What is ‘French Roulette’?
With a house edge of only 1.35%, French Roulette is an extremely popular variation of the game of roulette. It is essentially the same as European Roulette, with a few differences including the table layout, and there is a series of call bets that are unique to this variation.
When playing French Roulette, you have the same goal as in other variations of roulette, which is to correctly predict which one of the 37 pockets – numbered 0-36 – the ball will fall into.
‘French Roulette’ Explained
As in all variations of roulette, winning bets in French Roulette are determined by which number pocket the roulette ball comes to rest in. A croupier spins the roulette wheel in one direction, and then sends the ball in the opposite direction on the ball track located around the wheel’s circumference. Once the ball loses its momentum, it bounces momentarily and then lands to rest into one of the numbered pockets. This is the winning number.
In the French language, roulette translates to little wheel. In the 17th century, Blaise Pascal (scientist and mathemetician) invented the roulette wheel purely by accident, in his research of perpetual motion.
It wasn’t until two hundred years later, in 1842, that clever Frenchmen Francois and Louis Blanc added the 0 to the roulette wheel. Legend has it that the Blanc brothers made a deal with the devil to learn the secrets of roulette. In the legend it is said that the sum of all the numbers from 1 through 36 is 666, the biblical prophecy of the mark of the beast. Therefore, if your number comes up as winning, you have literally beaten the devil.
In the 1860s, when the French government abolished gambling, the Blanc brothers moved to Monte Carlo, where the only remaining legal gambling operation was located.
Main Differences of ‘French Roulette’
• The ‘en prison’ (in prison) rule allows an even money bet to ride when the ball lands on zero
• The ‘la partage’ (the share) rule allows even money bettors to share their bet 50/50 with the house when the ball lands on zero
• It’s played on a single zero wheel.
Based on internationally accepted odds and game standards, the most obvious difference of French Roulette is the game table layout and the house edge. The French Roulette table displays only the single zero. The colors of the numbers on the French roulette table are white. The locations of the numbers on the French Roulette wheel is also different.
All bets in French Roulette are, of course, in French, and the call bets are as follows:
• Placing your bet on 0, 2, 3, 4, 7, 12, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26, 28, 29, 32, and 35 (all numbers surrounding the ‘0’ pocket) is Zero Neighbors / Voisins du Zero.
• Placing your bet on 5, 8, 10, 11, 13, 16, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, and 33 (all numbers opposite third of the wheel to the ‘0’ pocket) is Third of the Wheel / Tiers du Cylindre.
• Placing your bet on 1, 6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 31, and 34 is Orphans / Orphelins.
• Placing your bet on every number that ends on a selected digit. For Example: ‘Finales 6’ means betting on numbers 6, 16, 26 and 36 is Straight Bet / Finales en plein.
• Placing your bet on every number that ends on either of two selected digits. For Example: ‘Finales 3/4’ means betting on numbers 3, 4, 13, 14, 23, 24, 33 and 34 is Split Bet / Finales a cheval.
• Placing your bet on Numbers 1 to 18 is Low / Manque
• Placing your bet on Numbers 19 to 36 is High / Passe
• Placing your bet on All Red or Black Numbers is Red or Black / Rouge or Noir
• A Dozen Bet is Dozen / Douzaine.