The roots of roulette can be traced back to France. Nowadays, there are three main variations of the game, but the truth is that French roulette is at the core of them all. The European one is the most widely-spread in the whole world, because of its profits to the player. But it is a matter of fact that both European and French roulette share similar rules. These are even mixed by the amateur gamblers, who have just started their career in roulette. The reason is that French roulette is played in France and Monaco and thus often referred to as European. The versed gamblers, though, are familiar with the differences between the two tables.
The French wheel is analogical to the European one. It consists of 37 numbered pockets, alternating between red and black color. There is one pocket in green, which represents the zero digit. As it is with European roulette, the French has decreased house edge by having just one zero pocket. This means that the casino’s profit is way less than in the American version of the game, only 2.70% (which is advantageous for the player).
The main goal of every player is to predict the numbered pocket, on which the ball will settle on. The game starts when every player places bets on an exact number or group of numbers. You need to comply with the minimum and maximum limits, which are different for every table. These are noted on the edge of every table. Then, the croupier tosses the ball in the opposite direction, in which the wheel is spinning. After the ball lands on a particular pocket, then the dealer announces the winning number. All the players, who have made the right guess, get paid.
French vs. American Roulette
It is easy to find the difference between French and American roulette – just cast a glance at the wheel and you will immediately notice that the American wheel has two zero pockets. This, on the other side, boosts the house edge to 5.26% in the American variation of the game. Considering this, every versed gambler will know that the best is to play on a French or European table, since the chances to win are higher.
What is more, the numbers on the French and American wheels are located in a different manner. On the American wheel, two consecutive numbers are placed opposite each other. The French wheel is exactly the same as the European. What is more interesting is that the numbers on the French and European wheel point towards the outside edge of the wheel, while the numbers on the American wheel point towards the center of the wheel.
There are also two additional rules in the French variant, which are also offered by some European tables. In fact, the casino determines if the additional French rules are applicable or not on the European table. These are related to the zero pocket and are absolutely advantageous to the gambler. The French table offers the opportunity not to lose your bet, even if the ball lands on the zero pocket. Here are the two possible options:
En Prison rule, which practically means that your bet is “in jail”. Then, you don’t lose your bet, but you stay on the same outside bet for the next round. If the ball lands again on the zero pocket, then you lose your bet. Otherwise, the bet has equal chances to either win or lose as normally.
La Partage is the other rule, which can be applied in “zero” situations. You split your bet and you get back half of the wagered amount. Then, you can bet on the next spin as usual.
Both rules provide the player with equal chances of profit. This rule is valid when you have placed an even-money bet and the ball falls in the green zero pocket. It should be noted that these rules halve the house edge on all evens bets to 1.35%.
The other difference stems from the place of the wheel. In European roulette, the wheel is at one end of the table, while on the French table – it is in the middle. There are other difference, which can be observed. The French table has two layouts, which allow more participants to join.
Another major difference is that the names of the bets are in French. This should not bother you, since the French layout is very similar to the European one. In a nutshell, if you know how to play European roulette, you can deal with the French one as well.
In the traditional layout of the French table all the numbers are colored in red. It is just a preferred design, completely irrelevant to red/black bet and the game itself. But this remains the most well-known and first-to-be-seen difference. Of course, every rule has exception – it depends on the casino, so you can meet different variations of the layout.
The bets represent the other main difference between the two tables. The betting layout is in French and there are four additional bets which distinguish this variant. These are known as “call bets” or racetrack bets and are native for the French table. They allow the gamblers to bet on a particular section of the wheel. As you can see, except the “cosmetic” changes, the basics of the game remain the same.
French Type of Bets
Even if you are not fluent in French, this doesn’t mean that you need to stay away from the French table. Most of the people consider that the bets are more complicated than the usual ones. But every gambler needs to keep in mind that all the regular “inside” and “outside” bets, which are valid for the American and European table, are also in effect on the French table.
Outside Bets in French roulette
Outside bets are represented in the two split layouts of the French table. These are bets on a whole group of numbers. For example, you place your bet on all even numbers or all red ones. Here are the different types of outside bets:
It corresponds to the column bet on the European table. Then you place your bet on all the numbers included in one of the three columns on the betting area. With this type of bet, you set the chips on the box at the end of the column. The payout is 2:1.
It corresponds to the dozen bet in the European variation of the game. You bet on all the numbers included in the first (1-12), second (13-24) or third (25-36) section of the layout. You need to set the chips on the dozen bet box. The payout is 2:1.
It corresponds to the high/low bet on the European table. Then you bet on a high (19-36) or low (1-18) winning number. You need to set the chips on the low or high box. The payout is 1:1 (even money).
It coincides with the odd/even bet on the European table. Then you bet the winning number to be odd or even. You need to set the chips on the odd or even box. The payout is even money.
It coincides to black/red bet on the European table. Then you bet if the winning number will be from the red or black sector. You need to set the chips on the red or black box of the layout. The payout is even money.
Inside Bets in French Roulette
By placing an inside bet means that you bet on an individual number or group of numbers. This type of bet uses the numbered section of the layout. Here are all types of inside bets:
It equals to the straight bet on the European table. Then, you bet only on one exact number and you win if the ball lands namely on the particular numbered pocket. The payout is 35:1.
It equals to the split bet on the European table. You bet on two numbers, which are adjoining. With this type of bet, you set the chips on the line between the numbers. You win only if the ball falls on one of the numbers. The payout is 17:1.
It equals to the street bet on the European table. The bet is on three numbers in a horizontal row on the betting layout. You need to set the chips on the edge line at the end of the row. The payout is 11:1.
It equals to corner bet on the European table. It is placed on four adjoining numbers on the layout, which visually forms a square. You need to set the chips on the intersection part of the four numbers. The payout is 8:1.
It equals to line bet on the European table. It is placed on six numbers in two “neighboring” lines. You need to set the chips on the intersection of the edge lines at the end of both rows. The payout is 5:1.
The payout, in fact, is the amount of money, which you will be paid if you make the right guess. The aforesaid ratio features the formula to calculate your profit. For instance, if you place your bet on en plein, you will multiply the wagered amount of money 35 times.
Special French Bets
The French bets are referred to as exotic, because of the French names. Once you understand them, it will be easy to keep track on what is happening on the French table. Under French bets, every experienced gambler will remember of the “announced” or “call” bets. In fact, these two are often considered as the same, but there is a slight difference.
The “announced bet” is when you say to the dealer that you want to bet on one of the French bets from the layout. In this case, you need to move your chips in the location, on which you would like to bet. With the “called” bets, you don’t need to move your chips, because the croupier does it for you. The only thing you need to do is to say your bet. But this type of betting is not offered in every casino, since it is considered as betting on credit.
The French bets are placed on a section of the wheel. The French wheel is divided into three main sections, which represent the three main unique French bets. Read below to know more about these.
Voisins du Zero Bet
Directly translated, this means “neighbours of zero”. In fact, the term perfectly describes the bet itself, since you place your bet on all 17 numbers on both sides of the zero pocket. It is a combination of split and corner bets on these numbers. In fact, this may be a bit confusing, so here are all the numbers, included in this bet: 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2 and 25. The bet is made with 9 chips in total. You put 2 chips on the trio 0, 2, 3 and the corner 25, 26, 28, 29. Then you have 10 numbers left, which represent a split bet. So, you bet 1 chip on every pair of numbers.
Tiers du Cylindre Bet
This type of bets represents two-thirds of the wheel and all the numbers, which are opposite the numbers. The range comprises 12 numbers from 27 to 33, or all of the following: 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33. It costs 6 chips, because the bet is split.
Jeu Zero Bet
It is the so-called zero game. The bet is placed on 7 numbers (6 numbers, adjacent to the zero and the zero itself). The bet will cost you 4 chips, since you place 1 chip on every split 0/3, 12/15, 32/35 and one chip only on the number 26.
In fact, the term means “orphans”, because it represents all the numbers, which are not included in the regular sets of Tiers du Cylindre or Voisins du Zero bet. These are 1, 6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 31 and 34. In fact, this type is subdivided into:
Orphelins en Cheval Bet
It costs 5 chips: 4 chips on the 4 splits (6/9, 14/17, 17/20 and 31/34) and one chip on the straight bet on the number 1.
Orphelins en Plein Bet
It covers the same numbers, but it costs 8 chips, because you place straight up bets on every number.
Finales en Plein Bet
It is a bet, placed on every number that ends on a selected digit. “Finales 6” means betting on numbers 6, 16, 26 and 36. It is the perfect choice for all gamblers, who believe in their “lucky” numbers. For example, you consider that your lucky number is 3 and you bet on all the numbers from the wheel, which end in 3. On a Finale 3, you are betting on 4 digits in total and your payout is 35:4. On a Finale 8, though, you are betting on 3 digits, so your payout is 35:3.
Finales a Cheval Bet
It is a bet, placed on every number that ends on either of two selected digits. “Finales 3/4” means betting on numbers 3, 4, 13, 14, 23, 24, 33 and 34. This type of bet is more complicated and preferred by more advanced players. In this type of bet, you play with a combination of split and straight bets, which end in the two digits, which you have chosen. This bet can cost 3, 4 or 5 chips in accordance with the numbers, you want to pair.
As you can see, you should not deprive yourself of the exciting experience to try the French table. You need to follow the specific betting system and the rules. Even the non-French speaker can try their luck without any worries about the language. Just keep in mind that you need to comply with the specific rules of the casino, since these are unique for the different casinos.