Roulette Systems

Walk into any land-based casino to gamble on roulette without being familiar with the terminology of the game, and you could end up placing the wrong wagers or getting left behind.

While there are many distractions in a land-based casino: the party atmosphere, the flashing lights, and the free drinks, it's no excuse for not knowing the basic terms.

That goes for online roulette too. There are so many different games on-line in 2023 and so many places to put a bet, sometimes you just need a helping hand.

Luckily, to learn online roulette terms takes a few minutes.

Take a look at our top roulette glossary, learn online roulette terms, and when you next log on to a great betting website you won't be struggling to work out what's going on. Then, sign up to some top recommended rooms on the net and earn yourself a good welcome bonus for real cash.

USA roulette

American Roulette - American Roulette wheels differ from their European Roulette cousins by having both 0 and 00 spaces.

American wheels offer worse odds because the probability of winning on any single number bet is 37-1. European wheels do not contain the extra 00 space, so the probability of spinning a single number is 36-1. That small difference in probability represents a major difference in the odds.

All but one of the bets on the American wheel gives the casino a 5.26% edge, while the single zero or European wheel gives the casino a smaller edge of 2.7%. No prizes for guessing which version you should probably stick to.

Roulette wheel

Biased Numbers

Numbers that come up on roulette wheels more frequently than normal.

Biased Wheel - A wheel that has been in use long enough for wear and tear to affect the game's outcome or one that has been altered intentionally for the same effect.

Biased wheels result in certain numbers appearing more often, giving the gambler with knowledge of the bias a distinct advantage.

In 2023 you aren't likely to find a biased wheel thanks to changes in casino policy and gaming technology, and online, reputable sites will have their software audited to make sure the wheels are fair.

Black – One of three colors used in roulette that can be wagered on. Betting on black pays 1-1, has an edge of 5.26% and - together with Red - the highest probability to win at 47.37%.

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Block Betting – A bet made on a block of numbers in the same section on a roulette wheel.

Column Bet - Wagers placed on any number in one of three different columns of numbers on the betting surface. The way the numbers are laid out on the betting table places three columns of 12 numbers each inside the betting area. Column bets pay out 2-1 and have either a 31% or 32% chance of winning depending on which style of wheel you're playing on.

Corner Bet - Wagers placed on any four numbers on the betting surface at the same time. The name comes from the way you place the bet - stacking your wager on the corner where the four numbers come together. Corner bets pay out 8-1, and have about a 10% chance of winning on both American or European wheels.

Croupier - The European term for the game's dealer, though it is commonly used in American casinos as well. The croupier oversees the action in a land-based casino or in an Internet Live Dealer Roulette game.

00 roulette

Call Bets – Mostly used in French and European roulette games. These bets are made while a spin is in progress, and usually covers a section of the wheel.

Column Bet – A bet made on an entire column. Pays out 2-1.

Coup – A win on a single bet/spin.

Dolly – A marker placed over the winning number until all players have been paid.

Double Zero – A slot found on American roulette wheels. This extra slot nearly doubles the house edge over European roulette wheels, which have only one zero slot.

Dozens Bet – An outside bet made on a dozen numbers, either 1 to 12, 13 to 24 and 25 to 36.

EU roulette

En Prison - A rule which only features on some European wheels and in French Roulette. If you place an even-money bet on a roulette wheel with the En Prison rule in effect and the number 0 comes up, your bet is held over to the next spin instead of losing altogether. If your bet loses the second time, you lose your wager, but if you win you get your wager back without the additional winnings. This rule decreases the casino's edge on even-money bets to just 1.35%. A similar rule exists on some American wheels and is called the 'Surrender' rule.

European Roulette - European wheels contain only one 0 space. Not every game you'll find in Europe uses a single zero wheel, just like not every game in America is played on a double zero wheel, but generally the European game is played on a wheel with just one green 0 space.

European wheels offer the best odds in the game - an overall house edge of 2.7% compared to 5.26% on American style double zero wheels. This edge is reduced to 1.35% if the ‘En Prison' rule is in effect.

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Even Money Bet – A bet that pays out 1-1, like betting the outsides (Red/Black, Odd/Even, 1-18, 19-36).

Five Number Bet – A bet that covers 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. Found in American roulette and generally considered one of the worst bets you can place.

Green Numbers – The zero and double zero slots on the roulette wheel.

High or Low – A bet on the first 18 numbers (low) or the second 18 numbers (high).

House Edge – The advantage that the house has over the player in roulette, usually expressed in the form of a percentage. You can use this to figure out how much you expect to lose per spin or per dollar.

Inside Bet – A bet made on the inside of the table layout. Payout between 5-1 and 35-1.


Line Bet - This bet covers six numbers at a time, with three numbers each on two adjacent rows. Line bets are placed on either of the outside lines where the two rows intersect. The bets pay out 5-1, and offer the bettor a 16% chance of winning.

Martingale System - A roulette system where a player doubles the stake after each losing bet until they win their money back. For example, if you were to wager $5 and lose, your next bet would be $10, then $20, then $40 and so on until you made your money back.

Negative Progression - A system (like the Martingale) where the player doubles their bet each time they lose.

Neighbors - The left and right numbers of the winning number.

Odd - A wager made on all the odd numbers. Pays 1:1.

Gambling chips

Orphans - A bet on three numbers that are close together on the wheel but not on the table layout.

Outside bet - The opposite of inside bets, these are placed on the outside of the betting surface furthest away from the croupier. Outside bets include all even-money bets, column bets, and dozens bets.

Parlay or Press - To leave your winnings from your previous wager on top of your current wager. Similar to “letting it ride.”

Past Posting - A way to cheat; players post their bets “late” after a winning number has been determined.

Red - One of two colors used in roulette that players can wager on. Pays 1:1.

Run - A streak of similar events, like 4 red or 6 odd numbers in a row.

Number 5

Single Number - A straight up wager. For example, placing a bet on “5” would be a single number bet. This pays 35-1 and has the longest odds in roulette.

Single Zero Roulette - See European Roulette.

Six Line Bet - A bet on any six numbers. Pays 5:1.

Special Line Bet - See Five Number Bet.

Split Bet - A bet made on any two adjoining numbers.

Square or Quarter Bet - Wager made on a square of any four numbers. Payout is 8:1.

Straight Bet - See Single Number.

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Street - Street bets are like half-line bets. Each row of three numbers on the roulette betting surface is called a street. These bets pay out at 11-1 and have an 8% chance of winning.

Surrender - See En Prison.

Toke - A tip for the croupier in a land-based casino.

Wager - A player's bet.

Wheel - A spinning wheel into which the ball - or balls - fall.

Wheel Checks - Unmarked chips used for roulette tables.

Zero - A green slot (0) on all roulette wheels. It's what creates a house edge in roulette. Pays 35-1 on a winning bet.

If you're interested in learning more about gambling terminology, especially casino terms, have a look at this page from