Although roulette is a fairly simple game to play, there are dozens of different terms that are used in roulette that you may not be familiar with. These roulette terms appear again and again in writings about roulette, and you’ll also hear many of them when you’re at the roulette table.
The following list features some of the most common (and most important) roulette terms that you’ll want to know before playing.
American Roulette: The version of roulette most commonly played in North, Central, and South America. In this version of the game there are 38 pockets on the wheel numbered 1-36, along with a zero and a double-zero.
Bet on the Layout: A wager placed anywhere on the numbers portion of the table.
Biased Wheel: A wheel on which not all numbers are equally likely to win on a given spin. Many stories of players scoring large wins in roulette are the result of exploiting biased wheels and betting on the numbers most likely to win.
Block Betting: The set of numbers on one section of the wheel bet as a group in certain roulette strategies.
Call Bets: Call bets are wagers made by speaking the bet aloud without placing any chips on the table. Many casinos do not allow true call bets but do allow announced bets, where a player calls out a bet and then immediately places the chips on the table to cover that bet.
Carr: French term meaning a Corner Bet.
Cheval: French term meaning a Split Bet.
Colonne: French term meaning a Column Bet.
Column Bet: A bet on one of the three available columns of numbers. Pays 2 to 1.
Croupier: The casino employee who oversees the play at the roulette table. This employee may also be referred to as a dealer, but croupier is the more formal and accurate term.
Double Zero: The space on a roulette wheel marked “00” that can only be found on American roulette wheels. These wheels are also known as “double zero” wheels accordingly.
Dozen Bet: A bet on one of the three available groups of 12 numbers; 1 through 12, 13 through 24, or 25 through 36. Pays 2 to 1.
En Plein: French term meaning a Straight Up Bet.
En Prison: French phrase literally meaning “in prison”. A rule applied to even-money wagers only. When the outcome is zero, some online casinos will allow the player to either take back half his/her bet or leave it (in prison) for a subsequent spin. In the second case, if in the next spin the outcome is again zero, then the entire wager is lost.
European Roulette: The version of roulette most commonly found in European and Asian casinos. In this version of the game only one zero is used, which lowers the house edge. In addition, the en prison rule allows players to recover half of all even-money bets should the ball land in the zero pocket. These rule changes give European roulette a much lower house edge than American roulette.
French Bets: These bets cover certain physical sections of the roulette wheel. They are popular in European casinos, particularly among high rollers. A player making a French bet is actually making several bets at once to cover all of the numbers in each wheel section.
House Edge: The mathematical advantage the casino holds over the player, expressed as the percentage of each bet the casino expects to keep on average in the long run. On a single zero roulette wheel, the house edge is 2.70%.
Inside Bets: Bets made on the inside section of the roulette layout, where the numbers are printed. These bets cover only individual numbers and small groups of numbers and pay out at relatively high odds.
La Partage: A roulette rule akin to the En Prison rule, only in this scenario the player loses half their bet and doesn’t enjoy the option of leaving their bet “En Prison” for a later spin. This refers to the ‘outside’ even-money wagers Red/Black, High/Low, Odd/Even & applies when the result is zero.
Marker: The device used by the croupier to mark the winning number after each spin. Players should not place new bets for the upcoming spin until the croupier has removed the marker from the table.
Mini Roulette: A version of roulette available at some online casinos. In this game, there is a smaller wheel that features only 13 numbers (0-12), and payouts are adjusted accordingly. In addition, many Mini Roulette games return half of all losses when a spin results in a zero, which makes the house edge similar to the advantage the casino holds in traditional roulette games.
Orphans: Commonly heard in European casinos. Refers to a bet on 3 specific numbers 6, 34 & 17 that are neighbors on the wheel, though far apart on the layout.
Orphelins: Another term normally used in European casinos. It’s a bet on a specific group of numbers on a section of the roulette wheel which are neighbors on the wheel, though apart on the layout.
Outside Bets: Bets made on the outside part of the roulette layout. These bets generally cover large sections of the roulette wheel and pay out at lower odds. Many are even money bets, such as red/black or odd/even.
Pockets: The areas on the roulette wheel in which the roulette ball might land. Each pocket has a unique number, ranging from 1-36, and there is also a 0 pocket (and a 00 pocket on an American roulette wheel). Half of the numbered pickets are colored red, while half are black, and zeros are colored green.
Six Line: A bet made that covers two adjacent rows of numbers on the roulette layout, covering six numbers in all. This bet traditionally pays out at 5-1 odds.
Split: A bet made which covers two adjacent numbers on the roulette layout, made by placing chips on the intersection of two numbers. This bet traditionally pays out at odds of 17-1.
Straight Up: A bet made on a single number, made by placing chips on that number on the table layout. This bet traditionally pays out at odds of 35-1.
Street: A bet made on a row of three numbers on the roulette table layout, made by placing chips on the edge of that row. This bet traditionally pays 11-1 odds.
Tiers Du Cylindre: French expression commonly heard in European casinos. It is a bet on a particular group of numbers on a section of the roulette wheel which are paired neighbors on the layout.
Transversale: French term meaning a Street bet.
Voisins du Zero: French term common in European casinos. It is a wager on a particular group of numbers on a section of the roulette wheel neighboring the zero.
Wheel Checks: The special unmarked chips that are used specifically on roulette tables.
Zero: The space on a roulette wheel marked 0. All roulette wheels contain this “single zero” space; American roulette wheels will also feature a double zero pocket.
Sixainne: French for 6 line bet.