Roulette Glossary: Most Commonly Used Roulette Terms
Learning some of the most common roulette terms can be a great place to start if you're new to roulette or want to improve your roulette game. Our A to Z glossary contains all the essential phrases and roulette terms you'll need to play roulette online or in a physical casino.
Whether you want to find out what a split bet is, learn about call bets or a straight-up bet, or discover more about the table layout of a French wheel, our list of some of the most common roulette terms will help.
(If you think we've missed any terms that should be included, please don't hesitate to contact us.)
The Most Common Roulette Terms Explained:
Action: When you're in a position to bet on a game of roulette. For example, 'in the action'.
All-In: When someone bets their entire stake on one bet.
American Roulette: The version most commonly played throughout America. It features 38 pockets on the roulette wheel, which is numbered 1-36. It also features a zero and a double zero. Learn more about American Roulette in our dedicated guide.
Back Track: The outer rim on a roulette wheel where the ball spins.
Bankroll: The budget you have when betting on a game of roulette.
Basket Bet: This term is used when playing American roulette and is a special betting option. It references when you bet on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. It's also known as a five-number bet.
Bet on the Layout: When you place a wager anywhere on the numbers part of the table.
Biased Wheel: A term describing a roulette wheel with a flaw that means certain numbers appear more often than is probable.
Black Bet: Making a wager that the next spin will land on black.
Block Betting: When you bet on a group block of numbers on the wheel.
Bottom Track: The inner rim of the wheel, where the ball slides before landing in the pockets.
Bonus: Promotional offers from a casino to entice new players to sign up, such as free spins.
Call Bets: Money bets are made by saying the bet aloud without putting any chips on the table. Many casinos don't allow these types of bets but accept announced bets. This is when you call out a bet and immediately place your chips to cover the bet.
Capping: A fraudulent bet involving adding more chips to a winning bet after “No More Bets” is called.
Carr: A French term used for the corner bet.
Chase Your Losses: When you bet more and more on a sequence of losses to recoup those losses.
Cheval: Another French term used when referencing a split bet.
Chips: Roulette chips are not marked, unlike normal chips. They come in different colours and typically one denomination to help the croupier determine who owns the chips when overseeing roulette games.
Clocking: When you predict where the ball will land based on the ball's trajectory and speed, often using an electronic device. It's banned in casinos.
Cold Numbers: Refers to any numbers that haven’t come up for at least 37 spins.
Cold Wheel: A wheel where players appear to lose more than win.
Colonne: The French term for a Column Bet.
Column Bet: When you bet on one of the three available columns of numbers. Typically, the payout is 2:1.
Complete Bet: A hedging strategy where you bet using multiple chips surrounding an individual number. This means you are covering outside bets in addition to the number.
Corner Bet: Betting on four numbers by placing your chip at the corner of the numbers. Typically pays out 8:1.
Croupier: The casino employee who oversees play at the roulette table. Sometimes referred to as the dealer.
D’Alembert System: This strategy is popular in roulette and works by increasing your bet by one (or multiples) after each toss. When you win, you then start to decrease your bet by one.
Dead Table: An open table at a casino with no players.
Derniere: This French term refers to a bet on the last group of 12 numbers (25-36).
Dolly: This is used to cover the winning number at a casino and is removed when all the winners have been paid out, and a new game is ready to begin.
Double Zero: The term that is used for the double zero pocket featured in American roulette.
Dozen Bet: When you bet on one of three groups of numbers – 1-12, 13-24 or 25-36.
Drop: The amount a player deposits when playing roulette.
En Plein: The French term that's used when you make a straight-up bet on only one number.
En Prison: French for 'in prison', this rule only applies to an even money bet. If the spin turns out to be zero, a player's money is 'imprisoned' until another spin. If the next spin is zero, the player loses their wager. If you win, you get your bet back, but you don't get your winnings.
European Roulette: This game version is standard in European and Asian casinos. Only one zero is used, which means the house edge is lowered. Find out more about European Roulette in our definitive guide.
European Wheel: This type of wheel is used when playing European roulette and features a single zero pocket.
Even Money: This type of bet is also known as a Flat Bet and pays out 1:1. It's an outside bet (e.g. red or black).
Eye-in-the Sky: Refers to the security cameras that sit above the tables in a physical casino.
Fibonacci System: This is a roulette strategy based around negative progression, which means you increase your bets after a loss. It follows the Fibonacci Sequence, a mathematical sequence, ie 1,1,2,3,5,8.
Five Number Bet: This bet is available in American roulette and covers 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3.
Flat Betting: When you bet the same amount for every spin.
French Bets: These types of bets cover certain roulette wheel sections. When you make a French bet, you place several bets simultaneously to cover all the numbers in each wheel section. These bets are popular in European casinos, particularly with high rollers.
French Roulette: Another variation of roulette with a slightly different table layout and sections displayed in French. May offer La Partage or the “en prison rule“.
Gaffed Wheel: This term describes a wheel that the casino has rigged.
George: A player who likes to tip big at roulette tables.
Green Betting: When you bet with a $25 value chip.
Green Pockets: Refers to the roulette wheel's zero and double zero slots.
Grifter: A player who is a scammer or a cheater.
Grind Joint: A casino that has low betting limits.
Heat: When you receive attention from casino management because you're winning a lot.
High or Low: When you place an even money bet on either all the low numbers on the wheel (1 to 18) or all the high numbers (19 to 36). The probability of this type of bet is 48.64%.
High Roller: A player who bets a large amount of money at the roulette table. Sometimes referred to as a Whale.
Hold: Also known as the percentage. It refers to the percentage of the drop a casino keeps.
Hot: When a player is on a winning streak.
Hot Numbers: Refers to the numbers that are hit more frequently than they should be, based on probability. They're also known as Golden Numbers.
Hot Table: A table or a roulette wheel where more players seem to be winning rather than losing.
House Edge: The advantage, mathematically, that a casino has over a player. It's expressed as a percentage and considers how much the casino will likely make on average for every bet. When you play a single zero roulette wheel (European roulette), the house edge is always 2.70%. When you play a double zero roulette wheel (American roulette), the house edge is 5.26%.
Impair: When you make a bet on odd numbers on a French table.
Inside Bets: When you bet on the roulette layout's inside section. This is the section where the numbers are printed. This type of bet covers individual numbers and small groups of numbers and typically pays out at high odds. Examples of inside bets include a single-number bet or a corner bet.
John: In roulette terms, this refers to a player who is known as a decent tipper, similar to George.
La Partage: This rule is similar to the En Prison and is most often available in French roulette. On an Even Money bet, you get half your bet back if the ball lands in the zero pocket. This refers to outside bets and reduces the house edge to 1.3%.
Line Bet: Placing a bet on six numbers or two lines of three numbers on the grid. The payout for this type of bet is 5:1, giving you a 16% chance of winning.
Manque: This is when you place a low bet (1 to 18) on a French wheel.
Marker: This is the device a croupier uses to mark the winning number after each spin. Players shouldn't place any new bets until the croupier removes the marker from the table.
Martingale System: This is a strategy some players use to claw back profits. It works by doubling your bet after a losing bet. It can be a risky move that sees you lose even more, so use it wisely.
Mini Roulette: This version of roulette is available at online casinos and features a smaller wheel with only 13 numbers (0-12). Because of the smaller size, the payouts are adjusted accordingly. Many Mini Roulette games return half your bet when the ball lands on a zero. So, the house edge is similar to the casino's advantage in traditional roulette games.
Mucker: When a roulette table is really busy at a physical casino, a second croupier helps with chips or double-checks the croupier's maths. They also help payout any winning bets.
Negative Progression: The system you use when increasing your bet after a loss at a roulette table. For example, the Martingale System or the Fibonacci System.
Neighbours: A bet of three numbers that centres around one number. You can choose to increase the number of neighbours you want to play off each number. A Voisins du Zero is a popular neighbour bet that places a bet on neighbours of zero.
No Action: When a croupier calls no action, all bets are cancelled, and the action is repeated.
No More Bets: When a croupier says no more bets, it means the roulette wheel has started to spin, and you can no longer place a bet. If you try to place any bets at this point, they will be void.
No Zero Roulette: A rare type of roulette wheel that doesn't have a zero or a house edge. They are typically only available on promotional games at online casinos.
Noir: A Black Bet on a French roulette table.
Non-value Chip: A casino chip whose value depends on the amount of chips taken and the value of a buy-in.
Odd: A bet that is placed on all the odd numbers on the roulette wheel. It pays out 1:1.
Orphans: When you place a bet on three numbers that are close together on the wheel (neighbours), but are far apart on the roulette table's layout. Often found in European roulette.
Orphelins: Also found in European casinos, this is a type of call bet. It refers to a player betting on a block of adjacent numbers on the roulette wheel.
Outside Bet: Any bet that's not an inside Bet. Refers to the bets made on the outside part of the roulette layout that cover large parts of the wheel and pay out at lower odds. Types of bets include a dozen bet, column bet and even money bets on red/black, odd/even etc.
Pair: When you place a bet on evens in the French version of roulette.
Parlay or Press: When you leave your original bet on the table and add your winnings for the next spin.
Passe: This term refers to making a high bet between 19 and 36 on a French roulette wheel.
Past Posting: This is illegal when playing roulette. It's a fraudulent betting method after the winning number has already been announced.
Pinching: The opposite of Past Posting, this move is also illegal. After losing a bet, it refers to removing your chips from the roulette table.
Pockets: The area on a roulette wheel where the ball may land. Each pocket has a unique number ranging from 1 to 36, and there is also either a zero or double zero pocket, depending on the game version you're playing. Half of the numbers are coloured red, and the other half are black. The zeros are green.
Positive Progression: The opposite of negative progression, this system sees players increasing their bets after each win to help boost their total winnings and maximise potential winning streaks.
Premiere: On a French roulette table, this term refers to placing money bets on the first dozen numbers, 1 to 12.
Quarter: When you place a bet on four numbers, usually a corner bet or a square bet.
Red Bet: One of the most famous bets in roulette, this even money outside bet pays 1:1 when you put all your stakes on red.
Roulette System: Different methods or systems you can use to lay your bets on the roulette table. While they can be helpful, they won't lower the house edge.
Run: When the wheel sees a streak of events, such as two of the same dozens in a row or four reds in a row.
Sector Bet: The same as a neighbour bet when you bet on a group of numbers within a roulette wheel's sector.
Section Slicing: Refers to dividing the wheel into hot and cold zones.
Single Zero Roulette: The type of roulette wheel that is used in European roulette that only has one zero on the wheel.
Six Line Bet: An inside bet involving a line bet on six numbers covering two adjacent roulette layout rows. This type of bet typically pays out at 5:1 odds.
Sixainne: In French roulette, this is a six-line bet.
Split Bet: When a player bets on two adjacent numbers on the roulette table with a typical payout of 17:1.
Square Bet or Quarter Bet: An inside bet where you bet on four numbers with a payout of 8:1.
A Stack: When you stack 20 chips on top of one another while playing at a casino.
Straight Bet or Straight Up Bet: Placing a single number bet when playing roulette, with a payout of 35:1.
Street Bet: A bet made on a row of three numbers by placing your chips on the edge of the row. The standard payout is usually 11:1.
Surrender: This is played on American roulette wheels and is similar to En Prison. It's when your bet rides over for a new spin if the ball lands on zero when you've made an even money bet. A player can also choose to get back half of their bet.
Tiers Du Cylindre: This term is commonly heard in European casinos. It's a French term that refers to betting on a group of numbers on a section of the roulette wheel that are paired neighbours on the table layout.
A Tom: Known as a poor tipper, the opposite of George or John.
Toke: The tips for the dealer are placed in the 'toke box' at a physical casino.
Tournaments: Where players can compete against other players to win a share of the pot.
Transversale: The term for a street bet if you're playing on a French wheel.
Triple Bet or Trio Bet: The same as a street bet.
Visual Wheel Tracking: This means carefully observing the spinning roulette ball and its position relative to the counter-rotating wheel head to determine where the ball will land. It usually involves a computer and is illegal.
Voisins du Zero: A French term referring to placing a bet on a group of numbers on a section of the wheel that neighbour the zero.
Wager: Another way to say a bet.
Wheel Checks: Unmarked chips used specifically on roulette tables.
Zero: The area on a roulette wheel that is marked zero. Every roulette wheel features a single zero space, but only American roulette wheels have a double zero pocket.
Play Online Roulette at NZ's Best Online Casinos
Know that you have the lingo down, why not try it out at New Zealand's best online roulette casinos?
- Wikipedia. "Fibonacci sequence", https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibonacci_sequence
Casino Content Specialist
Lily, a Casino Content Specialist, has amassed an impressive wealth of experience in the iGaming industry for well over a decade. She infuses this experience with each review, casino guide, and blog post. She spends her time playing titles like Mega Moolah and Starburst when not writing or spending time with her family in Auckland.Read more about the author