Roulette Glossary

Listed below are roulette terms and definitions that may help you with the game. Many of these words are often heard in the roulette table. Familiarizing yourself with some of these terminologies will help you understand the game better and learn to strategize from there.


American roulette – This style consist of a roulette wheel which has 38 compartments and numbers from 1 to 36 with the addition of 0 and 00. With the 00, American roulette gives higher advantage to the house, as compared to French, Russian or European roulette.


Backtrack – the outer rim of the wheel in roulette where the ball spins. It is also known as ball-track.

Biased Numbers – this refers to numbers that continue to come out in the game, caused by biased wheels.

Biased wheels – an imperfect roulette wheel causing numbers to appear often than what probability allows.

Big Number – a number that hits more often than is theoretically possible. It may be indicative of a biased number.

Black action- when players bet with a black chip worth $100

Black Bet – when a player puts his wager on the color whose next number is black

Bottom Track – the inner area of a roulette wheel that slants or remains stationary, where the ball slides before bouncing from the wheel onto the pocket


Carre’ – is the French word for corner bet

Chameleon Strategy – a strategy where one looks out for players who have been constantly winning and tries to mimic their betting patterns hoping to get the same luck

Chasing Loses – when a player increases his bets so that he is able to get back what he has lost. This may not be a good way to play the game.

Check rack – this refers to the tray that holds chips. Also called chip tray.

Cheval – is the French word for Split bet

Choppy game – a game where no one is winning consistently for both player and the house

Column bet – when a player bets on one of three columns in the roulette wheel.

Corner bet – when a player bets on four numbers by placing roulette chips at the middle of these four numbers

Croupier – an employee of the casino who operates on the roulette table


Double zero or 00 – is only present in American Roulette

Dozen bet – when a player bets on any marked three sets with twelve numbers


En prison rule – This is also known as the surrender rule. Mostly applicable in European roulette; in an en prison rule, when the player makes an outside bet (even money, or red/black), and then the ball drops on 0, the player has the option to lose half the bet or retain the money at stake en prison, meaning leaving it on the table for the next spin. When a player opts to leave it, the chance or the edge of the house is considerably lowered in the next spin.

European roulette – This style consist of a roulette wheel which has 37 compartments and numbers from 1 to 36 with the addition of a 0. European roulette provides a lower house edge, compared to the American roulette, so the odds of winning are greater.


Fibonacci Betting System – a betting system where there is a progressive combination of numbers

Five number bet – commonly played in American roulette, where players bet on 0, 00, one, two and three, all at the same time.


House edge – the advantage of the house to make profits on each game; It is estimated as the difference between true odds and the actual pays out the casino makes.

High bet – when players place best on any of these numbers – 19 to 36


Inside bet – when a player bets on or between numbers in the boxes of the layout.


La partage rule – Mainly applicable in European roulette games. It has the same idea as the en prison rule except that the player is not given the option to keep the bet in place for the next game. The player just simply loses half of the bet and not the entire bet.

Low bet – when players bet on any of these numbers 1 – 8


Martingale System – a system where the player may win at roulette by choosing to bet on one with a 50-50 chance of winning and then just continue to double the bet every time the player loses. This kind of system is quite flawed, however. The player stands to lose a lot.


Non Value Chip – a casino issued gaming chip whose dollar value depends on the amount of the chips taken in a buy-in. For example, a buy-in of $300.00, with

60 chips amount to $5.00 per chip. This is also known as the “table minimum bet”.


Orphelins (Orphans) – most commonly found in European casinos. Orphan is when players bet on specific number of three, which are laid out close together on the wheel, but are actually far apart on the roulette table layout. (Example 6, 3, 17)

Outside bet – when a player bets with even money (for example black/red, high/low, odd/even) and the payout is 1:1


Parlay – when a player places his bet on the table and leaves it along with an added new bet, ready for the next spin.

Payout or Pay Out – the winnings the casino pays to a player

Player Clocking – when one is watching which player has been winning using Chameleon Strategy, and then tries to mimic their patterns.

Pinching – removing chips illegally from the betting table after the result has been delivered.


Quarter bet – when a player bets on one of four numbers, similar to corner bet or square bet


Red bet – when a player puts his wager on the color whose next number is red

Reds – casino issued chips worth $5

Reverse-LaBouchere Betting System – when using the La Bouchere system in reverse by cancelling the numbers in each loss and then adding them after the win

Reverse Martingale Betting System – when using the Martingale betting system in reveres by doubling up after each win and not after loss.

Roulette chips – these are casino issued chips for playing roulette only and may not be used for any other games. For American roulette, there are specific sets in different colors given to each player so that their chips can be easily identifiable on the table. For European roulette, the chips given out are of the same color so player has to remember which one is theirs.

Roulette layout – a roulette layout has numbered grids and colors on a table where players can place their bets using roulette chips

Roulette strategy – a method any players use in order to improve chances of winning or avoid incurring huge amounts of losses.

Roulette system – a method designed for players to help them beat the wheel or decrease house advantage, one such example is the Martingale System.

Roulette table – the table consist of the layout and the wheel.

Roulette wheel – the wheel is a movable part of the table. It is generally divided into alternate colors of black and red. The numbers on the wheel, from 1 to 36m are not placed in a sequence. In the American version, there is even a green compartment with a 00. The wheel moves clockwise and then the roulette ball is thrown on the rim, to go on the opposite direction.


Single zero roulette – also known as European roulette

Six number bet – when a player bets on six numbers at one time.

Sixainne- is the French word for six line bet

Split bet – when a player bets on two numbers together

Straight bet – when a player bets on just one number. Betting in this manner gives the player a higher pay out, in case he wins

Street bet – when a player bets on three numbers

Surrender rule – also known as En prison rule.


Tiers du cylinder – French term for when a player bets on a group of numbers on the roulette wheel which are laid close together on the roulette table layout.

Transversale – is the French word for Street bet


Voisins du Zero – French term for when a player bets on a group of numbers on the roulette wheel which are close to the 0

Visual Wheel Tracking – when a player has the ability to foretell where the ball will land just by looking at it spinning on the wheel


Wheel Clocking – when a player keeps track of the result of the spins to determine patters as well as possibilities and bias. Another way to track this is using electronics, in the hope of predicting where the ball will drop

Wheel Head – a part of the roulette wheel that has the numbered pockets.

Wheel roller – a croupier or roulette dealer

Wheel strategies – those strategies that exploit the imperfections of the wheel to garner edge

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