What Are The Orphan Numbers In Roulette?

What Are The Orphan Numbers In Roulette?

Published Date · June 18, 2019 · Last Updated · July 12, 2024 ·Read Time · 5 mins


Roulette, a classic casino game, is rich in history and intricate nuances, one of which is the categorization of numbers on the wheel.

Among these categories, the "Orphans" numbers hold a unique place. Unlike other groups of numbers such as Voisins du Zéro or Tiers du Cylindre, the Orphans (also known as "Orphelins" in French) are numbers that do not belong to any of the larger, more contiguous sections of the wheel. In French roulette games, the orphan numbers don’t belong to the Tiers du Cylindre or Voisins du Zéro sections of the roulette system. Because of this distinct number classification, these numbers are aptly called the Orphans.

This article delves into the specifics of the Orphans numbers in roulette, exploring their composition and significance.

The Orphans Numbers: Definition and Composition

In a standard European roulette wheel, which contains 37 numbers ranging from 0 to 36, the Orphans consist of eight numbers that are split into two distinct and non-adjacent sections. These numbers are:

  • 1, 20, 14, 31, 9: Located adjacent to each other on the wheel, between the Tiers du Cylindre and Voisins du Zéro sections.
  • 17, 34, 6: Forming another small cluster directly opposite the zero (0) on the wheel, further enhancing their sense of separation from other main groups.

To put it simply, Orphans are the numbers that are left out when the other two main sectors (Voisins du Zéro and Tiers du Cylindre) are defined. Their disjointed arrangement contributes to their distinct identity on the roulette table.

Visual Representation of Orphans

To better understand the Orphans numbers, a visual representation can be helpful. Imagine the roulette wheel divided into three primary sections: Voisins du Zéro, Tiers du Cylindre, and the Orphans. This division highlights the scattered nature of Orphans, making it easier to identify them during gameplay.

European roulette wheel

The Significance of Orphans in Roulette

While the distribution of Orphans numbers might seem random, they add a layer of depth to the game. For players who are aware of the wheel's layout, understanding where these numbers lie can influence betting patterns and strategies. The Orphans' unique placement means they are less likely to be grouped together in common betting strategies, making them an interesting choice for players looking to diversify their bets.

Is there a strategy based on these numbers?

Yes, there are strategies that players can use to bet on the Orphans numbers in roulette. While no strategy can guarantee a win due to the inherent randomness of the game, betting on Orphans can be an interesting approach for players looking to cover specific sections of the wheel that are not part of the larger Voisins du Zéro or Tiers du Cylindre groups. Here’s a look at how a strategy based on Orphans numbers might work:

Note that there are several ways to cover orphan numbers:

  • Add a chip to each number, in this case you must bet 8 chips.
  • Add 1 chip on number 1 + 1 chip on the four split bets: 6+9, 14+17, 17+20, and 31+34, in this case 5 chips are enough.

In this strategy we rather recommend the second method, which requires a smaller bet. Note that this approach covers 8 numbers in total, which allows you to expect a gain in approximately 21.6% of moves.

Payouts & odds of this strategie:

To begin with, please note that we are testing this strategy on a European roulette, and not an American roulette. And that the odds would be slightly different on the American version.

In this strategy two types of roulette bets are used:

  • a straight bet: whose payout is 35/1, and whose probability is 2.70%
  • four split bets: whose payout is 17/1, and whose probability is 5.41%

Bet Type
Numbers Covered
Straight-Up Bet
35 to 1
Split Bet
17 to 1
Split Bet
17 to 1
Split Bet
17 to 1
Split Bet
17 to 1

You have three ways to win:

  • if number 1 comes out, you get a payout of 35/1, you have a 2.70% chance of this happening.
  • if number 17 comes out, you win two split bets (14/17 + 17/20), and in this case you get a payout of 34/2, you have a 2.70% chance of this happening.
  • if one of these numbers 20, 14, 31, 9, 34, 6 comes out, you win a split bet, you get a payout of 34/1, you have 5.41% of this happening.

With this approach, as I said above, you win approximately 21.6% of the time, and you get nothing in approximately 78.4% of the times.

This may not seem like much, but as you only bet 5 chips each time, and when you win the winnings are relatively high, over a large number of times the method gives results which can be quite interesting.

Example Calculation for 100 Spins

Let’s assume you play 100 spins, betting 5 tokens per spin, totaling 500 tokens. The expected occurrences and returns would be:

Straight-Up Bet on 1

  • Expected wins: 100 spins × (1/37) ≈ 2.7 wins
  • Expected return: 2.7 wins × 36 tokens (win including original bet) = 97.2 tokens

Split Bets on 6/9, 14/17, 17/20, and 31/34

  • Expected wins per split bet: 100 spins × (2/37) ≈ 5.4 wins per split bet
  • Expected return per split bet: 5.4 wins × 18 tokens (win including original bet) = 97.2 tokens per split bet
  • Total expected return from all four split bets: 97.2 tokens × 4 = 388.8 tokens

Total Expected Return

  • Total tokens bet over 100 spins: 500 tokens
  • Total expected return: 97.2 tokens (straight-up) + 388.8 tokens (split bets) = 486 tokens
Our advice on this strategy : Using the Orphans numbers strategy with 5 tokens, you can expect to win approximately 486 tokens back from 500 tokens bet over 100 spins, highlighting the slight house edge typical of roulette. The house edge for European roulette is approximately 2.7%, meaning, on average, you would lose around 13.5 tokens per 500 tokens bet.

Conclusion :

The Orphans numbers in roulette, also known as Orphelins, represent a unique and intriguing aspect of the game, characterized by their distinct placement on the wheel outside the main sections of Voisins du Zéro and Tiers du Cylindre. Understanding these numbers and how to strategically bet on them can add an extra layer of excitement to your roulette experience. While the Orphans betting strategy involves higher risks, it also offers the potential for significant payouts.

Dive now into our top picks of roulette casinos and try out this winning strategy!


Phoebe Greenwood

Content Writer