Roulette Terminology and Lingo

Want to display your knowledge about the game of roulette by talking the roulette lingo and knowing all the terminology? In this article, you’ll learn how to do just that, and always look like a seasoned pro whenever you’re at a roulette table! By learning these terms, you will also improve your game as you master the concepts behind the commonly used phrases. Before you start to play roulette, make sure you know the roulette rules!

Roulette Math and Psychology

The following is a list of some basic concepts that have to do with math and psychology of gambling, and are essential to understand to prevent mistakes in decision making.

Gambler’s Fallacy

Based on the misinterpretation of the Law of Large Numbers, Gambler’s Fallacy is a mistaken belief that an event is “due” because the random distribution favored the opposite event lately. Also known as Monte Carlo Fallacy or the fallacy of the maturity of chances.

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Gambler’s Ruin

A statistical concept that says that a gambler with finite wealth, who bets on a favorable outcome against a bank with infinite or much larger wealth, will eventually go broke. The larger the discrepancy, the larger the chance for the poorer player to lose his entire bank. Ironically, consistently making beneficial choices is detrimental in the long run because of the difference in wealth between the two sides.

House Edge

The percentage by which the owner of the game has a mathematical advantage over the players. For example, in a single-zero roulette, the house edge on even-money bets (red-black, odd-even, high-low) is 2.70% because there are 17 favorable outcomes for the player and 18 unfavorable ones. A player who would consistently bet on one outcome would lose 2.70% of his money in the long run.

Law of Large Numbers

The Law of Large Numbers is an observed phenomenon in which the outcomes of random events tend to even out in large samples. This is the basis for Gambler’s Fallacy as players desire to exploit the “evening out” of the outcomes by betting on an outcome that hasn’t happened a lot on recent roulette spins.

Law of the Third

The Law of the Third is not a mathematical law as such but is probably true. It says that in, say, a sequence of 37 spins with 37 possible random outcomes, roughly two-thirds of the numbers will have showed up once or more, while roughly one-third will not show up at all.

Roulette Bets

There are three general types of bets: inside bets, outside bets, and called bets. The following is a full list.

Called bets

A set of pre-determined roulette bets that cover certain portions of the wheel. They are Voisins du zéro, Jeu zéro, Tiers du Cylindre, Orphelins and “…and the neighbours”. This type of betting, covered in-depth in our article, attempts to benefit from prediction where will the ball generally land on the physical wheel, as opposed to using math to try to predict the outcome of the spin.

Column Bet

An outside bet on one of three columns of numbers on the layout. The bet is made by placing a chip under the last number in the column – 34, 35 or 36 – as this outside bet doesn’t have its own space on the layout, unlike Red/Black, Odd/Even and the others. The bet pays 3:1.

Double Street Bet

The inside bet that covers most numbers, six. This bet covers two consecutive rows of three numbers on the layout. The bet is made by placing a chip on the outside of the two rows in question, level with their common border.

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Dozen Bet

An outside bet on the number being in one of three groups: first twelve (1-12), second twelve (13-24) or the third twelve (25-36). The French terms are Première douzaine, Moyenne douzaine and Dernière douzaine, respectively. The bet pays 3:1.

En Prison

En Prison is a roulette table rule, found at some tables, that is a variation of the La Partage rule and allows a player to have another chance to win on his two-sided bet (red-black, odd-even, high-low). If the bet is a losing one because the ball landed on zero, the player’s bet will be imprisoned for another spin. The player will get a spin for free, and if it loses, then the original stake is lost, and if he wins the stake is returned.

Inside bets

Inside bets are all bets placed on specific numbers. These can range from a single bet (putting a chip on a single number) to a double street bet that covers two consecutive rows of three numbers.

La Partage

The La Partage rule is in effect by default on many French roulette tables, and it reduces the house edge by returning half of the stake if an even-money bet (red-black, odd-even, high-low) is lost because the ball landed on zero. Another variation of this rule is En Prison.


An outside bet placed on the number belonging in the range of 1-18 or 19-36. The bet pays 1:1.


An outside bet placed on the number being odd or even. There are 18 even and 18 odd numbers, plus one or two zeros. The bet pays 1:1.

Outside bets

Outside bets all have to do with a number being a part of some larger group. For example, a bet placed on Red is betting on the number being a part of the Red numbers group. Other than Red/Black, there are Odd/Even, High/Low, Dozen Bet and Column Bet outside bet types.

Quarter Bet

A bet on four numbers at once by placing a chip at the cross-section of the four respective numbers. Pays 8:1. Also known as a square bet or corner bet. The French term is carré.


An outside bet on one of two colors. There are 18 Red and 18 Black numbers, plus one or two zeros. The bet pays 1:1.


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Row Bet

Bet on three numbers that are on one of 12 rows. The bet is made by placing a chip outside the row in question. The bet pays 11:1. Also known as a street bet or three-number bet.

Single Bet

Also known as a straight bet, this is a bet on a single number.

Split Bet

An inside bet placed on two neighbouring numbers on the layout by placing a chip on their shared border. The split bet can cover two horizontally or two vertically neighbouring numbers on the layout.

Street Bet

A bet on one of twelve rows on the layout that consist of three numbers. The bet is made by placing a chip on the outside of the row in question.

Roulette Lingo

Lingo used at roulette tables isn’t very specific but is more related to gambling or table games in general, and here are some of the more interesting terms used.

Chasing losses

Behaviour in which a gambler tries to recoup his losses by betting more and more money, or/and by betting aggressively, focusing on his past losses and believing that his luck has to turn.

Cold table

A roulette table on which the house is winning more than usual.


The French term for the dealer, also used as a borrowed term in English.

Eye in the Sky

Another term for video surveillance cameras.


A person who leaves generous tips to croupiers and other casino staff.


It is attracting attention from security and casino managers for winning too much money consistently.

High Roller

A person who bets big stakes.

Hot Hand

Hot Hand originated in basketball and is a belief that a player who just scored is more likely to score again, and the more he scores the “hotter” he gets. This has to do with the buildup of confidence, and the term is wrongly used in gambling on random events as these can be observed to enter streaks. However, these streaks can’t be predicted as the outcome of the next roulette spin is always random.

Hot Table

A roulette table at which the players are winning more than usual.


A gambler who uses sleight of hand techniques, most commonly past posting, to cheat the casino on roulette.

Past Posting

The act of cheating on roulette by placing a bet on a number after the roulette spin has finished and the winning number is already known. Usually performed by adding more chips to an existing stack. Also referred to as capping the bet.


The opposite of past posting. The act of cheating on roulette by removing your chips from the table after the roulette spin has already finished, and it’s made clear you would lose your stake.

Section Shooter

A player who is trying to hit a physical portion of the wheel (usually by using called bets) as opposed to relying on math.

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