The Easy Guide to French Roulette

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The roulette wheel has become a ubiquitous icon of gambling, and you’ll find this game in almost any casino worth its salt. The wheel’s shiny ball tracks and red/black pockets will make you watch in anticipation while it spins. Plus, who knows, if you get fortunate enough and make the right type of wager, the game has the power to make you richer.

But, what’s the difference between the European, American, and French variants? Read through this article to gain a complete understanding of how French roulette works and find out what’s different about it compared to the other versions.

French Roulette Guide: What You Should Know

This roulette variant became prominent during the intense days of the French Revolution, way back in the late 1700s. It’s a game you’ll most commonly find in Monte Carlo venues, and the French Roulette table is a bit different compared to the betting layout in the other variants. 

Today, the French variant is available in land-based venues, and you can also play it in online casinos. The typical European version is incredibly similar to it. 

Both the French and the European games contain a wheel with only one zero. This is perhaps the greatest difference if you wish to compare these games to American Roulette. With only one pocket for zero, the game comes with a lower house advantage and therefore contains higher winning potential. Overall, the game in today’s topic, as well as European roulette, are more popular on average due to the single zero.

The Basics

Firstly, you will not notice a huge difference when you glance at the French roulette wheel and then compare it to the European one. In fact, the French game actually utilizes the European wheel. 

The numbers on the wheel you’ll encounter are 1-36 and, of course, 0. The zero pocket always contains a green color, whereas the other fields are marked black or red. Additionally, the wheel comes with a 2.70% edge. 

The easiest way to weed out the French roulette from the others in a casino is to inspect the table and its layout. Namely, the field for outside bets will be positioned differently compared to the standard American betting layout. In those variants, players put up outside bets on the far left whereas, on the French wheel, the field for outside bets will be divided. Actually, there will be two halves, and they will be located on both ends of the roulette layout. And, you’ll see the names of these bet types written in French. The French names have been used for a long time, so most players have learned them, however, some games might include an English translation to simplify it for newcomers.

Rules

The goal here does not differ from the other two roulette game types. Players need to place a wager while predicting where the white ball will land. Wagers can be made on only one number or a mix of them, just like in the other versions of roulette. 

Firstly, the game’s croupier makes the wheel rotate. Then the ball will be launched on the wheel’s tracks.

Prior to that, though, players will need to put up their wagers on the table. The table layout, of course, contains the number fields which correspond to the wheel pockets. 

The gameplay is nearly identical if you try an online variant like RealTime Gaming’s French Roulette.

Bet Types

This game gets incredibly entertaining once you factor in the group and individual bets. The bet types are categorized into two: 

  1. Inside — these bets predict that only one number will win. Also included in the bet are adjacent numbers or small number groups. 
  2. Outside — the wager type predicts that a group of numbers will win. 

Typically, each bet that you can put up in French Roulette has its own odds and payouts. However, the crucial thing to note here is that the tables in live casinos will not display a clear list of odds and payouts. You’ll need to get familiar with all the bets before playing. It may not always be the case, and if you try online roulette, you will most likely always find the payouts and odds included.

French Roulette Bets

Here’s a list of wager types with their payouts outlined in brackets: 

Inside

  1. Straight-up — one number is wagered on (35:1).
  2. Split — only two adjacent number pockets are wagered on (17:1).
  3. Street — a bet on three numbers in one row (11:1).
  4. Corner — only four numbers are wagered on, placed on a corner (8:1).
  5. Line — six numbers are wagered on, on a line that splits two 3 number rows (5:1).

Outside

  1. Column —  an entire column on the layout is covered (2:1).
  2. Dozen — a wager placed on a 12 number group,  Dernière Douzaine (25-36), Premier Douzaine (1-12) or Moyenne Douzaine (13-24). This wager includes a 2:1 payout.  
  3. Rouge/Noir aka Red/Black — this wager predicts that the ball will fall on a red or black color (1:1).
  4. Odd/Even — this wager predicts that the ball will fall on an even/odd pocket (1:1). 
  5. Manque/Passe —  “Manque” pockets (1-18) or “Passe” numbers (19-36) are in play, with a payout of 1:1. Often called Low/High.

Racetrack and Other French Roulette Rules

A French wheel has a special racetrack section that includes the following call bets: 

  1. Voisins du Zero — 17 numbers surrounding and including zero are wagered on. 
  2. Tiers du Cylindre — seen as the opposite of the previous, this bet includes a dozen numbers.
  3. Orphelins (Orphans) — a wager on 8 numbers that the previous two bets do not cover.

En Prison

The French version is often played with the “En Prison” rule. It’s utilized in case the player has put some funds on even-money wagers such as 3, 4, and 5 from the list above. 

The player can choose to take 50% of the wager or put their bet behind bars aka imprison it in case the winner is 0. 

During the next spin, if that En Prison bet ends up winning, it will go back to the bettor. If not, it will become a losing wager.

La Partage 

Also valid for even-money wagers, French Roulette allows another specific rule named La Partage. The wager gets split in half, and the halves will go to the player and then the house. That way, the house edge gets significantly lower as it splits in two. It’s only good to play this rule with even money wagers as the other bets will lose by default. 

Winning Tips

Firstly, it’s important to note that most players who are looking for big wins often avoid the American variant like the plague. It’s not a bad game, but it’s got an unrealistic house edge of 5.26%. That’s around twice as much as the French and European games which come with a 2.70% edge, as mentioned. 

The racetrack and En Prison options, along with La Partage, set the French roulette variant apart. 

However, you may find them on some European wheels online. It’s mostly a matter of choosing what suits you better. If you’re from France, you’ll obviously prefer this wheel, but even if you don’t know French, try to get familiar with some of the rules and the words on the layout. As you’ve seen, the rules are quite similar to common European wheels. 

And, that means you’ll get plenty of winning options. However, you need to know that there’s be no cheap tricks that will give you the edge here.

Strategy

The first thing to do if you wish to profit is to learn the types of bets and their odds. One of the smartest tips is to only place chips on outside wagers. They will eliminate nearly half of the table and give you around a 50:50 shot. Even though the payouts are 1:1, remember that the game will give you your winnings as well as your initial wager. For instance, if you bet $20, you’ll get $20 in winnings along with the funds used to complete the wager. 

Another way to be successful is to know how much you’re spending. When you’ve memorized the bets and their payouts, you’ll know how to balance your bankroll. That way, you will not spend excessively. 

Additionally, you can look into betting systems like the Martingale, which helps players recover their losses. Other systems are the D’Alembert, Labouchere, Fibonacci, etc.

Closing Thoughts

And that wraps up our French Roulette guide! As you’ve seen, there’s not a big difference when the game is compared to the European variant. And before trying it for real funds, you only need to learn a couple of new terms and get familiarized with the French table layout. It’s an endlessly fun game, and it’s full of easy ways to win that you can tackle today! So check out a French roulette game online or live and bonne chance!

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