roulette glossary

The Ultimate Roulette Glossary – 19 Terms You Should Know

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If you’re entirely new to roulette, you may think that it’s simple to get started.

Roulette is the type of casino game that is easy to learn but hard to master. To make successful bets, you will have to practice and develop your intuition.

Before you can get your hands dirty with roulette, you need to grasp the basic terminology. Learning the glossary can serve as a quick guide that will free you of any doubts related to the meaning of any roulette terms.

We personally handpicked 19 of the most relevant terms that you may encounter during a roulette session. So, if you’re looking for a way to get started spinning the wheel quickly, you will love our roulette glossary.

Let’s get started:

American Roulette

The American Roulette layout has 38 divisions, including two zeros (0 and 00) and numbers 1 to 36.

 The numbers are colored black and red, while the zeros are marked with green. This roulette version has a higher house edge compared to the European version, and it’s generally avoided by gamblers (unless it’s the only option in the casino)

Betting System

Since the creation of roulette, people have been continually trying to find a workaround to lower the house edge and outsmart the casino.

A betting system is a mathematical model that encourages the player to increase or decrease the bet value after every spin progressively. There are a lot of betting systems available, including:

  • The Martingale system
  • The D’Alembert system
  • The Fibonacci Sequence
  • The all-in strategy
  • The James Bond technique

There is a lot of controversies online regarding the implementation of a betting system. From our experience, they will work in the short term, but you need to know when it’s time to cash out and leave.

Biased Roulette Numbers

“Biased” is a roulette slang that gamblers use when they lose a bet. If you hear a player saying that a number is biased means that the roulette was intentionally designed to make him lose.

Well, there’s no proof that the casinos rig their games to make the players lose. After all, roulette is a game of luck, so anything can happen when you wager money on it.

Still, some urban legends are claiming that certain numbers are more likely to occur than others, and some players consider it a great strategy. Based on our experience, we can tell you that there is no statistical proof that some numbers appear more often than others.

Players that claim the contrary are the victims of the gambler’s fallacy.

Block Betting

Betting on a block refers to placing group wagers on one area of the wheel as a single bet.

Bonus Codes

Bonus codes are special promotions that online casinos offer as incentives for new players.

We think that bonuses are one of the main reasons you should consider going for an online gambling platform instead of the traditional land-based casino.

These promotions generally include a match promotion, which adds a percentage to your deposit value or extra cash that can be used to place roulette bets.

 If you want to start with a special incentive, it’s essential to understand that these bonuses come with strings attached to protect the casino from fraudsters. These can come in the form of roll-over requirements, expiry date, or limiting the amount you can wager at once.

So, before claiming any bonus, make sure you read reviews by roulette specialists that have personally tested the offers and don’t just advertise the operator that pays them the most.


If you want to bet on roulette, you will have to exchange your money for chips.

This casino etiquette also applies to online casinos. In essence, the chips are the “casino’s currency” and were created to gamify roulette. Using chips increases the likelihood of spending more time in the casino (and lose more to the house)

Column Bet

The column is an outside bet placed on the vertical columns, each containing 12 numbers. The chips are placed on the dedicated space, located below the last number from the sequence you want to bet on (like 1-4-7-10…34)

Corner Bets

Betting the corner refers to the wagers placed on four adjacent numbers meeting in the corner of the board (e.g. 10-11-13-14).

The payout for this bet is usually set to 8 to 1, and you will win this wager if the wheel stops on any of the numbers in the corner. 


The croupier or dealer is a casino team member responsible for announcing bets, spinning the roulette wheel, and calling the numbers.

If you’re feeling generous, you can also tip the dealer for good luck. Of course, this won’t improve your odds or make the dealer favor your numbers, but it’s common among gamblers in land-based casinos.


As the name implies, a dozen bet is placed on one of the three groups of 12 numbers (1-12, 13-24, 25-36). The payout is 2 to 1, and from our experience, this wager is ideal if you’re a beginner and want to train your prediction skills.

Double Zero

Double zero is a unique number that is only available in American Roulette. It works similarly to the regular zero, and its presence lowers your house edge.

European Roulette

The European version of roulette is the most popular on the casino floor. That’s because it only features one zero and 37 numbers, making the house edge for a single bet as low as 2.63%.

When you wager on roulette, even one extra number can make a huge difference in your win rate. Ideally, you want to increase your odds by finding a European Roulette table. They’re pretty standard in land-based casinos, but you can also find virtual versions if you prefer gambling online.

En Prison

This roulette rule comes from a French saying that literally translates as “in prison.”  

En prison is valid for even-money bets, and it is triggered when the ball lands on zero. If the roulette version offers this feature, you will either get half of your wager back or keep it in the game for the upcoming spin.

However, if the next spin also stops on zero, you will lose the money for good.

House Edge

The house edge (a.k.a. expected value) is the average amount you lose for any wager you make. The house advantage changes depending on the type of the roulette you play.

 For example, betting on a single number has a 1/38 probability with 35 times payout potential in American roulette. If you compute the result yourself, you will find out that the house edge is 5.26%.


Popularized in European casinos, the term orphan refers to placing your bets on 6, 17, and 34. These numbers are neighbors on the wheel, and many people consider orphans a solid strategy for long-term success.

Snake Bet

The snake is a particular type of bet that includes the numbers 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 30, 32, and 34. It has a payout of 2 to 1, and it gets its name from the zigzag pattern left by the chips when you place your wager on these numbers.

This bet is rarely available in the roulette layout, but you can set it up manually.


Also known as Trio, the street bet requires you to wager three consecutive numbers situated on a horizontal line (like 7-8-9).

The chips need to be placed on the outer edge of the number at the end of the row. The payout for this wager is usually 11 to 1.

Virtual Roulette

Most online casinos offer access to different versions of virtual roulette. Some games are played against the computer, while live roulette is played against real dealers.

The rules for virtual roulette aren’t too different from the land-based version. Still, online roulette is an excellent alternative for those who don’t have time to travel to the nearest casino and would like to wager directly on their mobile device.


Zero is a particular number available on all roulette versions. Zeros are marked with a green, and they have a large payout of 35 to 1.

The zero in roulette is independent of the other numbers. If the ball lands on it and you didn’t wager any chips on zero, you will automatically lose your wager. The number of zeros available on the wheel is the differentiating point between American and European roulette.

Final thoughts

Now that you went through all the essential roulette terminology, you have a complete understanding of the basics of the game.

You can use this glossary as a starting point towards gambling success. Still, you need to continually practice your skills to develop a “blink” reaction timev. This way, you will be able to identify the best betting opportunities.

Remember: roulette is a game of chance, so there aren’t any patterns that you can use to cheat the casino.

Ideally, you want to gamble using the money you can afford to lose and don’t use the casino as a primary income source.

Have fun!

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