Project Roulette

Roulette Glossary

Last updated: 03/08/1999

This glossary will be updated periodically to include new terms and refine the definitions of existing terms.


  • A Cheval - French for the Split Bet.
  • Action - The amount of money wagered over a given period of time.  Used as a basis for judging comps.
  • Action Player - A player who bets big and for long periods of time.  Can be a euphemism for stupid player.
  • Adrenotrend System - See Hot and Cold System.
  • American Wheel - Roulette wheel that has 0 and 00 pockets and a number sequence of (clockwise starting with 0): 0, 28, 9, 26, 30, 11, 7, 20, 32, 17, 5, 22, 34, 15, 3, 24, 36, 13, 1, 00, 27, 10, 25, 29, 12, 8, 19, 31, 18, 6, 21, 33, 16, 4, 23, 35, 14, 2.  Originally, the double-zero wheel started in Europe and the single-zero wheel started in America.  But, Europeans liked the single-zero wheel better, and Americans liked the double-zero wheel better so they switched.  Today, the American wheel and double-zero wheel are synonymous.
  • Backtrack - The outer, stationary rim of the roulette wheel where the ball is spun.  Also called the ball-track.
  • Ball-Track - The outer, stationary rim of the roulette wheel where the ball is spun.  Also called the backtrack.
  • Bankroll - The total amount of money a gambler sets aside to gamble with.
  • Biased Numbers - A Big Number that continues through long-term analysis and produced by Biased Wheels.
  • Biased Wheel - A roulette wheel that has an imperfection that causes certain numbers or sections of numbers to appear at a higher frequency than probability allows for.
  • Big Number - A number that has hit more than its theoretical average.  Long-term "Big Numbers" may be indicative of a Biased Wheel.  Such numbers are then known as "Biased Numbers".
  • Black Action - A bet made with a black ($100) chip.
  • Black Bet - A wager that the color of the next number will be black.
  • Blacks - Chips valued at $100.
  • Bottom Track - The slanting, stationary, inner area of a roulette wheel down which the ball slides before bouncing onto the wheel head and into a pocket.
  • Cage - A booth or room where the casino cashier resides.  Here, you can exchange chips for cash (or vice versa), cashout coins, place front money, etc.  It is called a cage because it is usually enclosed by bars.
  • Cancellation Betting System - A betting system using a series of numbers that cancels numbers after winning a bet and adds numbers after losing a bet.  One specific type of Cancellation System is known as the LaBouchere System.
  • Capping a Bet - Illegally adding more chips to a bet that has already won.  It is a form of Past Posting.
  • Carre - French term for the Corner Bet.
  • Casino Advantage - The edge, usually shown as a percentage, that the house has over the player.  Also called House Edge or Vig.
  • Casino Host - The person responsible for seeing that high rollers are treated with the dignity and graciousness their wallets merit.
  • Casino Manager - The person responsible for seeing that the games of a given casino are handled properly.
  • Chameleon Strategy - Looking for players who have been winning and then mimicking their betting patterns in the hope that they will continue to be lucky, have found biased wheels, or are visual wheel trackers.
  • Chasing Losses - Increasing your bets in order to recoup what you've lost.  Not a good way to play.
  • Check Rack - The tray that hold the chips for a game.  Also, known as a chip rack or chip tray.
  • Checks - Another name for chips.  Typically, this name is used only by casino operators and employees, and using it may draw undue suspicion to yourself, especially if you are winning.
  • Choppy Game - A game where neither the player nor the house has been winning consistently.  Or, a game where no discernible streaks nor patterns have been appearing.
  • Clocking - There are two forms of Clocking -- Wheel Clocking and Player Clocking.  See those terms defined separately in this document.
  • Color Up - To exchange smaller denomination chips for larger denomination chips at a table.
  • Cold Table - Any table where you and/or other players have been losing.
  • Colonne - The French term for Column Bet.
  • Column Bet - A bet on one of the columns of 12 numbers on the layout.
  • Combination Bet - A bet with one chip or more chips on two or more numbers.
  • Comp - Casino "freebies" that are given out for certain levels of betting.  Basically, the more money you give them, the more "free things" they'll give you.
  • Corner Bet - A bet that four numbers in a given segment of the layout will win.  Also known as a Square Bet or a Quarter Bet.
  • Credit Line - The amount of credit a player is allowed by a given casino.
  • Credit Manager - The person in charge of determining casino credit for the player.
  • Crew - Personnel who man a game.
  • Crossroader - A casino cheat.
  • Croupier - French term for roulette wheel operator or "dealer".
  • d'Alembert Betting System - A system of betting where you increase your bet by one unit after a loss and decrease your bet by one unit after a win.
  • Dead Table - A table that is manned and ready for action but has no players.
  • Dealer - The casino employee who staffs the games offered.
  • Derniere - A French term for last and refers to the last group of 12 numbers in the Dozen Bet.
  • Double-Up System of Betting - A betting system whereby bets are doubled after a loss in hopes of recouping the previous loss.  One specific type of Double-Up System is known as the Martingale System.
  • Double-Zero Wheel - See American Wheel.
  • Douzaine - French term for the Dozen Bet.
  • Dozen Bet - A bet on one of the sequences of 12 numbers on the layout.
  • Double Dynamite Roulette System - A combination of Big Number play and sector slicing for short-range play.
  • Drop - The casino term for the total amount of money and markers wagered at the tables.
  • Drop Box - A box where money is dropped after the player cashes into a game and receives his chips.  The box is usually located under the table.
  • Dumping - A casino table that is losing money to the players.
  • Edge - Having the advantage in a game.
  • En Plein - French term for the Straight-up Bet.
  • En Prison - French term for the favorable option offered at some single-zero roulette tables.  The player doesn't lose his even-money bets if the zero shows.  Instead the bet is locked up (imprisoned) for another spin.  If the bet wins, it is returned fully.  If the bet loses, the house collects it.
  • European Wheel - Roulette wheel that has only a single zero (0) and a number sequence of (clockwise starting with 0): 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25, 17, 34, 6, 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33, 1, 20, 14, 31, 9, 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26.  Originally, the single-zero wheel started in America and the double-zero wheel started in Europe.  But, Europeans liked the single-zero wheel better, and Americans liked the double-zero wheel better so they switched.  Today, the European wheel and single-zero wheel are synonymous.  It is also known as the French Wheel.
  • Even Bet - A wager that one of the even numbers will win the next spin.
  • Even Money - A bet that pays off at one to one.  In roulette Red, Black, Odd, Even, Low, and High bets all pay even money.
  • Even Up - A bet that has no mathematical edge for either side.  In roulette, this can only come from wheel biases and croupier biases, as all layout bets have an unyielding house advantage.
  • Eye in the Sky - The cameras, usually in bubbles, located throughout the casino that videotape the action.
  • Fair Game - A game where neither the house nor the player has the edge.  Roulette is not a Fair Game.
  • Fibonacci Betting System - A progressive betting system where each bet is a combination of the two previous numbers. (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc.).
  • Five-Number Bet - Can only be made on the American Wheel and is a single wager that 0, 00, 1, 2, or 3 will hit next.  The single worst bet in roulette, and is thus synonymous with Sucker Bet.
  • Flat Bettor - A player who never varies the size of his bets, and bets the same amount each time.
  • Floorman - Individual responsible for supervising serveral tables in the pit.
  • Fluctuation in Probability - Numbers randomly appearing out of all proportion to their probability, usually only in the short-term.  A short sequence of repeating decisions.  A mathematical term that means good or bad luck depending on whether the fluctuation is in your favor or not.
  • French Wheel - Same as European Wheel.
  • Front Money - Money previously deposited in the cage and used by the player to draw markers against.
  • Gaffed Wheel - A wheel that has been rigged (by either player or the casino).
  • Gambling Stake - Amount of money reserved for gambling.  Same thing as Bankroll.
  • George - A good tipper.
  • Gland Martingale - Tongue in cheek name for a limited Martingale System of two steps after a predetermined number of even-money decisions has occurred.  Not to be confused with Grand Martingale.
  • Golden Numbers - Numbers that have hit out of all proportion to their probability.  Might be an indication that a wheel is biased.  With additional wheel and number analysis, Golden Numbers can be relabeled as Biased-Numbers.
  • Grand Martingale - A varient of the Martingale System where you double your bets and add one extra unit after a loss.
  • Greens - Chips valued at $25.
  • Grifter - A scam artist.
  • Grind - A small money player.
  • Grind Down - The casino gradually winning all of a player's money due to the advantage it has on bets.
  • Grind Joint - A casino that caters to Low Rollers or small-money players.
  • Grind System - Increasing one's bet a unit after each win.  Any system that attempts to win small amounts frequently against the casinos.
  • Guerrilla Gambling - The combination of smart play and hit-and-run tactics to beat the casinos at their own games.
  • Heat - Intensive scrutiny of a player's action to determine if he has an edge either due to cheating or expertise.  Casinos turn up the heat if you seem to be winning too frequently or in big amounts.  As one thing is certain, they can't stand giving back money.
  • High Bet - A wager that one of the high numbers (19-36) will win the next spin.
  • High Roller - A person who plays for big money (with big money).
  • Hoca - Early version of roulette.
  • Hot and Cold System - Classification of systems that wager on the side that won previously.  Another name for a streak method of betting.
  • Hot Table - A table where the players have been winning.
  • House Edge - The mathematical edge that the casino has on a given bet.
  • House Person - A dealer who is unusually concerned with the casino's profits.  A dealer who identifies with the casinos or enjoys watching players lose.
  • Hustler - A gambling cheat.
  • Inside Bet - A bet made on the central, numbered portion of the roulette layout.
  • Impair - French term for the Odd Bet.
  • LaBouchere Betting System - A type of Cancellation Betting System where numbers are cancelled out from a user-defined string of numbers after a win and added to the string after a loss.  The string of numbers determines the next amount to bet.
  • Layout - The design imprinted on the felt table top with the various bets that can be made.
  • Layout Strategies - Betting systems and strategies that try to overcome the house edge simply by placing different types of bets, without trying to determine if the wheel or dealer is biased.
  • Line Bet - A wager that one of six numbers (two rows of three numbers separated by a line on the layout) will win.
  • Long End of the Bet - The side of the bet that must pay off more than it collects.
  • Long Run - The extended amount of time during any given session (or through multiple sessions) when number frequency starts to asymptotically approach that which is predicted by probability theory.  Also called Long-Term.
  • Low Bet - A wager that one of the low numbers (1-18) will win the next spin.
  • Low Roller - A person who bets small stakes.
  • Manque - French term for Low Bet.
  • Mark - An individual who has been or is going to be cheated.  A sucker.
  • Marker - The check that a player fills out before receiving casino credit at the table.  A promissory note of IOU.
  • Martingale Betting System - A type of Double-Up System whereby you double your bets after every loss.  Meaning that when you win, you'll win back all of your loss, plus the payoff for the original wager.
  • Match Play - A casino promotion where players are given special chips that they can bet.  They are paid off in regular casino chips on a win.
  • Money at Risk - Money that has been wagered and can be lost.
  • Money Management - The methods a player uses to save his bankroll from ruin.
  • Money Plays - The call that alerts the dealer and the pit that you are betting cash and not chips.
  • Mucker - Anyone who uses sleight-of-hand techniques to cheat -- usually done for Past Posting.
  • Negative Progression - Any system of wagering where you increase bets after a loss.
  • Nickel - A five dollar chip that is usually red.
  • No Action - A call made by a dealer that the casino will not cover a particular bet.  Or that a particular spin or decision doesn't count.
  • Noir - French term for Black Bet.
  • Odd Bet - A wager that one of the odd numbers will win the next spin.
  • Odds - The likelihood of an event happening.
  • On the Square - A game that is honest.
  • Outside Bets - One of the 2-to-1 or even-money bets found on the outside of the roulette layout.
  • Paddle - Tool used to push the money into the drop box.
  • Pair - French term for Even Bet.
  • Parlay - To double one's bet after a win.
  • Passe - French term for High Bet.
  • Past Posting - Placing a winning wager after a decision has been reached.  Usually done by capping a bet.  Doing this is a good way to get thrown out of the casino and/or spend some time in jail.
  • Patience System - A grind method of playing whereby the player waits for a certain number of decisions before placing a bet.
  • P.C. - The house edge expressed as a percentage.
  • Penny Ante - A game played for small stakes.
  • Pinching - Illegally removing chips from a bet after an unfavorable decision.
  • Pit - An area consisting of a number of gaming tables.
  • Player-Clocking - Watching to see which players have been winning and with what methods in order to use the Chameleon Strategy and mimic their betting patterns.
  • Positive Progression - Any system of wagering where you increase bets after a win.
  • Power of the Pen - The ability to issue hotel comps to players on the part of some casino executives.
  • Premiere - French term for first and refers to the first group of 12 numbers in the Dozen Bet.
  • Premium Players - A casino term meaning big bettors or players with big credit lines.
  • Press - To increase the amount wagered, usually by doubling it, after a win.
  • Push - A tie.
  • Quarter Bet - A wager that one of four numbers will be hit on the next spin.  Same as Corner Bet and Square Bet.
  • Quarters - Chips valued at $25.  Usually green.
  • Rating - Evaluting the player's action for the purposes of comps.
  • Rating Card - The card used for rating a player.
  • Red Bet - An even-money bet that the next number will be red.
  • Reds - Casino chips worth five dollars.
  • Reverse-LaBouchere Betting System - A system of playing the LaBouchere System "in reverse".  That is, you cancel numbers after each loss and add them after each win.
  • Reverse-Martingale Betting System - A system of playing the Martingale System "in reverse".  That is, you double-up after each win instead of after each loss.
  • RFB - Complimentary Room, Food, and Beverage.
  • Rouge - French term for Red Bet.
  • Ruin or Element of Ruin - Losing your bankroll.  The probability of losing every penny of your bankroll.
  • Scam - Any scheme to defraud a player or casino.
  • Scared Money - Money a player can't afford to lose.
  • Scobe's Wager - If it doesn't hurt to play as if something is true, then you have nothing to lose by playing this way as long as you don't increase your time or risk at the table.
  • Section (Sector) Shooter - A dealer who tries to hit certain numbers or sections on the wheel.
  • Section Shooting - The act of placing the ball in a given section of the wheel.
  • Section Slicing - Dividing the wheel into sections based upon which numbers have been hitting for the purpose of discovering biases.
  • Session - A given period of play at a casino game.  Usually terminated at a predetermined time, or at a certain level of wins or losses.
  • Session Stake - The amount of money set aside for one session of play.
  • Shift Boss - The individual in charge of the casino during a given work shift.
  • Shill - An individual employed by the casino to play games that are being underplayed.
  • Short End - The side of the bet that has to pay off less than it will win.
  • Short Odds - Less than the true odds payoff for a bet.
  • Short Run - The limited amount of time during any given session when probability theory will seemingly be skewed by streaks and fluctuations.  Also called Short-Term.
  • Signature - The unconscious ability of a dealer to place a ball within a given distance from the last hit.
  • Single-Zero Wheel - See European Wheel.
  • Sixain - French term for a Six-Number or Line Bet.
  • Six Number Bet - Same as Line Bet.
  • Split Bet - A single bet that one of two particular numbers will hit on the next spin.
  • Spread - The difference between the minimum and maximum bets a player makes.
  • Square Bets - See Quarter Bets and Corner Bets.
  • Squares - A game that is on the level or honest; or a player who is on the level or honest.
  • Stack - A group of 20 roulette chips.
  • Straight Up Bet - An inside bet on one number.
  • Street Bet - A bet that one of three particular numbers will hit on the next spin.
  • Sucker Bet - See Five-Number Bet.
  • Surrender - The option whereby a casino only takes half a player's losing wager on the even-money bets when the 0 or 00 hits.  Few US casinos offer this.
  • Sweat - Casinos who are upset by players winning or having skill are said to "sweat" out their games.  Also, a player who is losing and is worried.
  • Table Hopping - Moving from table to table in a casino.
  • Take Down - To recall a wager before a decision.
  • Tapped Out - To lose one's entire bankroll.
  • Toke - Another word for tip.
  • Toke Hustler - A dealer who tries to get players to tip him.
  • Tom - A poor tipper.
  • Tough Out - The Captain's term for a player who doesn't beat himself.
  • Transversale - French term for a Three-Number Bet or Street Bet.  Also called a Triple or Trio Bet.
  • Trio Bet - Same as Street Bet.
  • True Odds - The actual probability of an event happening.
  • Underground Joint - An illegal casino.
  • Vic - Sucker.  Short for victim.
  • Vig or Vigorish - The casino tax on a bet.  Also known as juice.
  • Visual Wheel Tracking - The ability to judge where the ball will land by sight.
  • Wager - Another term for bet.
  • Wheel - Short for Roulette Wheel.
  • Wheel Chips - Special chips used only for roulette.
  • Wheel-Clocking - There are two main definitions for or types of Wheel-Clocking.  One is to keep track of the results of roulette spins to ascertain patterns and possibility of wheel bias.  The other is to visually or electronically clock the speed of the wheel in an effort to predict where the ball will land.
  • Wheel Head - The portion of the roulette wheel that contains the numbered pockets.
  • Wheel Roller - A roulette dealer or croupier.
  • Wheel Strategies - Strategies that try to exploit imperfections in the wheel in order for the player to get the edge.