There’s something special about French Roulette. Whether it’s the French words on the table, the different wheel and betting grid layout, or the additional call bets, the game has a certain je ne sais quoi that continues to enchant millions of players around the world. That said, some newcomers find the French version of the iconic casino game enigmatic if not daunting. This beginner’s guide aims to demystify the game for those players.
French Roulette – The Basics
French Roulette uses the same basic rules (with one or two exceptions) and game play as the European and American variations. To play the game, players bet on the number or colour they think will win. When all bets have been placed, the dealer spins the wheel and drops a small ball into it.
The ball eventually settles in one of the wheel’s numbered slots. The dealer announces the result when the wheel stops spinning.
Like the European version, the French Roulette wheel has 37 slots. 36 of the slots are red and black, and one is green. The green slot is numbered 0, and the others are numbered 1 through 36, although not in consecutive order. Instead, players will find a pairs of even numbers and pairs of odd numbers, except for a few numbers near the green 0 slot.
The single 0 theoretically gives the game the same 2.70% house edge as the European version. However, if the table uses the La Partage and En Prison rules (see below), the house edge can be reduced to as little as 1.35%.
The Table Layout
On many French Roulette tables, the layout sees the wheel placed at the centre and betting grids placed on either side of the wheel. Some tables may feature a slightly different layout. The betting box labels usually are in French.
Impair/Pair are Odd/Even bets, Manque/Passe are Low/High bets, and Rouge/Noir are Red/Black bets. P12 (Premiere Douzaine), M12 (Moyenne Douzaine), and D12 (Derniere Douzaine) are First, Middle, and Last Dozen respectively.
The racetrack grid on the table resembles the wheel. Players will see the Call or Special bets in that grid.
The Outside Bets
The outside bets are the best place for new players to start, as many of those bets have a 48% chance of winning. Plus, most outside bets pay even money.
Rouge/Noir bets are one of the most popular options, as players bet that the ball will land in a red or black slot. Manque/Passe also are popular bets, as they let players bet on a low number (1 through 18) or a high number (19 through 36). Impair/Pair bets see players bet that the result will be an odd or even number. All those bets offer even money payouts of 1 to 1.
When players place a bet on one of the three dozens (P12, M12, or D12), they’re betting that the result will be one of the numbers in their chosen dozen. Column bets are unlabelled on the grid. When players place them, they bet that the winning number will appear among the 12 numbers in one of the three columns on the main grid. Dozens and Column bets pay out 2 to 1.
French Roulette’s inside bets offer higher payouts while also offering smaller chances of winning. Straight bets on individual numbers pay out 35 to 1.
Players can also place inside bets on number combinations. Split bets cover 2 adjacent numbers in the grid and pay out 17 to 1. Street bets cover 3 consecutive numbers and pay out 11 to 1. Corner or Square bets cover 4 numbers with a common corner on the grid. They pay out 8 to 1.
Six-Line bets cover 2 rows of 3 consecutive numbers and pay out 5 to 1. Trio bets cover 3 numbers, one of which is always 0. They pay out 11 to 1. Four-Number bets cover the first 4 numbers on the grid and pay out 8 to 1.
Sometimes known as Announced or Special bets, French Roulette’s Call bets are one of the features that make the variation unique. The bets are a combination of Split and other bets, so the payouts depend on the winning number.
Voisins du zero (Neighbours of zero) covers the 17 numbers on either side of the green 0 slot. The numbers include 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, and 25. Tiers du cylindre (Third of the wheel) covers the third of the wheel opposite the green 0 slot. The numbers include 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, and 33.
Orphelins (Orphans) cover the numbers not included in the Voisins du zero or Tiers du cylindre bets. The numbers include 17, 34, 6 and 1, 20, 14, 31, 9. Jeu zero is a smaller version of the Voisins bet that covers 0 and the six numbers on either side of the green slot.
The Finales bets include Finales en plein (single number) and Finales a cheval (either of 2 numbers). The numbers in the Finales bet end on a certain number, such as 6, 16, 26, and 36. The payout varies according to the exact bet.
The La Partage Rule
The La Partage (Sharing or Dividing) rule is another element of French Roulette that makes the game attractive to many players. The rule applies to the game’s even money bets only.
If players place a Rouge/Noir, Manque/Passe, or Impair/Pair bet and the ball lands in the 0 pocket, the bet is split in half. One half goes to the player and the other half goes to the casino.
The En Prison Rule
The En Prison (In Prison) rule is not usually used in online French Roulette games. Players are more likely to encounter it when playing in land-based casinos.
When the rule does apply, the dealer marks all even-money bets whenever the wheel produces a 0. This ‘imprisons’ those bets for the next spin. If the player’s bet wins, their bet will be returned to them without a payout.
The King Of Casino Games
Once known as the devil’s game, French Roulette’s exciting offerings is one of the reasons Roulette has become known as the King of Casino Games. It’s a fierce rival for pokies like those on offer at black lotus casino in the popularity stakes, and it’s not surprising that players have enjoyed betting on the wheel for more than 300 years.