Roulette Terminology Every Player Should Know

Welcome to the world of roulette, where every spin holds the promise of excitement and a chance to win big! In this article, we’re going to dive into the fascinating realm of roulette terminology. Whether you’re an experienced player or just starting out, understanding the language of the game is key to enhancing your playing experience and maximizing your chances of success.

So, what exactly is roulette? It’s a casino game that involves a spinning wheel and a small ball. Players place bets on where they think the ball will land, and if they guess correctly, they win! But to truly grasp the nuances of the game, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific terms used in roulette.

From “inside bets” to “outside bets,” “en prison” to “house edge,” we’ll cover it all. By the end of this article, you’ll have a solid understanding of the vocabulary used in roulette and be equipped with the knowledge to confidently participate in the game. So, let’s get started and demystify the world of roulette terminology together!

Roulette Terminology Every Player Should Know

Roulette Terminology: A Comprehensive Guide for Every Player

If you’re new to the world of roulette, you may find yourself bewildered by the array of terms and jargon used at the table. Understanding the basic roulette vocabulary is essential for enjoying the game and making informed decisions. In this article, we’ll walk you through the essential terminology every player should know. Whether you’re a casino enthusiast or someone looking to try their luck at roulette for the first time, this guide will equip you with the knowledge needed to navigate the roulette table with confidence.

Components of the Roulette Wheel

Before diving into the intricate language of roulette, let’s start with understanding the key components of the roulette wheel. Familiarizing yourself with these elements will lay a solid foundation for comprehending the terminology used in the game.

1. The Wheel

The wheel is the centerpiece of the game, consisting of numbered pockets ranging from 0 to 36 (or 00 to 36 in American roulette). It spins in one direction while the ball is spun in the opposite direction.

The wheel is typically divided into two main types: the European wheel and the American wheel. The European wheel contains 37 pockets, while the American wheel has an additional 00 pocket, totaling 38 pockets in all.

The pockets are alternately colored in red and black, with the 0 (and 00 in American roulette) colored green. The numbers are not arranged consecutively, but they are still evenly distributed.

2. The Ball

The ball is the small white object that is spun around the wheel until it loses momentum and comes to rest in one of the numbered pockets. It is typically made of ivory or synthetic materials and is designed to be perfectly round and balanced for unbiased results.

3. The Table Layout

The table layout refers to the betting area on the roulette table. It is divided into two main sections: the inside bets and the outside bets. The inside bets are placed on the numbers themselves or specific combinations, while the outside bets are positioned on a wider range of options such as red/black, odd/even, or high/low.

Bet Types: From Straight to Call Bets

Understanding the various bet types is crucial when it comes to playing roulette. Each bet has its own payouts and odds, and knowing how to place them correctly can significantly impact your overall roulette strategy.

1. Straight Bet

This is the simplest and most common bet in roulette. A straight bet involves placing your chips directly on a single number. If the ball lands on your chosen number, you win the bet, with a payout of 35 to 1.

For example, if you place a straight bet on the number 17 and the ball lands on 17, you will receive 35 times your original bet.

Keep in mind that the odds of winning a straight bet are quite low due to the large number of possible outcomes.

2. Split Bet

A split bet allows you to wager on two adjacent numbers by placing your chips on the line between them. If either of the numbers comes up, you win, and the payout is 17 to 1.

For instance, if you place a split bet on the line between 14 and 17, a win can occur if the ball lands on either of these numbers.

The split bet offers slightly better odds compared to the straight bet, but the likelihood of winning is still relatively low.

3. Street Bet

With a street bet, you can place your chips at the end of any row of numbers on the table layout. This covers all three numbers in that row, and if any of them hit, you win with a payout of 11 to 1.

For example, if you place a street bet by putting your chips at the end of the row containing 7, 8, and 9, you win if the ball lands on any of these three numbers.

The odds of winning with a street bet are slightly higher than with a split or straight bet.

Commonly Used Roulette Terms

Beyond the basic components of the roulette wheel and familiarizing yourself with the various bet types, there are several terms you’re likely to encounter while playing the game. These terms are commonly used by both croupiers and experienced players, and understanding them will enhance your overall roulette experience.

1. Croupier

The croupier, also known as the dealer, is the person responsible for managing the roulette table and facilitating the game. They spin the wheel, distribute the winnings, and enforce the rules of the game.

The croupier plays a crucial role in ensuring fair play and maintaining the flow of the game.

2. House Edge

The house edge refers to the mathematical advantage that the casino, or the house, has over the players. It is represented as a percentage and represents the average amount of every bet that the house expects to win in the long term.

For example, in European roulette, the house edge is approximately 2.7%. This means that, on average, the house will retain 2.7% of every bet placed by players over time.

Understanding the concept of the house edge is important for managing your expectations and bankroll when playing roulette.

3. En Prison

En Prison is a rule in some variations of roulette, predominantly in European casinos. When the ball lands on the zero pocket and a player has made an even-money bet (such as red/black or odd/even), the bet is “imprisoned” or held for the next spin.

If the subsequent spin results in a win, the player’s bet is released and returned to them with no winnings. However, if it results in another loss, the bet is forfeited to the house. The En Prison rule reduces the house edge on even-money bets.

4. Orphans

Orphans refer to the numbers on the roulette wheel that are not covered by specific inside or outside bets. These numbers are 1, 6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 31, and 34.

Players can place bets on these numbers individually or as a combination of multiple numbers.

5. Call Bets

Call bets, also known as announced bets, are special bets that are verbalized rather than directly placed on the table layout. They are typically found in European and French roulette variations.

Examples of call bets include Voisins du Zéro (neighbors of zero), Jeu Zéro (zero game), and Tiers du Cylindre (thirds of the wheel). These bets cover specific sections of the wheel and require a clear verbal declaration.

Call bets are often favored by experienced players looking to add variety to their betting strategies.

Key Roulette Strategies to Keep in Mind

Now that you’re well-versed in the language of roulette, let’s explore three popular strategies that you may consider incorporating into your gameplay.

1. Martingale System

The Martingale system is one of the oldest and most straightforward betting strategies in roulette. The concept is simple: double your bet after every loss, and when you win, return to your original bet.

For example, if you start with a $10 bet and lose, you would then double your bet to $20. If you lose again, you would double it to $40.

The Martingale system is based on the assumption that your luck will eventually turn around, resulting in a win that covers your losses. However, it’s essential to manage your bankroll and set limits to prevent significant losses.

2. Fibonacci System

The Fibonacci system is a progressive betting strategy based on the famous Fibonacci sequence. The sequence starts with 0 and 1, with each subsequent number being the sum of the previous two numbers.

In roulette, you apply the Fibonacci sequence to your betting. Start with the minimum bet, and after each loss, move one step forward in the sequence to determine your next bet amount.

For example, if your sequence is 1-1-2-3-5, your bets would be $1, $1, $2, $3, and $5.

Like the Martingale system, the Fibonacci strategy aims to recover losses gradually, relying on the belief that wins will eventually outweigh losses.

3. D’Alembert System

The D’Alembert system is a more conservative progressive betting strategy. With this approach, you increase your bet by one unit after a loss and decrease it by one unit after a win.

For example, if you start with a $10 bet and lose, you would then increase your bet to $11. If you win the next spin, you would reduce your bet to $10.

The D’Alembert system is based on the principle of equilibrium, assuming that wins and losses will eventually balance out.


Now that you’re familiar with the essential roulette terminology, components of the wheel, various bet types, and popular strategies, you’re well-equipped to step into the exciting world of roulette. Remember, roulette is a game of chance, and while strategies can enhance your gameplay, they do not guarantee consistent wins.

Ensure that you play responsibly and stay within your limits. By understanding the terminology and applying sound strategies, you can enhance your enjoyment of roulette and potentially increase your chances of success. Good luck!

Key Takeaways: Roulette Terminology Every Player Should Know

  1. Inside bets: These are bets placed on specific numbers within the roulette wheel.
  2. Outside bets: These bets are placed on larger groups of numbers or characteristics like odd/even or red/black.
  3. House edge: Refers to the advantage the casino has over players, typically seen as a percentage.
  4. Split bet: A bet placed on two adjacent numbers on the roulette table.
  5. Croupier: The casino employee in charge of spinning the roulette wheel and handling payouts.


Frequently Asked Questions


If you’re new to the game of roulette, understanding the terminology is essential to have a smooth and enjoyable experience. From inside bets to dealer calls, here are some common roulette terms every player should know.


1. What is a straight bet in roulette?

A straight bet is a type of inside bet where a player places their chips on a single number. If the ball lands on that number, the player wins, receiving a payout of 35 to 1. It’s a high-risk, high-reward bet that can lead to big wins.


To place a straight bet, simply put your chips directly on the number you want to bet on. Keep in mind that the number must be within the range of the roulette wheel (typically 0-36). While the odds of winning a straight bet are relatively low, the potential payout can make it an enticing choice for players seeking excitement and big wins.


2. What does the term “outside bet” mean in roulette?

In roulette, an outside bet refers to a wager placed on a large group of numbers. These bets typically have higher odds of winning but offer smaller payouts compared to inside bets. Examples of outside bets include betting on red or black, odd or even numbers, or certain ranges of numbers.


To place an outside bet, you’ll need to place your chips outside the main grid of numbers on the roulette table. Each type of outside bet covers a specific range of numbers, offering varying odds and payouts. Outside bets are popular among beginners and cautious players looking for a more conservative approach to the game.


3. What is a “split bet” in roulette?

A split bet is a type of inside bet where a player places their chips on the line between two adjacent numbers on the roulette table. If either of the two numbers comes up, the player wins, with a payout of 17 to 1. It’s a moderate-risk bet compared to a straight bet.


To place a split bet, you’ll need to put your chips on the line between two numbers you wish to bet on. It’s important to note that the two numbers must be adjacent to each other on the roulette table. As a split bet covers multiple numbers, it offers better odds of winning compared to a straight bet, while still providing a decent payout.


4. What do the terms “inside bets” and “outside bets” mean in roulette?

Inside bets and outside bets are two categories of bets in roulette. Inside bets include bets placed on specific numbers, while outside bets cover larger groups of numbers. Inside bets have higher payouts but lower odds of winning, while outside bets have lower payouts but higher odds of winning.


Inside bets involve placing bets on individual or smaller groups of numbers. These bets have higher odds but provide larger payouts. Outside bets, on the other hand, cover larger sections of the roulette table and offer higher chances of winning, although the payouts are smaller. Understanding the distinction between inside and outside bets is crucial when developing a roulette strategy.


5. What does the term “croupier” mean in roulette?

The term “croupier” refers to the casino employee who oversees the roulette table. The croupier spins the wheel, releases the ball, accepts bets, and pays out winnings. They play a vital role in maintaining the game’s integrity and ensuring a fair and orderly gaming experience for all players.


The croupier’s responsibilities go beyond spinning the wheel and managing the bets. They also announce the winning number, collect losing bets, and distribute payouts to the winners. The croupier’s expertise and professionalism contribute to the overall atmosphere and excitement of playing roulette in a casino setting.

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So, now you know some important roulette terms! Remember, roulette is a fun and exciting game, but it’s crucial to understand the language used. By knowing these terms, you’ll be able to navigate the game confidently and make informed decisions. Good luck at the roulette table!

In conclusion: Understanding the terminology will help you enjoy roulette and enhance your chances of winning. Familiarize yourself with terms like “inside bets,” “outside bets,” “even-money bets,” and “straight-up bets.” Knowing these terms will make you feel like a pro and help you have more fun while playing roulette!

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