First time roulette players oftentimes assume that the numbers on the roulette wheel simply go in sequence from 0 to 36.  In fact, the numbers are aligned in a seemingly random order around the wheel, and the sequence is different depending on whether you are playing European or American Roulette.

American Roulette Wheel
The American roulette wheel has all of the numbers from 1 to 36, plus a 0 and a 00 square, for a total of 38 possible numbers.  The numbers are purposefully arranged in a non-sequential order.  Originally this was done to avoid cheating on early roulette wheels (old fashioned roulette wheels often had a bias to one side of the wheel or the other, which would have made it easier to win if the player knew which set of numbers won more often).

Today, the placement of the numbers on the roulette wheel does not make a big difference in American roulette (roulette wheels are much more precise and a “biased” wheel is very rare in modern casinos).  The order of the numbers going clockwise are as follows:

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



European Roulette Wheel

Much like the American roulette wheel, the numbers on the European version are also ordered in a seemingly random sequence, but the order is completely different than the American Roulette version.  The sequence of numbers on the European Roulette wheel are as follows:

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

However, unlike the American version, in European roulette the order of the numbers is important when it comes to betting.  On the European roulette table, you will notice there is an extra section that is not on the American roulette table at all.  It looks like this:

This section of the European roulette table offers a number of extra bets based on where the numbers are located on the European roulette wheel.  The extra available bets are:

  • Neighbor Bets: A neighbor bet is a wager placed on any number on the oval portion of the table shown above.  This bet places a straight bet on the number selected, plus 2 numbers to the left and two numbers to the right as they are arranged on the European roulette wheel.  For example, placing a neighbor bet on “0” would place a straight bet on 0, 3, 15, 26, and 32.  If you look at the diagram of the European Roulette wheel above, you will see that the numbers 3, 15, 26, and 32 all surround the number 0 on the wheel.
  • Voisins du Zero: This bet is a wager on 0, on the 9 numbers to the left of 0, and on the 7 numbers to the right of 0 as they arranged on the European roulette wheel. Bets are split between numbers that are next to each other on the rectangular table.  2 chips are placed on the 0, 2, 3 trio; 1 chip is placed on the 4-7 split; 1 chip is placed on the 12-15 split; 1 chip is placed on the 18-21 split; 1 chip is placed on the 19-22 split; 1 chip is placed on the 32-35 split; and 2 chips are placed on the corner of 25/26/28/29.
  • Tiers du Cylinre:  This bet is a wager on numbers that make up one third of the European roulette wheel (33, 16, 24, 5, 10, 23, 8, 30, 11, 36, 13, and 27).  All of the bets are split between numbers that are next to each other on the rectangular section table.
  • Orphans: This bet is a wager on the numbers 1, 6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 31, and 34. Bets are split between numbers that are next to one another on the rectangular table. The number 1 has a straight bet placed on it and the number 17 has two split bets placed on it; one with number 14 and another with number 20.

All of the above European roulette bets still pay out the same odds as any other bet in roulette.  Making one of these bets is simply a way of placing a series of bets on a specific section of the wheel without having to do all of them individually.

If you want to learn more about how to play and win at roulette, check out the roulette strategy guide, or some of our other roulette articles: the difference between American and European Roulette, how to make roulette bets, all about roulette odds, the roulette glossary.

Jeff White

Jeff has been an active gambler from the age of 18 when he won a small local poker tournament in San Jose, CA. He moved on to playing other casino games shortly thereafter, with a great interest in the statistics and mathematics involved. He has studied the historical gambling systems of nearly every popular casino game played today, and has written strategy books for several of them including blackjack, slot machines, craps, and roulette. Jeff has been a daily contributor to the Silver Oak Casino blog since the beginning of 2009.