Roulette Racetrack Guide | LeoVegas

Roulette Racetrack Guide

It’s OK if you’re a roulette player and aren’t familiar with the racetrack! Many seasoned roulette players either have yet to notice it on the betting felt, or don’t know how to use it. The roulette racetrack is simply a small visual representation of the roulette wheel, elongated like a racetrack circuit. Its design makes it easy to instruct the dealer, or croupier, to place call bets, which cover specific areas of the wheel.

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It’s entertaining, fun to use, and allows you to make call bets adding a little more excitement to your regular roulette game, since these bets generally cover more numbers, giving you more shots at a win! So, consider this your guide to the Roulette Racetrack, covering what it is, how it works, and most importantly, how you can bet on it.


What is the Roulette Racetrack?

It has been said that gamblers enjoy convenience. And, that’s exactly how the roulette racetrack came to be; quite simply, as a means to simplify complex call bets.

If you’re used to placing Straight Up bets in roulette, call bets might be a new concept for you. Call bets, also known as "called bets" or "announced bets," cover specific sections of the roulette wheel. You’ll mostly find these on European and French roulette tables, which is why many of these bets have French names like Voisins du Zéro, Tiers du Cylindre, and Orphelins.

The racetrack can be traced as far back as the 18th century on European and French roulette tables. As the game evolved, players and casino operators sought ways to make complex betting easier and more intuitive. Enter the racetrack layout, introduced in the late 19th century as a visual aid to help players quickly place call bets.

Over time, this layout gained momentum thanks to its simplified and ultra-convenient means of placing call bets that require groups of numbers, adding more engagement, strategy, and entertainment to this already beloved casino classic.

Understanding the Basics of Roulette Layout

The roulette wheel is the centerpiece of the game, and often the centerpiece of any casino floor. Slightly mesmerizing, it’s a big shiny wheel with numbered pockets ranging from 1 to 36, alternating in black and red colours. Depending on the variation, there is one green pocket for the single zero (0) in European roulette, or two green pockets for the single zero (0) and double zero (00) in American roulette.

The wheel itself is mounted above the table, on a spindle that allows it to spin smoothly and fairly. Around the edge of the wheel is a ball track where the tiny ball spins before it finds a home, landing in one of the numbered pockets. At its base is the roulette betting felt, where bets are placed. This felt layout includes a grid of numbers and various betting options, allowing players to bet on individual numbers, groups of numbers, or other outcomes like red/black and odd/even. Typically, French and European roulette tables will also have a roulette racetrack on the felt, allowing for quick and easier placing of call bets.

The European Roulette Wheel features 37 pockets, including numbers 1 to 36 and a single zero (0). If you can find a European roulette table, jump on it as it offers a lower house edge of 2.7% than its American counterpart (5.26%).

The American Roulette Wheel is home to 38 pockets; numbers 1 to 36, a single zero (0), and a double zero (00). This single pocket addition spikes the house edge from 2.7% to 5.26%, making it much less favourable compared to European roulette (and harder to find on the casino floor).

Difference Between the Traditional Roulette Table and the Racetrack Layout

The traditional roulette table layout includes a simple grid for placing bets on individual numbers, groups of numbers, and other betting options such as red/black and odd/even.

The racetrack layout, on the other hand, offers a more visual representation of the roulette wheel, allowing players to place more complex bets quickly and easily. This includes call bets like the neighbours bet, where you bet on a specific number and the four numbers on either side of it.

Structure of the Racetrack

The Neighbors of Zero

Quite literally, the Voisins du Zéro roulette call bet covers the numbers that “neighbour” (or are close to) the zero on the European Roulette wheel. For this bet, nine chips are needed to cover 17 numbers.

To place the Voisins du Zéro bet, make split bets on 4 and 7, 12 and 15, 18 and 21, 19 and 22, and 32 and 35; a corner bet on 25, 26, 28, and 29; and a trio bet (basket bet) on 0, 2, and 3.

Now, it’s the most popular roulette call bet for a reason, covering a substantial number of spots around the zero, paying out 17:1 for any of the splits you make, 8:1 for a corner bet payout, and 11:1 should the trio bet work out.

The Tiers du Cylindre

En francais, it’s ‘Tiers du Cynlindre’ but for those of us outside of Quebec, its actual translation to ‘one-third of the wheel’ helps us make sense of this roulette bet. However, it’s not totally accurate as the European wheel houses 36 numbers plus a zero and this call bet covers 12 numbers. Isn’t it always the case - the zero messing things up? In any case, this 12-numbered call bet is a combination of six split bets, made by placing a split bet on 5 and 8, 10 and 11, 13 and 16, 23 and 24, 27 and 30, and 33 and 36. Winning any of these split bets pays out 17:1.

The Orphelins

The Orphelins call bet covers all of the numbers on the European wheel left out of other call bets like Voisins du Zero and Tiers du Cylindre. These "orphaned" numbers are scattered around the wheel but come together for this specific bet. With this bet, five chips are needed to cover eight numbers.

To place an Orphelins bet, make split bets on 6 and 9, 14 and 17, 17 and 20, and 31 and 34, plus a straight-up bet on 1. Winning a split bet pays out 17:1, while a successful straight-up bet pays out 35:1.

The Voisins du Zero

The Voisins du Zero call bet is one of the most complex of the Roulette call bet series. It covers 17 numbers and requires nine chips to bet. To make this bet, you need to place split bets on 4 and 7, 12 and 15, 18 and 21, 19 and 22, and 32 and 35. Additionally, place a corner bet on 25, 26, 28, and 29, and a basket bet on 0, 2, and 3. If it hits, you’re looking at a 17:1 payout for a successful split bet to 11:1 or 8:1 for a successful basket or corner bet.

Types of Racetrack Bets

The number one way to use the roulette racetrack is to make a neighbours call bet. The circuit layout of the roulette racetrack really simplifies this type of bet. To make a neighburs call bet on the racetrack, place a chip on your desired number on the outside 'circuit' part of the racetrack. You’ll need five chips in total for this bet, as it covers your chosen number plus its neighbouring numbers. When playing online you can often select the number of neighbours: By default, most tables will have two neighbours but a plus and minus button usually allows you to increase or decrease the number of neighbours.

Regular bets like street bets, corner bets, and straight-up bets are typically placed on the main betting felt.

Straight-Up Bet:

A bet placed on a single number. If 33 is your lucky number, you’d likely drop a chip onto the 33 square and grab 35:1 should it hit.

Split Bet:

A bet that covers two numbers that sit adjacent to each other. Betting on 4 and 7 or 12 and 15 are good examples. To make a Split Bet, place a chip on the line that connects the two numbers.

Street Bet:

Look at the roulette betting felt, and you’ll notice it’s a series of three-number rows. Each row represents a Street Bet, also known as a Row or Line Bet, and covers three consecutive numbers like 19, 20, and 21, or 31, 32, and 33. To place a Street Bet, put a chip on the outside line that separates the first number of the row from the outer betting area. Hitting any one of the three numbers pays out 11:1.

Corner Bet:

A Corner Bet, also known as a Square Bet, covers four adjacent numbers that form a square on the betting layout, such as 1, 2, 4, and 5 or 23, 24, 26, and 27. To place a Corner Bet, put a chip at the intersection where the four numbers meet. Hitting any one of the four numbers pays out 8:1.

Six Line Bet:

A Six Line Bet, also known as a Double Street Bet, covers two adjacent rows, for a total of six consecutive numbers like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 or 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24. To place a Six Line Bet, put a chip on the intersection of the two rows, at the edge of the betting area. Hitting any one of the six numbers pays out 5:1.

How to Place Racetrack Bets

The racetrack layout is used for placing call bets, primarily neighbour bets. This allows you to bet on a specific number plus the numbers on either side of it. Here’s how to place a neighbours bet:

  1. Pick a Number: Choose the main number you want to bet on.
  2. Select Neighbours: Decide how many neighboring numbers on each side you want to include in your bet. For example, if you choose the number 16 and the neighbors by 3, you’re betting on 16 plus the three numbers on each side (4, 33, 21, and 23).
  3. Place Your Chips: Put a chip on your chosen number on the outer "circuit" part of the racetrack. The dealer will place the bets for you.

Typically, “the neighbours” refers to the two numbers on each side of your chosen number. If you want to cover more numbers, it might be easier to place those bets directly on the board.

Understanding the Payouts

Payouts on the racetrack are the same as on the main betting board. A Straight Up bet, which is a bet on a single number, still pays 35:1 for a direct hit. However, when placing a neighbours bet, you are covering multiple numbers with separate chips.

For example, if you’re betting on five numbers (the main number plus two neighbors on each side) and the payout for a single number is 35:1, you need to divide your payoff by the total number of chips you bet. So, if you win on any of the five numbers, your payout would be 35:5 or 7:1, assuming you had an equal amount of chips on each number.

Using the racetrack is a fast way to cover a section of the wheel rather than placing individual bets on various spots. It’s a fun and strategic way to play, offering a chance to win even if your main number doesn’t hit, thanks to the neighboring numbers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Voisins du Zéro, or Neighbors of Zero, is the most popular call bet on the roulette racetrack, especially for players who want to maximize their coverage. This bet covers 17 numbers, providing a substantial section of the wheel with a mix of split bets, a corner bet, and a trio bet.

Can you consistently win using racetrack bets?

As with any game of chance, you can throw any notion of consistency out the window. While racetrack call bets like Voisins du Zéro cover more of the wheel, the house always has an edge.

Is the racetrack available in all roulette games?

Typically, you’ll find racetrack roulette bets primarily on French and European tables, but they have been known to pop up on some American roulette variations. In a brick-and-mortar American casino, however, the house usually prefers to keep as much space around the table open and available for players.

How does the racetrack affect the house edge?

There is no advantage or disadvantage odds-wise to betting on the racetrack. You could bet the numbers yourself via the board, but the racetrack makes it quicker and much more convenient if you’re interested in a specific area of the wheel rather than specific numbers.

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