Rules and Strategy

French Roulette

In a previous article, we talked about the characteristics and subtleties of American roulette. Now were going to take a look in the same way at another variant of the popular game of roulette, French roulette. If you consider yourself an aficionado of this particular casino game, then this is an article you do not want to miss.

Introducing… French Roulette

French Roulette is the earliest form of roulette, originally devised by Blaise Pascal. Born in 1623, Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist and inventor. He’s famous for inventing the first calculator the ‘Pascaline’, having a unit of measurement named after him and of course the early form of the roulette wheel, which was originally designed while he was researching perpetual motion. It was this design that would later come to be used by the casino operators and loved by millions of players all over the world. This original version of roulette is the most widely seen variant throughout popular culture, famously featured in the 1942 cult film ‘Casablanca’ as well as television shows such as ‘I love Lucy’ and the original ‘Mission: Impossible’ series from the 1960’s.

French Roulette has a ‘plate’ in the shape of a wheel, embedded into which are thirty-seven non-chronological slots numbered from 0 to 36. Just as in American roulette, French roulette slots are also colored alternately red and black. French Roulette is also particularly well known for a certain special slot on the wheel too.

Does it have Zero influence on the game?

French Roulette differs from its American counterpart in that there’s no double zero slot. It still has the single zero slot, coloured green to distinguish it from the rest, and it works in the same way as bets placed on numbers 1-36. A bet on or including the zero slot will force the dealer to repay the players initial bet and/or profit if it lands.

In French roulette, casinos also offer 2 different types of chance to win back your money if the ball lands on the zero slot. These chances are only applicable to what are known as ‘even money’ bets e.g. even/odds, high/low or red/black. These chances or actions are known as ‘La Partage’ (the split) or ‘En Prison’ (in prison) and the casino or table you play at will offer either one or the other.

La Partage (The Split): If you were to place an ‘even money’ bet and the ball was to land in the zero slot, then ‘la partage’ (the split) is enacted. This automatically gives you back half your initial stake and the dealer takes the other half for the house and the game continues. This is particularly interesting because it reduces the house edge on these ‘even money’ bets to 1.35% and can be of benefit to someone using the ‘Martingale’ betting system.

En Prison (In Prison): Alternatively, if you were to place an ‘evens bet’ and the ball was to land in the zero slot, the dealer will invoke the ‘en prison’ (in prison) rule which is essentially ‘double or quits’. You get a chance to recover your initial stake. The dealer will leave your half of the previous bet where it is and on the next spin if the ball lands in your favor then you claim back your initial wager in full, if not then you lose it all.

The types of bets in French roulette

Playing French roulette can be advantageous in the sense that it allows for a wide range of actions and bets, some of which are only specific to this particular variant. The most lucrative bets in French roulette are bets on the ‘final’ numbers (0, 10, 20 and 30) and ‘orphan’ numbers (1.6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 31 and 34). The full bet, ‘horse’ and ‘cross’ are also attractive as they can generate wins of between eleven and thirty-five times the amount of the initial bet. Beware though because betting on the ‘tie’ or the ‘dozen’ numbers is not as productive in French roulette as in other variants. Thus French roulette really requires a sound understanding of knowledge and experience if you want to get the most benefit.

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While taking the time to master this historic and exciting variant of roulette, choose another article from the list below and improve your roulette know-how: