Roulette Terms

Use this guide to learn your roulette terminology. You’ll come across a lot of this lingo when placing bets or playing at a land-based or online casino.

Action

The amount of money a player plans to wager in a given session is the action they will give the table or game. It can also refer to the total cash in chips on the roulette table for a given spin.

American Roulette

One of the worst forms of roulette for the player due to the higher house edge is American roulette. The wheel includes 0 and 00 spaces, which aren’t colored red or black. They usually are green and make the total house edge over 5%.

Back Track or Ball Track

The area in which the ball spins before dropping into the roulette wheel is known as the back track or ball track.

Biased Numbers

If a roulette wheel produces specific numbers with greater frequency, these numbers are biased numbers. They’re also sometimes referred to as golden numbers.

Biased Wheel

A wheel that has been tampered with is known as a biased wheel. It will typically be an inside job at a particular casino or a common defect if this occurs. The operator will shut it down as soon as they recognize the problem. It is also sometimes called a gaffed wheel.

Black Bet

When a player makes a bet on the color black, this is a black bet.

Bottom Track

The inner part of the wheel that slants downwards and doesn’t spin. The ball will usually bounce off the bottom track into a pocket after dropping from the back track.

California Roulette

To circumvent laws that prevented traditional roulette from being played, casino operators in California invented a roulette that uses cards instead of the wheel and ball. You may still be able to find this form of roulette in some states.

Column Bet

Three column bets are available that cover all the numbers in that column. Itis is considered an outside bet and pays 2 to 1.

Combination Bet

This type of wagering occurs when a player bets on more than one number in the layout. The player is essentially hedging their bets and covering multiple numbers in the hope of hitting one to cover all of their bets and make a smaller profit. Hedging your bets is risky and generally not recommended. However, many people play roulette this way.

Corner Bet

If you place a bet on the corner of four numbers, this is known as a corner bet. It pays 8 to 1 if any of those four numbers hold the ball at the end of the spin.

Credits

Online casino games often represent your bankroll as credits. It’s a little trick that casinos play to try and disassociate you from the fact you’re wagering real money.

Croupier

The croupier is the casino employee who spins the ball and manages a roulette game. It’s used for roulette instead of dealer as they don’t deal cards, so the term doesn’t really work in this circumstance.

Dealer Signature

Although this certainly isn’t a way to predict what numbers will win, some dealers consistently spin the ball. Players can use this dealer signature to determine where the ball will land according to what area the dealer spins the ball from initially.

The Devils game

People sometimes call roulette the devil’s game. Not because of the unbeatable house edge, but instead because adding the numbers together from 1 to 36 equals 666.

Dozen Bet

When a player bets on twelve numbers using the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd 12 section it’s known as a dozen bet. If the player wins, they get paid out at 2 to 1 odds. A popular betting method is to bet to make two dozen bets and hope the ball lands in these to get paid out at a lower rate, but still for a win.

En Prison

This French term is relevant only when playing on a French roulette table. If the ball lands on the 0, players with active even money bets only lose half of their wager. They can retrieve the remaining half or leave it in place for the next spin. It is sometimes also referred to as the surrender rule and reduces the house edge.

European Wheel

A roulette wheel that has one 0 but not a double zero space. This style is the most favorable type of roulette due to the house edge of only 2.76%. That is still relatively high when compared to some other popular table games that casinos offer.

Even Bet

A bet option that is available to players on the outside of the layout. If the ball lands on an even number, the wager gets paid out at 1 to 1.

Five Number Bet

When playing on an American roulette table, a five number bet is players betting on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. It is a common betting strategy for some players, also known as a top-line bet.

Golden Numbers

Golden numbers are those that keep winning despite the overwhelming odds and supposed randomness of roulette.

High or Low Bet

An outside bet where players can wager on the ball landing on any number between 1 and 18 or 19 and 36. If the player wins, the wager gets paid out at 1 to 1, which is even money.

House Edge

For casinos to remain in business and be profitable, they need to have an edge in every game available in their establishment. The house edge is the percentage advantage that the casino has over the player. Usually, it is in percentage form. It represents how much of the money wagered is theoretically retained by the casino in the long run. Concerning roulette, it has one of the higher edges out of popular table games.

Inside Bet

A bet that a player places on any of the numbers in the layout. In other words, a wager inside the box surrounding the numbers on the roulette table.

La Partage

It’s similar to the en prison rule in French roulette, except the player can’t leave their half bet in place after the ball lands on 0. They must remove their wager and make another one at the table minimum.

Line Bet

By placing a chip on the outside line, a player makes a line bet on the corresponding six numbers. This bet gets paid out at 5 to 1 if the ball lands on one of these numbers.

Layout

All the numbers and design presented to the players on the table felt is known as the layout. It is where players place their chips to make a bet and also where wins get paid.

Parlay

A parlay is when a player adds their winnings to their original bet for the next spin.

Match Play

Many casinos will offer players a bonus match play bet to encourage them to play. The casino will match a player’s wager of, say, $10 or $25. That means a player would wager $25, and the casino wagers another $25 on top on their behalf. So the payout would be $50 on an even money bet that has this match play.

Martingale System

In this betting system, players will double their bet after each loss and sometimes half a bet after each win to stay profitable. It sounds good in theory but requires a large bankroll, and the chance to lose a lot very quickly is ever-present. On the other hand, you’ll not win a lot very quickly using this system. Many gambling experts, roulette books, and websites suggest the Martingale system is the best system to follow when playing roulette. However, you should probably avoid it due to considerable risks for little reward and because each spin in roulette is entirely independent of what has happened previously. In the long run, a Martingale system loses money.

Marker or Dolly

The marker that gets placed on the current number. It is sometimes referred to as a dolly due to its shape. Players can’t collect their bets or make any new bets until this marker gets removed from the table.

Odd Bet

The odd bet is available for players on the outside of the layout. If the ball lands on an odd number, then the wager will be doubled, paid out at even money.

Orphans

The numbers 6, 34, and 17 are next to each other on the wheel. However, they happen to be far apart on the layout and thus known as orphans. This term is traditionally used in Europe by those playing French roulette. Some players will make continuous bets on the orphans hoping that when the ball lands in that section, it will hit one of these numbers.

Orphelins

French in origin, orphelins are numbers that are near each other on the wheel, yet not together on the table layout. A popular strategy among roulette enthusiasts is to bet on the orphelins in the hope of the ball dropping in a particular area on the wheel where they’ve wagered. Usually, roulette tables in casinos will have small cards that show the wheel configuration so that players can bet on orphelins. People also call this wagering style block betting.

Pockets

The small slots on the wheel situated below the ball’s numbers are known as pockets. Whichever pocket the ball ends up in indicates the winning number for that particular spin and betting round.

Red Bet

When a player bets on red on the outside of the table layout, it’s a red bet. If a red number wins, then that player’s bet will get doubled.

Random Number Generators or RNGs

Computer-based casino games use random number generators, or RNGs for short, to determine outcomes in their games. That is also true of traditional table games that are available in online casinos. RNGs are mathematical programs that define a draw, deal, or spin, based on programming that ensures a random outcome.

Every spin in roulette is independent of the previous spin. For games in online casinos, previous results do not affect the programming of a random number generator in any way.

Rapid Roulette

Rapid roulette is a version of the game where players bet at computer terminals. In the middle of all the screens, an automatic roulette wheel spins a ball. The computers detect the winning number and pay players via their terminal. You can also find variations where a real dealer will spin the ball. This game style allows casinos to maximize their space and have many more players gambling than fit on a proper roulette table.

In online casinos, a similar method exists for players at a live roulette table. You would have your layout and then a video feed to a real dealer spinning the ball on a real roulette table. This option bridges the online and real-world gap, allowing players to get that real roulette feeling from wherever they’re playing.

Six Number Net

Another name for a line bet is a six-number bet.

Split bet

When players bet on two numbers by placing the chip on the single line between them, they’re making a split bet. The payout if they win on this bet is 17 to 1.

Straight Up Bet

Some roulette players choose to bet on their lucky number. It may be a birthday, their son’s or daughter’s age, or the age they were when something momentous happened in their life. A direct bet on a single number is known as a straight-up bet. These get paid out at 35 to 1. These bets are where the casino makes some of its edge against the player. On an American table, you’ll find 37 numbers and 36 numbers on a European wheel.

Street Bet

On a roulette layout, a street is a row of three numbers. If one of these numbers is the winner, the player gets paid out at 11 to 1. It is sometimes also referred to as a trio bet.

Visual ball tracking

Some players will try to predict which area of the wheel a ball will land by taking note of the ball’s starting position when it spins and where it eventually lands. They may sometimes study a table to build up a prediction of where the ball may end up based on previous results. Once playing, they’ll make block bets where they think the ball might land after watching the release. It is an inaccurate approach and generally won’t work very well.

Wheel

The wheel is simply the roulette wheel that spins constantly and receives the ball when it drops from the back track.

Wheel Checks

When a player is betting on an extensive range of numbers, the casino will assign specific chips. It is also essential to do when a table is jam-packed. The dealer will give the player their wheel checks which they then use on the table. These have cash value on the table and can’t get taken to the cage. They must be cashed out from the dealer for casino chips on that particular roulette table before leaving.

Wheel head

The section of the wheel that has numbers and their respective pockets is known as the wheel head. It is, of course, the most crucial section of the roulette wheel as where the ball ends up determines who wins and who loses.