With its spinning wheel and suspenseful gameplay, Roulette has captured the hearts of gamblers around the globe for centuries. Originating in 18th-century France, this iconic game has become a fixture in casinos worldwide, offering an exciting mix of luck and strategy. However, while the game may appear simple on the surface, it’s important for players to familiarize themselves with roulette’s terminology to ensure they are getting the most out of their gambling experience.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the most important roulette phrases every player should know, regardless of their level of expertise. So before jotting down the best sites for roulette in South Africa, be sure you’ve studied the terminology, to know what you’re getting yourself into.

The Terminology

We cannot overstate the importance of understanding roulette terminology. It’s common knowledge that each term carries specific meanings and implications that significantly impact gameplay and strategy. If you want any chance of success, you need to be aware of what these terms mean—it’s as simple as that.

For example, discerning the difference between “inside bets” and “outside bets” enables players to make informed decisions about where to place their wagers on the betting table. Similarly, grasping terms like “split,” “corner,” and “street” empowers players to navigate the various betting options available and tailor their strategies accordingly.

Let’s dive into our selection of the most crucial terms every player should know when playing roulette.

Biased Numbers

Biased numbers in roulette are specific wheel slots that occur more frequently due to imperfections or biases in the wheel. These biases stem from factors like manufacturing flaws, wear and tear, or improper maintenance. It’s crucial for players to be aware of this phenomenon, as past instances of wheel rigging have occurred.

Bottom Track

The bottom track in roulette is a part of the wheel mechanism where the ball initially travels before settling into one of the numbered pockets.

Combination Bet

Placing chips on two or more numbers on the betting layout constitutes a combination bet. While offering lower payouts compared to single number bets, this strategy enhances the player’s odds of winning.


The French term ‘croupier’ refers to the dealer responsible for managing live roulette tables in casinos. Their duties include accepting bets, spinning the wheel, and distributing winnings to players.

En Prison

En prison, is another French term translating to “in prison,” represents a rule in European Roulette that applies to certain even-money bets. If the ball lands on ‘0’, the player has the option to either retrieve half of their bet or leave it “in prison” for the next spin, providing an opportunity to recover the entire wager.


Odds mean the probability of a particular result occurring. For instance, with ‘Even Money Bets,’ the payout is at 1 to 1, indicating that the player has an equal probability of winning or losing, with the winnings matching the initial bet.

Orphelins (Orphans)

Orphelins or Orphans is used to describe a wager placed on neighboring numbers on the roulette wheel that are separated on the betting layout. This type of bet is considered a “Block Bet.”

Outside Bet

As the name suggests, an outside bet is a wager placed on the outer section of the roulette table layout, typically involving bets on broader outcomes such as red or black, odd or even numbers, dozens, columns, and so on.


A payout refers to the amount of money that the croupier or casino will give you when you win. For instance, the smallest payouts typically occur with outside bets (1:1), which are easier to predict. On the other hand, the largest payout is obtained by accurately predicting a single number with a straight bet, resulting in a payout of 35:1, given its higher level of difficulty to predict.


Pockets are the compartments on the roulette wheel where the ball eventually settles, marked with numbers from 1 to 36. These pockets are divided equally between red and black, while the slots for zero (0) are typically green.

Tiers Du Cylindre

Tiers Du Cylindre is a French term in roulette that translates to “third of the wheel.” It refers to a specific bet covering one-third of the roulette wheel. This bet includes twelve numbers situated opposite the zero on the wheel, ranging from 27 to 33 on the wheel. It is a type of “call bet” in roulette and offers different payout odds depending on the casino’s rules.