Most people have heard of Roulette, but did you know there are different types? Along with American and European Roulette, there’s also French Roulette. Similar in many ways but with some distinct differences, French Roulette is arguably the most profitable one of all for players.
There is a long history of playing Roulette in France, dating back to the 17th century. Many believe it is the oldest form of Roulette in the world. However, it wasn’t until 1842 that the zero pocket was added, and the roulette wheel was transformed into what we play with today.
You can find French Roulette at many online casinos, but it’s not as common as European Roulette so you’ll need to check carefully.
How to Play French Roulette
Like all types of online roulette, the aim is to guess where the ball is going to end up when the wheel stops spinning. The French Roulette wheel is the same as the one used for European Roulette. It’s easily identifiable from the American Roulette wheel as there’s only a single zero pocket. Numbers run from 1-36.
You place the type of bet you want to play; outside bets for a higher chance of a win but lower payout, inside bets for lower chances of a win but a better prize.
There are some additional bets available in French Roulette, which aren’t offered in European Roulette:
Voisins du Zero (translates as Neighbours of Zero)
Using split bets and corner bets, voisins du zero covers nine spaces either side of the zero, reaching 22 on one side and 25 on the other.
Le Tiers du Cylindre (translates as Thirds of the Wheel)
As the name suggests, this involves taking up a third of the wheel. This particular bet covers the 12 pockets opposite the zero, from 33 to 27. The twelve numbers are covered by six split bets.
Orphelins (translates as Orphans)
This final extra bet covers the pockets which are not included in either Voisins due Zero or Le Tiers du Cylindre. There are eight numbers in this bet, with four split bets and a single bet.
In addition to the above extra rules, if the ball finishes in the zero pocket, French Roulette treats it differently for Even Money bets. What happens depends on the rules in play:
For players, this is the best type of French Roulette to play. Usually, the zero provides the house edge, with the player losing out when the ball lands here. When you’re playing with the En Prison rules on an Even Money bet, nothing happens if the ball finishes on zero. All bets remain in place, and the wheel is re-spun. This will continue without loss until the ball ends on a number.
La Partage isn’t quite as kind as the En Prison rules, but it still helps players if the dreaded zero wins. You will receive half of your stake back for any Even Money bets. You will forfeit the other half of the wager, as per usual.
It won’t be evident from just glancing at the board which rules are in play so you’ll need to check them before you start. The presence of a racetrack grid can indicate that you are playing French Roulette as this provides the space to place the extra types of bet.
What’s Different About French Roulette
French Roulette has a lot of similarities with European Roulette, being played on the same wheel. The key differences are:
- A lower house edge for French Roulette
- Inclusion of three extra bets: voisins du zero, le tiers du cylindre and orphelins
- Different rules if you land on the zero – either En Prison or La Partage
French Roulette Prizes
The payout you receive depends on the type of bet you have placed. The ones which are more difficult to land have higher payouts. For example, a single straight-up bet offers payment of 35:1.
Other types of bet payout as follows:
- Split 17:1
- Street 11:1
- Corner 8:1
- Six Line 5:1
- Column 2:1
- Dozen 2:1
- Red/Black 1:1
- Even/Odd 1:1
- High/low 1:1
The payouts for the three types of bets which are specific to French Roulette are:
- Tiers du cylindre 17:1 (maximum)
- Orphelins 35:1 (maximum)
- Voisins du zero 17:1 (maximum)
What Are the Chances of Winning?
Due to the effect of the En Prison and La Partage rules in French Roulette, the house edge is lower than in other types of Roulette. The RTP is 98.65%, compared to 97.3% for European Roulette.
However, it’s important to remember that RTP is calculated over a long period of play, and your experience may not return the same results. Volatility influences the win rate, and how likely it is that you’ll win quickly. Bets that have a lower payout and are easier to land are described as low in volatility, while those that are much harder to land but have higher prizes are described as having high volatility levels.
The same types of strategies that apply in European Roulette will be useful for French Roulette too.
Where possible, look for games of Roulette which use the En Prison rules.
When choosing your strategy and type of bet, consider your overall betting budget and how long you plan on playing for. High volatility bets may be better suited to someone who has the capacity to keep playing for longer, as they can take a very long time to land. In contrast, low risk bets such as black/red can deliver regular, low wins. Your ultimate aim and the budget you have to bet should determine your betting strategy.
Is French Roulette Legit?
French Roulette is a long-established type of Roulette which is popular both in land casinos and online. When playing online, it’s essential to make sure the casino is properly licensed and regulated by a trustworthy body, such as the UK Gambling Commission. It ensures that your data will be handled securely and that the casino adheres to high playing standards.