There is little doubt that roulette is one of the most popular games at the casino. The original French roulette sits alongside American and European roulette as one of the three most played variations of the game.
While these games look and play in almost identical ways, there are some key differences – especially when it comes to the casino house edge.
This guide starts by looking at exactly how this French version of the game differs from the others. The focus here is in the wheel, the house edge, the La Partage rule and the specific bets available.
Next, the most popular bet types are featured, alongside the odds you’ll receive for each. Next, NetEnt’s popular online version of the game – available in New Jersey – is then reviewed.
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How does French roulette work?
Everyone knows the basics of roulette –there’s a wheel and a metal ball and you’ll make bets on where it lands. This is obviously common amongst all forms of roulette. However, there are some subtle differences in this French version of the game that make a big difference.
In some versions of the game you’ll find a pair of zeros, and this is the case in American roulette. It’s a simple fact that the more zeros there are on a wheel, the higher the house edge.
In American roulette that edge is 5.26% (in some cases, you’ll find three zeros and the edge rises to 7.89%). In French roulette there is just a single zero, which immediately lowers the edge to 2.7%.
French roulette comes with a La Partage rule, which cuts the house edge down to 1.35%.
This rule is specific to those 50/50 bets such as red/black and odd/even bets. If you’re unlucky enough to see the ball land in zero, you will receive half of your stake back.
If you are a player who likes these 50/50 bets, the French version of the game should certainly be preferable to you.
It should be noted that while live casinos offer the La Partage rule, it doesn’t appear to be available in the online version provided by NetEnt. NetEnt’s French roulette is also missing the En Prison rule.
Other unique bets for French roulette games
The other key differences in French roulette are the following unique bets available:
- Voisins du Zero – Literally meaning ‘neighbors of zero’ this covers all of the numbers between 22 and 25 on a roulette wheel, including of course zero.
- Le Tiers du Cylindre – Translated as ‘thirds of the wheel’, this covers the numbers opposite the ‘voisins du zero’, ranging through 27 to 33.
- Orphelins – Translated as ‘orphans’, these are the numbers that are not encompassed by either of the two groups above.
Most popular bets in French roulette
With the La Partage rule in French roulette, many will stick to the popular 50/50 bets. These include betting on red or black, which is the most popular and famous bet in the casino, and odd/even bets and high/low wagers (1-18 or 19-36). Sticking to these will ensure that low house edge of 1.35% and all will double your money if you win.
Straight bets are popular, where you’ll bet on just a single number and these pay out at odds of 35:1.
Split bets, where you place the chips between 2 numbers and win if either come in, pay 17:1, while corner bets (place the chips in the corner between 4 numbers) pay 8:1.
Other popular bets include columns, where you’ll bet on 1, 4, 7, 10, 13 etc. and dozens where you’ll bet on the 1-12, 13-24 or 25-36 ranges. Each of these pay 2:1.
NetEnt’s French roulette
This online version of the game is now available at a number of legal US casinos.
Once the game loads you’ll be impressed by the expansive set up. A large black roulette wheel slowly rotates anti-clockwise at the top of the screen, the visuals impressive enough to make you wonder if this is indeed a virtual game. Below is the large betting lay out.
In this game you’ll get to choose exactly what stakes to play. With a minimum bet size of just 10c and a maximum of $5,000, this game is designed for all players, whatever your bankroll.
To place a bet, you’ll simply click and hold one of the chip denominations and drag it into place onto the betting area. All of the betting options are there.
Being the ‘French’ version of the game, words such as ‘Manque’ (1-18) or Passe (19-36) appear, while there is an option to bring up the extra bets such as ‘Voisins du Zero’ by clicking on the ‘Open Racetrack’ option.
This game features hot and cold numbers on the main screen, and a stats option – many will use the results of previous spins to form their decision on the next one.
Other options include rebet, clear previous bet, clear all bets and double all bets. On hitting spin, the excitement starts – and your account will be updated immediately after any winning spins.
French roulette strategy
While it is impossible to consistently beat roulette, due to the house edge, it does pay to ensure that the house edge is as low as possible. French roulette is therefore the best option online. While a low house edge can never guarantee a win, it does give you the best chance of having a winning session.
While some promise fail-safe systems that guarantee wins at roulette, these are all false. If there were such systems, casinos would go broke in a day, and there is little sign of that happening.
If you’re serious about roulette, this French version of the game should certainly be your game of choice. That tiny house edge gives you the very best chance to be successful at the game, while there is something pleasing about playing the most ‘historic’ form of roulette.
The ability to play French roulette online in states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey today have opened up the game to many players. As long as you are within the state lines you can give the wheel a spin.