The top 10 roulette terms you need to know

Even though roulette is a pretty straight forward casino game to play where the hand of luck most likely decides your chances of winning, there are plenty of terms utilized in the game that may sound completely foreign to you.

roulette terms
Chips stacked around roulette wheel

These terms are one of the building blocks of the game and will appear over and over in blogs, guides, books, and articles about roulette; you’ll also hear a lot of them when you’re at the roulette table.

Now if you are a first time roulette player and you decide to gamble in a casino without being familiar with the basic but crucial terminologies of the game, you could find yourself placing the wrong wagers or getting left behind entirely.

That’s why it’s extremely important that you become educated with the wide assortment of sometimes Frenchified roulette terms so you will understand what’s going on while you’re playing the game.

With that being said, here are the top 10 roulette terms you need to know before playing the game. Find 1000s of definitions in our Casino Dictionary.

American roulette

A version of the original French game that is now one of the most popular table games in casinos across the United States, American roulette is simpler but more challenging than European roulette.

The major difference in the game is the presence of the 00 pocket in the roulette wheel. Absent in European Roulette, the addition of a 00 pocket reduces a player’s chance of winning from 1 in 37 to 1 in 38.

It also increases a player’s stakes as there is just more money to be lost when an additional space is integrated on the wheel.

While the American version of roulette is riskier than its European counterpart, it’s a lot simpler to play. This is because its wheels are easier to comprehend since adjacent numbers are placed opposite on each other on the wheel.

Inside Bets

Roulette players can choose to place their bets on an actual number designation – like a 5 – or a joint area between numbers.

You can also put your chips on a line between numbers (like the line between 5 and 8) or on the corner space where 4 different numbers are adjacent to each other (like the corner of 5,6,8 and 9).

When you cast your inside bet on the line between two numbers, this is known as a split bet (because you are literally splitting your bet between the two numbers).

When the bet is made on the corner of four numbers, this is known as a quad bet or a corner bet. When you put your bet on a single number, this is known as a straight bet.

This bet traditionally pays out at odds of 35-1.

Outside Bets

When you place your chips on outside bets, you are most likely enjoying a better chance of winning but at a lower return.

The choices for outside bets include wagering on red or black, odd or even, 1-18 or 19-36 (dozens bets), or various columns outside the numbered table.

When you wager on Dozen bets and column bets, there are 12 possible numbers that you can win on with a payout of 2 to 1 which puts your chances of winning at a solid 50%.

Betting in roulette is quite flexible and you can also choose to place your chips between outside boxes and also between inside and outside boxes.

A street bet, for instance, is a bet in which you put your chips on the vertical line between the inside and outside betting areas with a payout of 11 to 1 should you win.


Pockets are those spaces on the roulette wheel that catches the roulette ball.

Every pocket on the wheel has a distinct number, ranging from 1-36. There is also a 0 pocket and a 00 pocket on an American roulette wheel.

50% of the total numbered pockets in the wheel are colour red, the other half are black, while the zeros are coloured green.


Both the ball and wheel are perhaps the easiest terms on this list but are worth familiarizing nevertheless.

The ball is the small, typically white, item that is spun around the outside of the wheel and lands in a numbered pocket, signifying the winner.

The wheel, on the other hand, is the spinning device that houses the numbered pockets in which the ball will land into.

European Roulette

The European Roulette is the original version of roulette and is also one the most popular table games in casinos all over Europe and Asia.

Compared to the American version, European roulette only uses one zero pocket which means your odds of winning are higher.

European wheels also provide the best odds in the game – an overall house edge of 2.7% compared to 5.26% on American style double zero wheels.

The edge is further lowered to 1.35% if the En Prison rule is put into use.

En Prison

The En prison is a rule that you will see only in French Roulette and in some European games as well.

Once you wager an even-money bet on a roulette wheel which has the En Prison rule in place and the ball lands on the 0 pocket, your bet will be carried over to the next spin instead of losing it.

If your bet loses for another round, you lose your wager entirely but if you win, you receive all your wager back minus the extra winnings.

The En prison lowers the casino’s advantage on even-money bets to just 1.35%.

You may find a comparable rule on some American wheels and is referred to as the “Surrender” rule.

La Partage

Just like the En Prison rule, the La Partage rule allows players to enjoy a certain advantage over the casino.

If this rule is in place, you only lose half your bet but will not enjoy the same choice of having your bet “in prison” for another spin.

La Partage is utilized for ‘outside’ even-money wagers Red/Black, High/Low, Odd/Even and can also take effect if the result is 0.

Voisins du Zero

A French term that is generally used in European casinos in reference to a bet on a certain set of numbers on the section of the roulette wheel that is beside the zero.

When you translate the word “voisons”, it literally means neighbour in French.

Biased Numbers

Biased numbers is roulette term that you out to be familiar with.

The term pertains to particular numbers on the wheel that have statistically been proven to hit more than the others based on careful analysis.

There are plenty of stories and urban legends on players racking up huge wins on the roulette table by taking advantage of biased numbers.

Check out our ultimate guide to Roulette to give you the best chance of success at the casino

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