When talking about the sections of a roulette wheel, players most often are talking about what are called “French bets”, “announced bets”, and “called bets”. I’m going to describe and discuss these in some detail today, because they often seem exotic and confusing to many new English speaking roulette gamblers. Once you know why these wagers exist and what the gamblers who make them are trying to do, they tend to be easy to keep track of. In fact, they’re quite easy to spot, because they divide the roulette wheel into various sectors. Just remember the numbers 22/25 and 27/30, because these are used to divide up the wheel into different sections.

These bets often use French phrases to describe them, which is why they are called French bets. If you aren’t comfortable speaking French (even phonetically), I’ll provide translations, which tend to be recognized in English language casinos. Before I get too far, I want to distinguish between what are called announced bets and called bets.

Differences in Announced and Called Bets

An “announced bet” is when you announce to the croupier (roulette dealer) that you want to make one of the French bets below. In these cases, you announce your bet and move to place your chips in the appropriate location.

A “called bet” is similar, except you call out which bet you want to make, but don’t move to place your chips on the appropriate locations about the table. Because this is considered by many pit bosses and casino managers to be betting on credit, many casinos do not allow called betting. Because announced bets follow procedure, they are allowed throughout the world.

Why Bet in Sectors

For the most part, betting on the sections of the roulette wheel give you the opportunity to make relatively complex wagers, but still cling to tradition. A certain amount of strategy was used in designing these bets, so a person could make a series of split bets and straight bets, but the dealers would know instantly which slots the gambler is betting on. In the past, people have sometimes believed that the roulette wheel was slightly warped or otherwise unbalanced. Gamblers with theories about such things might feel they have an advantage betting on certain sections of the wheel. Whether or not this is the case, gamblers are gambling on specific sections of the roulette wheel.

Sectors of the Wheel

Below is a list of roulette wheel sections you’ll want to know about. These comprise big bets using the inside betting mechanisms and often are popular in certain particular regions of the Earth. That is, some are popular in England and their former colonies, while others are used more often in Eastern Europe. Given the close connection between France, Monaco, and roulette, the naming conventions are French. I’ll give the English translation, so English speaking players can follow along.

  • Jeu Zero – 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15
  • Voisins du Zero – 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25
  • Orphelins – 17, 34, 6, 1, 20, 14, 31, 9
  • Tiers du Cylindre – 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33

Zero Series Roulette Bets

“Voisins du zero” translates to “neighbors of zero”. This bet consists of 17 numbers found between the 22 and 25 on the wheel, including those two numbers. This wager is said to be popular with gamblers in Eastern Europe, which goes doubly for the Czech Republic.

“Jeu zero” means zero game or zero-sum game in English.

Le Tiers du Cylindre

“Le tiers du cylindre” is translated as “thirds of the wheel”, and it refers to the set of six split bets for the six splits found closest together on the wheel. Le tiers du cylindre are found between (and including) 27 and 33. This bet would include the 5/8, 10/11, 13/16, 23/24, 27/30, and 33/36. Many British roulette players enjoy this bet, while casino players from South Africa and elsewhere place this bet under the name “Small Series” or “Series 5/8”. If you make a wager on the 5/8/10/11 with one chip, this is called a “Tier 5, 8, 10, 11” wager.

Orphan Bets in Roulette

The “Orphelines” or orphan bets in roulette consist of those numbers found outside the “Neighbors of Zero” and “Thirds of the Wheel” bets. These numbers are 1, 6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 31, and 34. Despite being supposedly orphaned outside the regular sets, you can make this wager based on relatively tidy betting structure: a straight bet on “1” along with four split bets on 6/9, 14/17, 17/20, and 31/34.

Alternate Wheel Betting Schemes

Another way to divide up the roulette wheel is into 3 sectors of 12 numbers apiece. I’ve listed a common way to break up the sectors for betting purposes, which are suggested because they allow you to isolate certain sectors for split bets, which lower the cost of the bet. Assuming you make a $1 wager on each bet, this is how you can cover the specific sections best.

  • First Wheel Sector – 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25, 17 34, 6, 27, 13
  • Second Wheel Sector – 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33, 1, 20
  • Third Wheel Sector – 14, 31, 9, 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26


The first sector is the least efficient wager, because you’ll have to make 12 separate straight bets to cover that section, for a total cost of $12.00. The second wheel sector is the most efficient, as you can make 4 split bets (5/8, 10/11, 23/24, and 30/33 or 33/36). Then you would wager on the 1, 16, 20, and either 30 or 36 as four separate straight bets. This would cost $8.00 for basic betting.

The third sector to consider involves 3 split bets (9/12, 26/29, and 28/31) and six straight bets, including the 3, 7, 14, 18, 22, and 35. In this case, your wager per spin would be $9.00.