Beginner Roulette Terms

Roulette is an easy game to learn. It is straightforward and there are just enough rules that most people can master in a short time. However, there’s more to roulette than just the rules. Learning how to play the game involves getting familiar with the roulette terms that players use around the table. 

Those who don’t know the meaning of terms like inside bets, outside bets, the straight bet, the split bet, or the line bet, might find themselves missing viable opportunities at the roulette table. Players will hear words like croupier, column bet, pockets, and high bet too, so knowing what they mean is important for fully enjoying the game. 

This article will go through these roulette terms so that the next time players gather at a roulette table, not only will they be able to keep up with the conversation around the table, but they may also get some leverage and win a game or two. 

Inside bets

This is when a player puts a bet on a number or group of numbers that are together on the roulette table. They are on the inside, which is the larger side. If, for example, a player wagered single number positions or picked numbers in the corners, those are inside bets. 

Outside bets

This is quite literally the opposite of an inside bet. It consists of a large range of numbers that are situated on the outside of the table. An outside bet cannot be a single-number bet. 

Straight bet

This is a single-number bet, which means that it is also an inside bet, and it usually pays 35:1. 

Split bet

When a player bets on two numbers that are side by side on the table, they have placed a split bet, and it usually pays at 17:1. 

The player bets on the two numbers by placing a chip on the line between them and hopes that one of them will win. If you are playing French roulette, this is called a ‘cheval’. 

Line bet

This is when a player wagers on one of six numbers that are arranged in two rows and three columns, separated by a line. It is also called a ‘six number’ or ‘sixainne’ in French and it pays out at 5:1. 

This type of bet gives the player a 16% chance of winning, so it is best for experienced players and those who are not afraid to take big risks.


This is a term players will commonly hear in any casino setting and it refers to the person at the roulette table who takes the bets, spins the table, and also pays players their winnings. 

Croupiers can be thought of as silent referees in roulette, and they maintain order around the table. 

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Column bet

This is a bet that pays players 2:1 and usually covers one-third of the wheel. The good thing about this bet is that the risks are spread out, so even beginners can place this type of bet. 

It is usually placed on three columns that are made up of 12 numbers on the roulette table.


When the roulette wheel is spun, the ball must eventually land on a number. It usually goes to the pocket, which is a little notch. 

On every roulette table, half the pockets are red, half are black, and the zero slots are green.

High bet

Players can place a high or low bet. A high bet means that they are wagering that the ball will stop on a high number. A low bet means that players are wagering that the ball will stop at a low number. 

The odds are just about even and the payout for this type of bet is 1:1. 

Other bets

These are the most basic terms players should learn before they sit down at the roulette table, but there are a few more new players should get familiar with. 

The term ‘hold’ at the table usually refers to how much of a player’s winnings the casino gets to keep. Different games have different rates, and even within roulette itself, different plays can have different holds. Players should find out what the take-home is for different types of bets. 

A player may also be referred to as ‘hot’. This means that they have been on a winning streak, but that doesn’t mean that they have any sort of strategy in place. Such is the nature of roulette, and indeed any gambling game, that there are no strategies that can assure a win for every round. 

‘Hot numbers’ or ‘golden numbers’ are those that are winning more often than expected based on probability. Players shouldn’t bank on hot numbers too much; they may be hot for a little while and then stop winning. 

Another important roulette term is ‘biased numbers’. Players will not encounter this when playing online, but in land-based casinos, it is often the case that the house tampers a little with the table so that certain numbers appear more frequently. Observant players soon notice what these numbers are and bet on them. 

Players may talk about ‘black action’, which refers to wagers made with $100 chips. This kind of play is for big spenders, and new players shouldn’t attempt it until they learn how to play roulette properly. 

Players may also come across ‘cold numbers’ or a ‘cold table’. This means that for a while, the house has been winning and the players have been losing. If a number hasn’t landed once for 37 spins, this is called a cold number.

Author: Tanya Fields

Campaign Acquisition Manager Length with RC: 1 year, 9 months Favorite Casino Game: Starburst Background in iGaming: Opened the iGaming Department at Hard Rock Atlantic City in 2018 in both Customer Service, and then CRM, prior to moving over to RC in January 2021 Location: Based in NJ at the RC HQ Content: Occasionally, but only as it pertains to RC