French Roulette: a Beginner's Guide to the Best Roulette Wheel

French Roulette

When you play online casino games for real money, you want the best value and the best possible return.

So it’s vital that you choose the right roulette rules if you want to play online roulette games, or you could miss out.

For some bets, the French Roulette cuts the house edge to as little as 1.35%, which significantly improves your chances of winning compared to the 5.26% edge in the American version of the game.

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What is French Roulette

Online French Roulette uses the original version of the game, which legend has it, is based on failed experiments to create a perpetual motion machine by scientist Blaise Pascal in the 18th century.

In the mid-19th century, the game was taken across the water to America where they made changes to the wheel to increase the house edge, as well as changes to the playing table and the rules.

This means that the French Roulette table looks different, has more betting opportunities and delivers a better return to the player.

So, whenever you have the option, the French Roulette wheel should always be your first choice.

Differences between French and American Roulette

French Roulette Wheel

The biggest difference between the American and either the European or the French Roulette game is the number of zeros on the wheel.

An American Roulette wheel has both zero and double zero, setting the house edge at 5.26%, whereas a European or French Roulette wheel has just one, cutting the house edge in half to just 2.7%.

What’s more, the unique rules of the French game can cut that edge in half again, reducing their take to just 1.35% on even money bets.

The playing tables are subtly different too, with the outside bets on an American or European Roulette table all down one side, while the outside bets are split either side on the French Roulette table.

Even the numbers on the wheel can be different, with American numbers usually facing out and European or French numbers facing in.

The Basic Bets in French Roulette

The aim of the game in all styles of Roulette is to predict where the ball lands when the Roulette wheel stops spinning.

The croupier will spin the wheel one way and set the ball in motion in the other direction, and it will spin until the ball lands in a numbered slot.

There are a number of basic bets you can make on the outcome, and each bet includes one or more possible numbers. These are grouped into inside and outside bets as follows:

French Roulette Table

Inside Bets in French Roulette

BetBet DescriptionPayout
Straight betChoosing a single number from the 36 available35:1
Split betChoosing two adjacent numbers on the grid17:1
Street betChoosing a row of three numbers11:1
Corner betChoosing a group of four numbers8:1
Line betChoosing two adjacent rows of numbers5:1

Note: the street and corner bets may also include the zero

Outside Bets in French Roulette

One of the first things you will notice in a French Roulette game is that when it comes to the outside bets, the table is in French.

These bets translate as follows:

BetBet DescriptionPayout
Column betChoosing one of the three columns of numbers2:1
Douzaine = Dozen betChoosing the Premier (first), Moyenne (second) or Derniere (third) set of 122:1
Rouge/Noir = Red/Black betChoosing any red or black number1:1
Pair/Impair = Odd/even betChoosing an odd or even number1:1
Manque/Passe = Low/high betChoosing 1-18 or 19-361:1

Note: the Douzaine/Dozen bet is shown as 12P, 12M or 12D.

A Second Chance for Even Money Bets

In the American or European Roulette wheel, if the balls lands in the zero slot, you will lose any even-money bets, such as red/black or odd/even.

When you play on the French Roulette wheel, you don't lose: you get a second chance.

This can happen in one of two ways:

  • En Prison rule: any losing even-money bet remains on the table and is imprisoned until the next spin. If it is a winner on that spin, the stake is returned to the player.
  • Le Partage rule: any losing even-money bet is split 50:50 between the player and the house, so you only lose half of your stake.

Different casinos play different rules, so it is important to know what the house roulette rules are for even-money bets before you start to play.

Advanced Bets in French Roulette

As you get more experienced with the standard bets, or bored with the same old wagers, you can move on to what are called announced or called bets.

These may seem intimidating at first because of their exotic French names, but they are quite straightforward when you get the hang of them.

The main announced bets in the game of French Roulette are:

  • Voisins du Zero (neighbours of zero): all numbers on the wheel between 22 and 25. This bet involves nine chips spread between splits, corners and threesomes of these numbers.
  • Le Tiers du Cylinder (thirds of the wheel): all numbers opposite zero, from 27 to 33. This bet involves six chips placed as splits between these numbers
  • Jue Zero (zero game): the six numbers either side of zero and the zero itself. This bet is played as three splits and a straight bet on 26
  • Orphelins (orphans): the eight numbers not included in the above bets. This can be played as orphelins en cheval, costing five chips as four splits and a straight bet on 1, or as orphelins en plein, costing eight chips as straight bets on each number
  • Finales: bets on all the numbers ending in a certain number (eg 6,16,26 and 36). Can be placed as either finales en plein (single number) or finales a cheval (either of two numbers). The stake varies according to the number of possibilities.

At the end of the day, whether you have a favorite number at your online casino, or you prefer the coin-toss of an even money bet, French Roulette is by far your best route to the best odds, cutting the house edge by half or even three-quarters.

So, choose your game carefully, place your bets and... vive la France!

French Roulette FAQs

What is the difference between French Roulette and European Roulette?

Although French Roulette and European Roulette are very similar variations, the two games have a few differences.

Firstly, French Roulette may use the La Partage rule, where any even-money bet is split 50:50 between the player and house, reducing your loss.

Secondly, the table itself differs with alternative positions and French language names for certain betting options, such as Les Orphelins, Voisins Du Zero & Tiers Du Cylindre on the roulette table.

Finally, a French Roulette table may feature an additional representation of the roulette wheel nicknamed the 'racetrack,' so-called because it's shaped like a typical horse racing circuit. This design makes 'announce bets' easier.

How do I win at French Roulette?

Players can maximize their chances of winning at French Roulette through a combination of good roulette strategy, discipline, and effective bankroll management.

However, players should always remember to gamble responsibly and only play within their means as the House has a clear edge.

How many numbers are on a French Roulette wheel?

Like European Roulette, a French Roulette wheel features 37 numbers from 0-36 which make up the different compartments on the wheel. The sequence is also the same, as is the typically used colors of red, black, and green for the 0 compartment.

What is the difference between French Roulette and American Roulette?

There are several key differences between French Roulette and American Roulette.

Firstly, an American Roulette wheel has both a'0' & '00' compartment, meaning the house edge is more significant. Secondly, outside betting options on American Roulette tables are usually down one side, whereas in French Roulette, they are split on either side of the table. Thirdly, even the design of the wheel itself can be different, with the numbers on American wheels usually facing outwards and numbers on French wheels facing inwards.

What are the different types of bets in French Roulette?

French Roulette has a wide variety of simple and complex betting options that provide an enjoyable gaming experience.

Simple bets center on Inside Bets and Outside Bets, both of which have many variations within these blanket options. French Roulette is also unique in the En Prison rule and Le Partage Rule, which can provide players a second chance if the ball lands in the zero slot.

More complex bets are known as advanced bets or called bets with the main variations of these known as Voisins du Zero (neighbors of zero), Le Tiers du Cylinder (thirds of the wheel), Jue Zero (zero games), Orphelins (orphans) & Finales.

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