Roulette Glossary

Roulette Glossary: Key Terms Every Beginner Should Know

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Updated on: 21 May 2024
Dean McHugh

Roulette has been one of the most enticing, nerve-wracking, and exhilarating casino games, enthralling players since the 18th century. To this day, roulette is still among the most popular and verifiable draws in land-based and online casinos all over the world and the internet.

There are several theories as to how modern roulette as we know it today evolved, but most would agree that the game emerged from France. From there, it spread throughout Europe and eventually made it to the shores of the United States. With a history spanning all the way from the Age of Enlightenment, it isn’t surprising that roulette has a rich linguistic tradition. Like most time-honoured casino games, roulette players have developed their own lingo.

Therefore, it’s imperative to learn the language of roulette not just to play but to gain a more nuanced appreciation of the game. That said, here’s a glossary of key roulette terminologies to help new and experienced players better understand the game’s rules, dynamics, and betting strategies.

Glossary of Roulette Terminology

5/8 series. A type of outside bet covering 12 numbers on a section of the roulette wheel. Also known as the tiers du cylindre (“third of the wheel” in French) since it covers the 12 numbers on the opposite side of the wheel from zero. More specifically, the numbers involved in the series are 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, and 33. Also see_ Orphelins_ and Voisins du Zero.

Betting Layout. Refers to the felt-covered area where players place their bets. The roulette betting layout is divided into several sections that correspond to the different types of roulette wagers.

Black Bet. A roulette wager that the next spin will land on a black-coloured number. Also known as noir in French roulette.

Call bets. A bet covering a series of numbers within particular sections of a roulette wheel. Common call bets include Voisins du Zéro, 5/8 series (Le Tiers du Cylindre), and Orphans (Orphelins).

Chips. The tokens roulette players use to place their bets on a roulette betting layout. Generally, roulette chips come in different colours and denominations to distinguish them from regular casino chips.

Column Bet. A bet on one of the three columns of 12 numbers on the betting layout. Also referred to as a dozen bet or a Colonne in French Roulette.

Corner Bet. A bet on four numbers within a segment in the betting layout. Also known as a square bet, quarter bet, or Carre in French Roulette.

Croupier (Dealer). The French word for “dealer.” A dealer is a casino employee who oversees the conduct and operates the roulette wheel at live tables. Croupiers are responsible for accepting bets, spinning the roulette wheel, and paying out winning bettors.

D’Alembert system. A betting system wherein a bettor adds one unit to their bet each time they lose on a spin or a game. For instance, if a bettor’s starting bet is £10, they would add another £10 to their next wager after every losing bet. Once the bettor finally wins, they would revert back to their initial £10 stake on the next game.

Dolly. A small, round marker placed on the winning number on the roulette table or colour after each spin. No bets can be placed until the marker is removed from the table. Also known as a win marker.

Dozen Bet. Similar to a column bet, the dozen bet is a wager on one of the three sequences of 12 numbers on the betting layout. This could be numbers 1 to 12, 13 to 24, or 25 through 36. Also known as a Douzaine in French roulette.

Double Zero (00). An additional green pocket on an American roulette wheel marked with the number “00.”

En Prison Rule. En prison is a French phrase meaning “in prison.” The en prison rule is also known as the “surrender rule” in some European roulette variants. Whenever the outcome of a game is a single “0”, the player can opt to claw back half of their initial wager or leave it locked up “in prison” for another spin to win their full wager. If, however, the player loses the bet, the house will claw it back.

Even Bet. A wager on the next spin landing on an even number. Also called a Pair in French roulette.

Even money. A wager paying bettors at a 1:1 ratio. In roulette, betting on “Black”, “Red”, “Odd”, “Even”, “Low”, and “High” all pay even money.

High Bet. A wager on the next spin landing on one of the high numbers (or numbers 19 to 36). Also called Passe in French roulette.

House Edge. A measure of the theoretical mathematical advantage a casino has against players in a game such as roulette. House edge is typically expressed as a percentage.

Inside Bets. A roulette wager made on the numbered portion of the roulette layout. It refers to a bet on any one or sequence of numbers.

La Partage. A rule in French roulette used to reduce the house edge on even money bets._ La Partage_ is similar to En Prison, only that the bettor gets half their bet back if the winning number is a “0”. Unlike En Prison, however, the player does not have the option of leaving the bet locked “en prison“.

Last Call. The last chance for players to place their bets before the croupier spins the roulette wheel.

Manque (Low Bet). A Manque is a wager that the next spin will land on the low numbers (numbers 1 through 18).

Martingale. The Martingale strategy is a betting strategy applicable to casino games like roulette. Players employing the Martingale system increase their bet size progressively after each loss to recoup their losses and make a profit at the same time.

No more bets. In most casinos, the croupier will make an announcement, saying “no more bets” before the roulette wheel is spun. This means no more bets will be honoured.

Odd Bet. A wager that the next spin will land on one of the odd numbers. Also called Impair in French roulette.

Orphans. A bet on a neighbouring group of numbers on the wheel, but are scattered on the betting layout. Also known as Orphelins in French roulette.

Outside Bets. A wager on the outside of the roulette betting layout (e.g., red, black, odd, even, high, low, column bets, etc.) instead of the single numbers “inside” the layout.

Parlay. A wager where players double their bet after winning.

Red Bet. An even-money wager that the next number will be a red. Also called Rouge in French roulette.

RNG (Random Number Generator). A computer-based mathematical program used in online casino games that determines random and fair game outcomes.

Roulette Wheel. A wheel with 37 or 38 numbered pockets, divided into black and red sections. The roulette wheel is the centrepiece of the action, and players will wager on which pocket the ball lands when the roulette wheel is spun.

Six-Line Bet. A wager where one of the six numbers—or two rows of three numbers separated by a line on the roulette betting layout—will win. Also called a six number bet. In French roulette, this wager is called Sixainne.

Split Bet. A single bet where a player places a chip on a single line between two numbers on the roulette betting layout. If the ball lands between either number, the wager is paid out at 17-to-1 odds. Also known as Cheval in French Roulette.

Straight Bet. A wager on a single number “inside” the layout.

Street Bet. A wager on a row of three numbers on the betting layout. Also known as a triple or trio bet. In French Roulette, this bet is called Transversale.

Voisins du Zéro. A French phrase meaning “neighbours of zero.” This is a wager on a specific group of 17 numbers between 22 and 25 on the wheel that are “neighbouring” zero. The exact numbers covered are: 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, and 25.

Zero (0) and Double Zero (00). A green pocket marked “0” on all roulette wheels. American roulette wheels, however, have an additional double zero pocket marked “00,” raising the variant’s house edge.

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