As with any casino game, roulette comes with its own set of terminology and slang that players use to describe the game. 

Knowing these roulette terms is key to understanding the game:

  1. Action: The total amount of money wagered over a period of time. Roulette action usually refers to the total sum bet during a player’s time at the table.
  2. American Wheel: The roulette wheel commonly found in American roulette casinos that contains 38 numbered slots – 1 through 36, plus 0 and 00. This wheel gives the house a higher advantage.
  3. Backtrack: The outer rim of the roulette wheel that holds the ball as the wheel spins. It is slanted downward to eventually allow the ball to descend onto the wheel.
  4. Biased Numbers: Numbers on the roulette wheel that statistically come up more often than others due to an imbalance in the wheel. Players take advantage by betting on these numbers.
  5. Black Bet: A bet placed on the black numbers on the roulette table layout. Black numbers include all even numbers plus 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 30, 32, 34, and 36.
  6. Bottom Track: The innermost sloped portion of the roulette wheel that leads down to the pockets or slots where the ball comes to eventually rest.
  7. Chips: Tokens used to place bets on the roulette felt layout. Casinos have custom chips that can only be used in that casino establishment.
  8. Column Bet: A bet on an entire vertical column of 12 numbers on the roulette table layout. Pays 2 to 1.
  9. Corner Bet: A bet that covers four numbers that form a square on the table layout. Pays 8 to 1.
  10. Croupier: The casino employee who handles the roulette action on a particular table, including spinning the ball and wheel.
  11. Dozen Bet: A bet that covers an entire block of 12 numbers (1st 12, 2nd 12, or 3rd 12) on the table layout. Pays 2 to 1.
  12. Double Zero (00): The extra green slot featured on American roulette wheels in addition to the standard single zero slot.
  13. Double Up System: A betting system where a player doubles the size of their previous bet hoping to earn back losses and eventually earn a profit.
  14. Down Bet / High Bet: In double zero roulette, a bet on the higher set of 18 numbers (19-36). Pays even money 1 to 1.
  15. Drop Cut: A technique used by roulette dealers before spinning the wheel where they release extra balls onto the top track to randomize the final outcome.
  16. En Prison: A rule in some roulette variants that allows even money outside bets to be “imprisoned” when a zero comes up. Instead of losing the bet, it is held for the next spin and will either win or lose based on that spin.
  17. European Wheel: A roulette wheel containing only 37 slots – numbers 1 through 36 plus just a single zero slot. This wheel gives better odds to players.
  18. Ficheur: The casino employee responsible for exchanging cash for roulette chips at the table. This allows the croupier to focus on running the game.
  19. Five Number Bet: A bet placed on 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3 all together on double zero wheels. Pays 6 to 1.
  20. French Roulette: A version of roulette that originated in France, with slightly different rules such as the La Partage and En Prison rules which improve player odds on even money bets.
  21. High Roller: A player who bets more aggressively, playing for higher stakes compared to the table average or to their bankroll.
  22. House Edge: The statistical advantage the casino has over players in roulette. It ranges from 2.70% on European wheels up to 5.26% on American wheels.
  23. Inside Bet: A bet made on the numbered section of the table layout – as opposed to an outside bet in the boxes surrounding it. Inside bets generally have higher payouts.
  24. La Partage: A French roulette rule where half the outside bet is returned if the ball lands in the zero slot on an even money bet. This halves the house edge on those wagers.
  25. Layout: The felt playing surface of a roulette table which displays the numbers 1 through 36 in boxes where players can place their chips and bets for each spin.
  26. Line Bet: A bet on 6 consecutive numbers on the roulette table layout that forms a horizontal line. Pays 5 to 1.
  27. Neighbor Bet: A special 5 number wager that includes the number chosen along with the 2 numbers on the left and the 2 numbers on the right of that number. Pays 11 to 1.
  28. Orphans: A bet covering the leftover orphan numbers on the roulette wheel (6, 34 and 17) along with 0 and 00. Pays 8 to 1. Many new players, confused by this terminology, ask questions about these strange names.
  29. Outside Bet: A roulette wager made in the boxes surrounding the main number grid. These include bets on red/black, odd/even, 1-18/19-36, dozens, and columns. Generally carry a lower payout but better odds.
  30. Pocket: The numbered slots on the roulette wheel where the ball will eventually come to rest, determining the winning number for that spin. From 1 to 36 plus 0 slots.
  31. Progressions: Betting systems where a player adjusts their wager size based on previous spins in an attempt to recoup losses by eventually winning. The most common is the Martingale System.
  32. Quad Bet: A bet covering four numbers in a square formation on the table layout. Pays 8 to 1.
  33. Red Bet: A bet placed on all the red numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 30 32, 34, 36) on the roulette table layout. Pays even money – 1 to 1.
  34. Rotor: The inner part of the roulette wheel mechanism that is spun by the croupier. It has a sunken pocket ring where the ball bounces around before settling into a numbered slot.
  35. Session: The amount of time spent by an individual player or gambler playing roulette – either one visit or multiple visits over a period of time.
  36. Six Line Bet: A bet covering two rows of three numbers each (two connected streets). Pays 5 to 1.
  37. Split Bet: A wager on two adjacent numbers on the roulette layout either horizontally or vertically. Pays 17 to 1.
  38. Straight Up Bet: A single number bet inside the layout grid. Players can also bet on 0 or 00. Pays 35 to 1.
  39. Street Bet: A 3 number roulette bet placed in a horizontal row on the table layout. Pays 11 to 1.
  40. Up Bet / Low Bet: In double zero roulette wheels, a bet on the lower range of numbers 1 through 18. Pays even money 1 to 1.
  41. Voisins du Zéro: French for “neighbors of zero”, this is a special set of roulette bets grouped around the zero slot – including 0/2/3, 4/7 split, 12/15 split, plus two corner and two street bets.
  42. Wheel Head: The person responsible for operating the spinning roulette wheel itself. The wheel head releases the ball onto the track when the ball and wheel action begins.
  43. Zero (0): The green number slot on all European roulette wheels, and the single zero slot on American double zero wheels. Represents a 2.70% house edge for players when betting on that number.

That covers 43 common roulette terms!

Learning the unique language of the game will prepare you to play roulette like an experienced pro. With this comprehensive glossary, you can now talk your way around a roulette table with confidence.


  • Alan Phillips

    Alan Phillips (Online Gambling Writer and Specialist), a luminary in the sphere of online gambling, enriches CasinoBonusWise with his extensive knowledge and unbridled enthusiasm. As a specialist writer, Alan delves into the evolving landscape of the casino industry, unearthing the latest trends and developments to bring our readers the most refreshing and enlightening content. His articles and reviews, characterized by meticulous research and profound understanding, offer invaluable insights into the nuances of casino games, strategies, and the most rewarding bonus offers. Alan's commitment to the promotion of responsible gaming is not just a professional stance but a personal creed, ensuring that our audience enjoys a gaming experience that is as safe as it is enjoyable. Rely on Alan for a blend of informative and captivating content that enriches your journey in the world of online casinos.

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