Experts suggest French roulette for novices and expert players alike

One of the least-known but most financially rewarding online casino South Africa roulette variations is the game of French Roulette. French roulette became popular in France in the years following the French Revolution and slowly migrated to other casinos in other areas of the world.  The odds in French roulette are among the best of any roulette game at the casino.

Table Layout

One of the reasons that French roulette is so popular (and hard to find) is that French roulette has the lowest house advantage of any other roulette variation. The edge is only 1.35%, as opposed to the European wheel where the edge is 2.70% and the American wheel where the house edge is 5.26%.  

The table layout of French roulette is unique. The game is played on the standard single-zero European wheel which features numbers from 1 through 36 plus a zero pocket. As with standard European roulette, the numbered pockets are colored alternately in red and black and the single zero is marked in green.

The numbers on the French and European roulette wheels are white while the numbers (other than the zero and double zero pockets) on the American wheel are either red or black. In addition, the numbers themselves on the French wheel are arranged differently than those on the American wheel. 

Another significant difference is the position of the outside betting field which varies on the French roulette tables as opposed to the American tables.  On the American wheel variation, the outside bets are placed on the left side of the table layout. On the French variation, the outside betting field is split into two and located along both sides of the table layout.  

Each of the outside bets has its name, in French, displayed on the table. Sometimes, its translation into English appears below the French name but not always. 

The Game

The main objective of French roulette is, as with the other variations of roulette, to predict into which numbered pocket a tossed roulette ball will land. Players make bets on their prediction and then the dealer spins the roulette wheel in one direction while tossing the roulette ball in the opposite direction. Once the ball lands, players whose predictions were correct receive their payouts.

As with traditional American and European roulette table layouts, there are two main types of bets, inside bets and outside bets. Inside bets are bets on individual numbers while outside bets are bets on groups of numbers.  

In French roulette players have access to all of the traditional bet types – inside bets are comprised of a single number, adjacent numbers or small groups of numbers and are considered riskier bets which deliver higher payout percentages. The outside bets involve larger groupings of numbers, are considered less risky and offer lower payouts.

Inside and outside bets in French roulette include:

Inside Bets

Straight-Up Bet – the bet can be placed on any single number, including on the  “0”. Payout is 35 to 1.

Split Bet – split bets feature two adjacent numbers. They are placed on the line between these numbers and may also include 0 and 1, 0 and 2, 0 and 3. Payout on a split bet is 17 to 1.

Corner Bet – features a group of four numbers. On the betting table it appears at the corner where these four numbers touch or on the corner of 0, 1, 2, and 3. Its payout is 8 to 1.

Line Bet – includes six numbers (or three numbers in two rows). It’s located at the end of two rows, on the border between the rows. Its payout is 5 to 1. 

Street Bet – street bets display three numbers in a row. The bettor plaes the bet on the line at the end of the row. Includes numbers of  0, 1, 2; 0, 2, 3 and offers a 11 to 1 payout.

Outside Bets

Odds/Evens Bet – a bet on all odd numbers. Bet is set on the ”Pair” box (all even numbers) or the ”Impair” box (all odd numbers). Payout is 1 to 1.

Colors Bet – a bet on all of the black numbers or all of the red numbers. In French roulette, the bet is placed on the ”Red” (Rouge) diamond or the ”Black” (Noir) diamond. Payout for colors bet is 1 to 1.

Low/High Bet – Bet on all low numbers or all high numbers.  In French roulette, the bet is placed on the ”Passe” box (numbers 1 to 18) or the ”Manque” box (numbers 19 to 36). Payout is 1 to 1.

Columns Bet – a wager on an entire column which is placed in the box at the end of the respective column. Its payout is 2 to 1.

Dozens Bet – wager on a group of 12 numbers. The respective boxes on the French table are positioned in two areas and are marked as ”12P”, or Premier Douzaine (numbers 1 to 12), ”12M”, or Moyenne Douzaine (numbers 13 to 24) and ”12D”, or Dernière Douzaine (numbers 25 to 36) In American roulette, the table has boxes marked as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.. Its payout is 2 to 1.

En Prison

The en prison rule is unique to French roulette. In cases where a player places an even-money outside bet (Red/Black, Even/Odd, Low/High) and the winning number is 0, he/she can apply ”en prison” rule. The player receives either 50% of his/her bet or the entire bet is imprisoned. If, on the next wheel spin, the imprisoned bet turns out to be a winner, it will be released and the player will recover it without any earnings.

However, if the ball lands on zero on the next wheel spin, the player loses the entire bet.

Le Partage

When an even-money, outside bet is placed (evens/odds, blacks/reds, highs/lows) and the winning number comes out 0, the player can activate the “le partage” rule.  In the le partage rule, even-money bets are divided by two, so 50% of the bet is recovered to the player, while the other 50% is surrendered to the house. Here, there’s no option to leave the original bet for another wheel spin. Under this rule the house edge lowers to 1.35%.

Announced Bets and Neighbors Bets

Announced bets and neighbors bets are allowed under European and French roulette but not in American roulette. In neighbors bets, players bet on 25 plus the number directly to the left and to the right of 25 which are the numbers 2, 25 and 17.

Announced / Call Bets

Call bets involve bets that cover exact numbers and have a specific name. The player “calls” the bet and the dealer puts the bet on the table for the player. Not every casino offers call or announced bets which are often based on where the wager lays on the roulette wheel or the table layout.