Roulette Terms and Glossary

Listed below you’ll find some of the most useful roulette terms and definitions that may help you master the game.

American roulette – A version of the game that features a zero and double zero on the roulette wheel

Backtrack – the outer circle or rim of the roulette wheel in which the ball spins. It can also be called the ball-track.

Bet Types – You can see a description of bet types in the table below.

Bet Description Pays
Red or Black A bet that the winning number will be red or black. 1 to 1
Even or Odd A bet that the winning number will be even or odd. 1 to 1
Low or High A bet that the winning number will be low (1 through 18) or high (19 through 36). 1 to 1
Dozen You can bet on a group of 12 numbers by setting your chip in one of three boxes marked “1st 12,” “2nd 12,” or “3rd 12”. 2 to 1
Column There are three boxes marked “2 to 1.” By setting your chip in one of these boxes, you mark all twelve numbers above it (0 and 00 excluded). 2 to 1
Line A line bet covers two street bets (i.e. the six different numbers in two rows of three numbers. For example: 4,5,6 + 7,8,9). Set the bet on outer right boundary line of the roulette table, where it’s met by the line dividing the two rows. 5 to 1
Five This bet covers the following numbers: 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. Set the chip on the outer boundary line. 6 to 1
Corner Corner bets cover four numbers. Set the chip in the cross where the four numbers meet. 8 to 1
Street Street bets cover three numbers. Set the chip on the outer right boundary line of the roulette table, next to the corresponding row of three numbers. 11 to 1
Split A bet wagered on two connecting numbers by setting the chip on the line dividing the two numbers. A chip can also be set on the line dividing zero (0) and double-zero (00). 17 to 1
Straight Up A bet wagered on any individual number, including zero (0) and double-zero (00). The chip is set directly on the individual number. 35 to 1

Biased Numbers – these are numbers that repeatedly turn up in the game, caused by an unbalanced roulette wheel.

Big Number – A number that features more than is statistically feasible, often caused by a biased wheel.

Black Action – You bet with a $100 chip.

Black Bet – You bet the color next to a black number.

Bottom Track – The area inside the back track where the ball goes before settling into a numbered pocket.

Carre – The French name for a corner bet.

Chameleon Strategy – You spot a player on a winning streak and follow their betting patterns to try and emulate their success.

Chasing Losses – You increase your stakes to try and mitigate their losses.

Cheval –The name of split bet, originating in France.

Choppy game – Neither you nor other players around a roulette table are winning or losing consistently.

Column bet – You bet on one of the columns of numbers in the game grid.

Corner bet – By placing a chip or chips on the corner of 4 numbers the player covers each number for a lesser return than covering the numbers individually.

Double zero or 00 – The ‘house edge’ zero numbers in American Roulette.

Dozen bet – You bet on any three sets with twelve numbers.

En prison rule – You make an outside bet (odd/ even or red/ black) and the ball drops on zero or double zero, you have the option to lose half the bet or retain the money at stake ‘en prison’. This means you leave it on the table for the next spin. Mostly seen in European roulette.

European roulette – The game type in which the roulette wheel which has 37 numbers including a single zero. This means you have a proportionally greater chance of winning than American roulette.

Fibonacci Betting System – A system of betting on roulette that relies on an incremental pattern of increasing numbers.

Five number bet – You bet on zero, double zero, one, two and three in the same game – more frequently seen in American roulette.

House edge – In any roulette game this is the % by which the house has the greater chance to win. This is dictated by the presence of the zero and double zero pockets.

High bet – You place bets on high numbers only, namely 19 to 36.

Inside bet – You bet on numbers in the game grid only.

La Partage rule – Similar to the en Prison rule, you would lose half of the bet and not the entire bet when a zero or double zero win.

Low bet – You bet on the lowest segment of numbers namely 1 to 8

Martingale System – A roulette betting system of doubling your bet on red/ black or odd/ even with each concurrent loss. In theory, you can’t lose as you will eventually hit your bet and win back your total losses.

Orphelins (Orphans) – You bet on three numbers that are close together on the wheel, but are in fact far apart on the roulette table layout. You would bet orphelins if you feel the wheel is biased towards a certain segment and those numbers are more likely to win.

Outside bet – You bet on the outside boxes for even money including red/ black, high/ low or odd/ even.

Parlay – You leave your previous game’s win on the table and with an additional bet for the next game.

Pay Out – What you collect if you’ve come out cash positive at the end of a roulette session.

Player Clocking – If you employ Chameleon Strategy, and then mimic a winning player’s bets.

Quarter bet – You bet on one of four the 4 quarters on the game grid, similar to a corner bet or square bet.

Red bet – You bet on the colour with a red number next to it.

Reds – Five dollar or pound chips.

Reverse La Bouchere Betting System – You play a backward La Bouchere system meaning you cancel the numbers from each loss and add them after each win.

Reverse Martingale Betting System – You play a backward Martingale system by doubling up after each win.

Roulette chips – The tokens with which you bet. By placing chips on inside or outside bets on the table you are committing to the bet. Once the croupier has called ‘no more bets please’ you are not able to move your chips.

Roulette strategy – You employ one of a number of tactics in order to beat the game, many of which are described in detail in the section about the most successful roulette strategies on this site.

Single zero roulette – Another name for European roulette.

Six number bet – You bet on six numbers in one game.

Split bet – You bet on two numbers next to each other.

Straight bet – You just bet on one number. A long odds bet, but if it comes home you’ll win 36 times your original stake.

Street bet – You bet on three numbers on one horizontal line on the table.

Surrender rule – This is another name for the ‘en prison’ rule.

Tiers du cylinder – You bet on a group of numbers that are close together on the game grid rather than on the wheel.

Transversale – What a Street bet is called in France.

Voisins du Zero – Voisins means neighbours in French, so this means you bet on numbers next to zero on the game grid.

Wheel Clocking – You keep a mental or electronic record of spin results and biased numbers aiming to predict anomalies.

Wheel Head – On a roulette wheel this is the segment in the middle where the ball drops into numbered pockets.

Wheel strategies – If you believe you can achieve a winning edge by predicting where the ball is more likely to drop in the wheel head.

Check also our roulette videos and literature selection.

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