The French variation of roulette is favoured by many fans of the popular game of chance and there is a good reason why – out of the three widespread variants, French roulette has the lowest built-in house advantage which certainly renders it a more lucrative option than its European and American cousins.
Yet, many players are attracted by the game due to its very “Frenchness”. After all, France is the country where this classic casino game emerged for the first time. In fact, the name “roulette” itself, when translated from French, means “little wheel”.
French roulette follows roughly the same rules as European and American roulette, but there are two exceptions – the additional La Partage and En Prison rules apply. In addition, French roulette allows for the so-called French or Call bets to be placed. While French roulette is also a single-zero game, similarly to its European counterpart, it features a different table layout. Read on to learn more about the game’s peculiarities, its house edge, and the types of bets you can place.
French Roulette Table Layout
The French variation of the game is played on a standard European wheel which has a total of 37 pockets. One of the pockets is coloured in green and contains the zero. The remaining pockets are coloured in red and black and contain numbers 1 through 36. The numbers on the wheel are not displayed in a consecutive order. In fact, the pattern they follow is seemingly random and differs from that on the American roulette wheel.
However, it does not take long for one to notice that the red and black numbers on the wheel alternate. Additionally, each pair of even numbers is followed by a pair of odd numbers. The few numbers located in close proximity to the green zero pocket are the only exceptions to this rule.
No matter which roulette variant is more to your liking, you should remember that roulette wheels are designed in such a way so as to ensure that high, low, odd, even, red, and black numbers will be evenly distributed.
The table layout is where the real difference lies. First of all, the wheel is positioned at the centre of the table with betting grids located on both sides. Yet, this might not always be the case with all French-style roulette games that are to be found across the Internet as most software providers tend to be exceptionally imaginative when it comes to the layout of the roulette games they design.
In landbased venues, the table cloth on French roulette tables is usually red, but this is not always the case when one plays the game online. In fact, with some French-style roulette games, players might be given the opportunity to alter the colour of the felt. Another thing that makes French-style roulette games easily recognisable is that in most instances, players will notice that the numbers are coloured in red.
The French table layout is easy to distinguish because the labels in the betting boxes and all other wordings are strictly written in French. That being said, sometimes, roulette lovers can stumble upon French roulette tables where the English translations of the bet types are provided as well, but this is a rarity.
Thus, Odd/Even bets are written as Impair/Pair, Low/High bets are worded Manque/Passe and occasionally, the Red/Black betting boxes may contain the labels Rouge and Noir. The three boxes where Dozen bets are placed are represented as P12 (premiere douzaine or the first dozen), M12 (moyenne douzaine or the middle dozen) and D12 (derniere douzaine or the last dozen).
Call bets are placed in a specific section of the layout, known as the racetrack. Usually, this section is separated from the main betting grid, and by closer inspection, players will notice that it is an exact replica of the roulette wheel.
Additional Rules in French Roulette
As was mentioned earlier, we can find two major differences between French roulette and its American and European counterparts. In French roulette, the La Partage and En Prison rules are applied which might not always be the case with the other two roulette variants. In essence, these rules are also popular among lovers of the table game as zero rules due to the fact that they are applied when the white ball lands in the zero or double-zero pockets. Most of the time, while betting on roulette in a casino in the USA, players’ outside bets are resolved as losing ones when the ball lands in any of the zero pockets.
Yet, this might not be the case with casinos across Europe where players will need to leave their chips on the table until their wager is settled as winning or losing one. It is worth noting that this will only happen on non-zero spins of the roulette wheel.
In essence, while playing American roulette, gambling enthusiasts might be permitted to surrender. What is important to note is that this rule should not be mistaken for the surrender rule that is available in blackjack. When roulette is concerned, it refers only to outside bets that pay even money or high, low, even, odd, red, and black number bets. Much like the La Partage and En Prison rules, thanks to the surrender rule, the edge of the house shrinks to 2.63%. Yet, gambling aficionados should know that the single-zero roulette games that offer the surrender rule are far and few between.
If this rule is available, however, instead of losing the entire amount they have put on a stake when the white ball lands in the zero pocket, players will only have half of the amount collected by the casino.
The La Partage Rule
La Partage is literally translated as “sharing” or “dividing”. The La Partage rule states that if the ball lands in the zero pocket, all even-money wagers (Red/Black, High/Low, and Odd/Even bets) are automatically split in half. Half of the original bet will be returned to the player while the remaining half will be forfeited by the house. Keep in mind that this rule is applicable only when you make even-money bets. If you place a Straight Up bet and zero comes up, you will lose your entire wager.
The En Prison Rule
En Prison, on the other hand, literally means “in prison” when translated from French. This rule is applicable predominantly in land-based casinos in Monaco and rarely can be found in online French roulette variations rather rarely.
Provided that the En Prison rule applies at the table, the croupier places a marker on top of all even-money bets whenever the zero is spun. This way, the even-money wagers are “imprisoned” for the next spin of the wheel. If the player’s even-money bet wins on the next spin, they will have their original wager returned without actually winning anything. Anyone would agree that this is still better than losing the entire wager.
House Advantage in French Roulette
Many roulette fans prefer to play the French variation of the game since it has the lowest possible house advantage. This can be easily explained by the fact there is only one zero pocket on the French roulette wheel.
|French Roulette House Edge and Payout *|
|Bet Type||Bet Payout||Bet Probability||House Edge|
|Trio (0,1,2 / 0,2,3)||11/1||8.11%||2.70%|
|Square or Corner||8/1||10.81%||2.70%|
|Dozen (P12, M12, D12)||2/1||32.4%||2.70%|
|Red / Black||1/1||48.64%||2.70%|
|Impair (Odd) / Pair (Even)||1/1||48.64%||2.70%|
|Manque (Low) / Passe (High)||1/1||48.64%||2.70%|
* Whenever the La Partage and En Prison rules apply, the house edge is further reduced to 1.35%. In comparison, the built-in house advantage in American roulette is the staggering 5.26% while that in European roulette stands at 2.70%.
Types of Bets in French Roulette
Many players favour French roulette because it provides with numerous betting options. Generally speaking, the types of bets in French roulette can be divided into three main categories – inside, outside and call (also known as racetrack) bets.
Double Action Roulette
Double Ball Roulette
Progressive Jackpot Roulette
Roulette Betting Progressions
Outside bets are typically recommended for roulette novices who are averse to risk. Your chances of winning with an outside bet are substantial but the payout will be humble. Red/Black bets are among the most popular options since with them players are betting that the ball will land either on black or on red. This type of bet has a payout of 1 to 1.
Inexperienced players can test their luck by placing an Odd/Even outside bet. In this case, the player is betting that the ball will land on an even or on an odd number. The payout is again 1 to 1.
The High/Low outside bet is another suitable option for beginners. Here, the player is betting on a low number (1 through 18) or on a high number (19 through 36). High/Low bets also pay out even money at a rate of 1 to 1.
Then again, we have the Column bet which covers a total of twelve numbers in one of the three columns on the main betting grid. An example would be a bet on the middle column containing numbers 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 36, 29, 32 and 35. The payout for winning Column bets is 2 to 1.
With Dozen bets, players are betting that the next number to be spun will be in their chosen dozen on the layout. Numbers 1 through 12 fall within the first dozen, numbers 13 through 24 fall within the second dozen, while the third dozen covers numbers 25 through 36. Winning Dozen bets also pay out 2 to 1.
Bold players with more substantial experience often favour inside bets since they offer better payouts. Yet, the chances of winning with one such bet are smaller. Bets on individual numbers are called Straight Up bets and have a payout of 35 to 1.
Then again, it is possible to make an inside bet on a combination of numbers. An example would be the Split bet, placed on two adjacent numbers on the betting grid, for instance, numbers 5, and 6. It pays out at the rate of 17 to 1.
With Street bets, the player is betting on a row consisting of three consecutive numbers. An example would be a bet on numbers 4, 5 and 6. It pays out 11 to 1.
Another option is to place a Corner bet (also called a Square bet) which covers four numbers sharing a common corner like numbers 5, 6, 8 and 9. Winning Corner bets have a payout of 8 to 1.
The Six-Line bet covers consecutive numbers in two rows on the betting layout. An example of one such bet would be a wager on numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Winning Six-Line bets pay out at a rate of 5 to 1.
Trio bets, on the other hand, cover three numbers but one of them is always zero. There are two possible combinations for a Trio bet, namely 0, 1, 2 and 0, 2, 3. Winning Trio bets pay out at the rate of 11 to 1.
Finally, we have the so-called Four-Number bet, which is exclusive to French and European roulette only and is not to be confused with the Corner bet, which also features four numbers. The Four-Number bet covers the first four numbers on the betting grid, namely 0, 1, 2 and 3 and pays out 8 to 1.
Call bets are placed in the racetrack section of the layout, and when opting for them, players are basically betting that the ball will land in that specific section of the wheel.
Voisins du Zéro, or Neighbours of Zero, covers all 17 numbers on the wheel which are located between 22 and 25. The player bets nine chips on a combination of split, corner and trio bets. Players should remember that if the winning number is part of the section of the roulette wheel they have chosen, the payoffs they will get to collect will be dictated by the specific number and can reach up to 24:1.
Tiers du Cylindre, which translates as “a third of the wheel” is yet another type of call bet players can lay. This type of bet covers all numbers, located between 27 and 33 on the wheel. Here, the player bets six chips because six split bets are needed to to cover all numbers. If their wager is resolved as a winning one, the rate at which players will be paid out is 17:1.
Orphelins, which translates as “orphans”, covers eight numbers. Three of them (17, 34 and 6) are positioned on the right of the zero pocket, while the remaining five (1, 20, 14, 31, and 9) are located on its left side. Players need five chips to make this bet. This time, the payout gambling enthusiasts can potentially get is either 35:1 or 17:1, and once again, the rate at which they will be paid is based on the winning number.
The Final bet (Finales in French) is made on numbers ending in the same digit. For instance, if the player wagers on Final Five, his or her bet will cover numbers 5, 15, 25 and 35. Final bets ending in numbers 0 through 6 require four chips. For numbers ending in 7, 8 and 9, the player will need only three chips since only three numbers on the wheel end in these digits.
French-style roulette variants also allow gambling enthusiasts to opt for Full Complete bets. Yet, most gambling enthusiasts might not be keen on placing such a wager simply because they will need to risk a considerable amount, which often hits the upper table limit. For that reason, this wager type is most commonly offered by casinos that are oriented mainly towards high-stakes players.
When placing a Full Complete bet, gambling enthusiasts are effectively placing all types of inside bets on just one number. What high-rollers need to remember is that when opting for this wager type, none of their chips will be placed on the betting layout.
Such wagers can turn out to be moneymakers for players who are risk-seeking.
Difference between Call and Announced Bets
In spite of the fact that many roulette lovers consider that call and announced bets are two interchangeable terms, they need to know that there is a certain difference.
When it comes to call bets, gambling enthusiasts will not be prompted to lay any of their chips on the table as instead, they will be required to say what wager they wish to make so that the dealer could indicate it on the betting layout. In this way, gambling aficionados will borrow money from the casino whenever they would like to lay a call bet.
It should be noted, however, that going for true call bets may not be possible in all brick-and-mortar casinos. Interestingly enough, the UK is one of the countries where gambling enthusiasts are not permitted to bet on credit, which therefore means that call bets will not be at hand at all.
In reality, roulette lovers will place the so-called announced bets. In order to place such a wager, gambling aficionados will once again need to announce what bet they wish to make, but the most obvious difference is that this time, the costs for the wager need to be covered right away.
Yet, the main idea behind call and announced bets is one and the same as instead of laying their chips in the specific area from the betting layout, players will simply announce what bet they would like to go for.
How to Play French Roulette Online
To get started with betting on French roulette over the Internet, gambling enthusiasts need almost no preparations, which less experienced players might be delighted to hear. Naturally, they need to have a good understanding of the different bet types and the payouts they provide so as to make sure that they will get the most out of their betting session.
Fundamentally, the objective of the game remains to accurately predict the slot on which the white ball will ultimately come to rest. In spite of the fact that the French-style roulette games available out there come in all shapes and sizes, the mechanism of placing a bet is roughly the same.
Once the game is launched, the next thing casino enthusiasts need to do is to make up their minds about the amount they would like to wager. Please make sure that prior to placing your wager, you have become familiar with the betting limits and have explored the available chip denominations.
If you have already settled on one of the chip denominations, you should decide if you wish to play it safe and opt for any of the outside bets or you would rather go for any of the inside bets. Of course, call bets are also an option that should not be overlooked. To wrap up your bet, you simply need to click on the chosen chip denomination and then on the field from the betting layout that is consistent with the chosen wager type.
When the roulette wheel is spun, gambling aficionados will be able to find out the outcome of the round within just a few seconds. With most roulette variants available out there, players might be permitted to remove all the chips that are placed on the betting layout with a single click. Most of the time, doubling the staked amount is just within an arm’s reach.
Gambling enthusiasts who have switched to betting on roulette over the Internet need to know that occasionally, when their wagers are winning ones, the chips will not be taken down from the betting layout, and it will be up to them to decide if they wish to remove or leave them for the next round.
With some French-style roulette games, players are enabled to adjust the settings so that the chips can be taken down from the table after the outcome of the round is determined.
Popular French Roulette Games
There is no denying that French roulette games have started to gain even more momentum among casino enthusiasts, and the ever-increasing popularity of these games can be easily attributed to the much lower edge the house has. What further adds up to the excitement of these roulette variants is that avid casino fans have an even broader range of options to pick and choose from, thanks to the availability of the call bets.
While playing online, fans of the table game will have a wide array of such roulette variants to pick and choose from, each of which offers unique features and intriguing betting options.
Premium French Roulette By Playtech
The creators of casino content from Playtech are well aware that French-style roulette games are among the most fancied ones, which is the reason why they have come up with several such games.
Premium French Roulette is an analogue of the roulette tables that stick to the French style and that can be found across most land-based casinos. The roulette wheel and the betting layout are recreated with great precision and thoroughness. The signature of the software provider becomes evident almost right away as the graphics are exceptionally easy on the eye.
Gambling enthusiasts are likely to have a good time playing the roulette variant also because of the bet announcements that are likely to make for an even more authentic casino experience. What makes for greater convenience is that in the lower right corner of their screen, players will spot two buttons, one dedicated to neighbour bets and one reserved for announced bets.
As likely as not, roulette fans might be pleased with the betting limits of the game as they range between £0.50 and £300.
What might also appeal to players is that this roulette variation offers a truly customer-focused experience because if they prefer, they can switch the direction at which the ball is spun, the angle at which they will see the table, or the felt colour.
French Roulette By Play’n GO
Play’n GO is one more creator of premium casino games and has brought to players several roulette games, including French Roulette. With this variant of the classic table game, players will enjoy a clutter-free screen and exceptionally sharp graphics.
Players have nothing to complain about also when the betting limits are concerned because when inside and outside bets are concerned, the least amount they can stake is £1, while the ceiling is £100. The upper limit on players’ total bets stands at £1,000.
What makes this roulette version so interesting for players is that it does not go without call bets, which can be placed simply by clicking on one of the areas from the racetrack that is positioned right above the numbers grid.
Additionally, roulette lovers are given the opportunity to rebet and clear the wagers they have made with a single click on the command bar.
French Roulette By Microgaming
Unsurprisingly, Microgaming is among the providers that do not neglect the preferences of lovers of French-style roulette. This roulette variant is unlikely to go unnoticed by players because of its refreshing graphics and exceptionally serviceable user interface.
The main reason why this roulette game has developed into a crowd-pleaser is that it allows for making call bets, while the casino advantage is further shrunk, thanks to the La Partage rule. Opting for call bets or neighbours is also possible with a single click.
To make sure that the game they have designed will bump the excitement up, the creators of gaming content from Microgaming have provided players with history of the placed bets so that they could make informed decisions. In addition to this, gambling enthusiasts can go for autoplay, enjoy the game in an expert mode, and edit the betting layout.