the bet is placed on the line that divides two contiguous numbers, thereby touching them. Methods involving multiple numbers (Street bet, Corner bet), colors (red or black), and ranges (Four bet, Dozen bet, etc.), including odd or even, have lower payoffs.