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Online Roulette Glossary and Terminology

 Online Roulette Glossary

If you're new to the game, it can feel like all the other players are speaking a different language. Learn to speak roulette by reading through our top list of some of the most important roulette terms you’ll need to know.

Action Player

An overly confident player who consistently makes large bets believing that games of chance can be defeated by skill.

American Roulette

This variation of roulette gives the highest house edge of any other variation - 5.26%. This is due to its additional 00 pocket which brings the total number of pockets to 38

American roulette offers the option of a 'basket bet,' also known as the 'first five.' This allows players to bet on a group of the lowest numbers: 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. It only has a 13% chance to win and pays 6/1. The house edge is higher for this bet is 7.89%.

Backtrack

The track on the outer rim of the roulette wheel where the ball spins before sliding down into a pocket. Also known as the 'ball-track,' this part of the wheel is stationary.

Bankroll

The total sum of money you've set aside to play with.

Biased Numbers

Numbers that occur more frequently. A product of biased wheels.

Biased Wheels

A roulette wheel with defects, damages, or imperfections that can regularly cause "unfair" results. If out of alignment, wheels may favor some numbers over others.

Big Number

Any number that appears significantly more often than would be predicted by statistics. Used to spot biased numbers and biased wheels.

Bottom Track

The portion of a roulette wheel that rests between the backtrack and the pockets. As the ball falls, it rolls over this region.

Chasing Loses

A strategy where you increase your wagers as you lose in order to increase the value of an inevitable win. This forms the basis of the Martingale System.

Choppy Table

A game where neither the house nor the players have a distinct advantage.

Croupier

Also known as the 'dealer,' the croupier oversees the action on the roulette table. In Live Dealer Roulette, online players can interact with a real-life croupier operating in a brick ‘n' mortar casino environment.

Double Zero

Found exclusively on American wheels, the green 00 pocket is directly across from the 0 with eighteen numbers separating both zero spaces on either side. It is also part of the group of five numbers which form a basket bet.

Dumping

When any given roulette table is losing more than winning over a considerable period of time, it is said to be dumping.

En Prison

A rule, generally only found in European roulette games, that reduces the house edge on even-money bets to 1.35%. When a zero comes up, even-money bets are imprisoned. If the next spin wins, the imprisoned bet is returned. If the next spin loses, then the bet is collected by the dealer.

Learn more on our page about European Roulette here.

European Roulette

This variation of roulette offers a lower house edge of 2.70% due to the use of a single 0 pocket on the wheel. European roulette only has 37 pockets as opposed to American roulette's 38 pockets.

French roulette rules apply to some European wheels further reducing the house edge to 1.35% for even-money bets.

Even Money Bets

A bet that pays out 1/1 and has an almost 50-50 chance to win. Even-money bets in roulette include: red/black, high 18/low 18 and even/odd. All cover 18 numbers at once

Find out more about even money bets in our guide.

House Edge

The difference between fair odds and the casino's payout. The house edge explains why online roulette casinos make a profit.

La Partage Rule

This is a variation of the En Prison rule. When you lose an outside, even-money bet because a zero is selected, you get half your money back.

Layout

The surface of a roulette table that displays all of the bet options. Wagers are placed here.

Martingale

A well-known roulette betting system which involves doubling your bet after each loss until you win. It can cover multiple consecutive losses with a single win. However, it is considered a high-risk, low reward system, because you may have to spend hundreds to make the equivalent of a single bet unit. Not to mention, you may hit the table limit before recovering any losses.

Orphans

A bet on three numbers that are close together on the wheel but not on the table layout. For example: 1, 20,14 or 14, 31, 9 or 6, 34, 17.

Parlay

To leave a bet standing on the table on a win and add an additional bet to it for the next round.

Past Posting

Posting a wager after the ball stops, or even just after the croupier says to stop all betting. As it can give an unfair advantage, this is considered an invalid bet. The dealer won't honor it.

Player Clocking

Recording other players' wins and losses to use the Chameleon Tactic which imitates the bets of winning players in hopes of similar results.

Premier Roulette Diamond Edition

A popular online roulette variant by Microgaming that features the option to save multiple bet layouts and choose from up to six table colours, also known as PRDE.

Single-Zero Roulette

Also known as European roulette, this variation uses only a single 0 pocket giving it a lower house edge of 2.70%. See European Roulette.

Surrender Rule

Some American casinos allow this variation of La Partage at tables with higher minimum bet requirements. It applies to wagers placed on even-money spaces on the table. When the ball selects either 0 or 00, the dealer will refund half of all lost even-money wagers back to players. This rule reduces the house edge by almost half and acts as a kind of incentive for players willing bet higher amounts.

Stack

A collection of chips.

System

Any strategy that uses a betting pattern to turn a profit under a specific set of circumstances.

Visual Wheel Tracking

Attempting to predict which pocket the ball will land in simply by watching the spinning wheel.

Wager

Synonymous for a player's bet. In roulette, a wager consists of bet units laid on bet spaces at the table.

Wheel

The spinning wheel into which a ball rolls. It has 37 or 38 numbered pockets that consist of 18 black, 18 red and 1-2 green.

Zero

The green-colored slot on wheel that forms the 37th slot on a European Roulette table and the 38th on an American Roulette table. If the ball lands in a zero, all outside bets lose.