French roulette is the original wheeled game and the roulette game itself makes up the core of all casino table games in the online lobbies available worldwide. Roulette is one of those games that is very popular with all players, but French roulette is actually the third most popular variant of the game. You may have come across the unfamiliar table design or the betting options you didn’t quite understand, but it is a fantastic game to play and it isn't difficult to get to grips with at all. Roulette’s literal translation is ‘little wheel’ and French roulette has been played since the French Revolution in the late 18th century. While the wheel itself may be small, the potential winnings certainly aren’t due to the single number payouts available on the betting table. Read on as we uncover more on this intriguing game.
What is French Roulette and how is it different?
French Roulette can feel a little daunting if you are used to European or American roulette, however, it really isn’t that different at all. Essentially, French roulette is almost the same as European roulette but just with a different table layout. Simply put, if you took the common European roulette table and moved a few of the betting areas around a bit, you would be left with French roulette. We have covered all the differences between different types of roulette in our roulette guide, so you might want to check it out.
However, the main difference between French vs European roulette is the La Partage Rule. The literal translation is ‘sharing’ or ‘dividing’ and basically means that if the ball is to land on zero, all even-money bets such as red/black, high/low, odd/even are returned in half. So, the online casino will take half, and the player will be returned half. In all other forms of roulette, the casino takes the entire bet. There is also the En Prison rule which is similar to La Partage but much less common to find. If the ball lands on a zero then the rule allows the player to leave their bet (imprisoned) on the table for the next spin.
The other big difference you will find on a French roulette table is that most of the outside bets have been renamed with their French translation. Fundamentally, though, they operate in exactly the same way. To take an example, you may want to bet on the first dozen. On a French roulette table, this is referred to as “P-12” which is a shortened version of “Premiere 12” (the first 12 to you and me). The main difference between the European and French roulette tables is the racetrack betting area and we will explain this in more detail shortly.
How to play – French Roulette rules
As we have touched upon already, French roulette is very similar to both European and American roulette. Still, it also allows for special bets that are not seen on other versions of roulette. Therefore, how to play French Roulette is slightly more complex than the American or European versions due to some of the potential wagers and the ability to place multiple selections together in one bet.
For the typical roulette game player, French roulette offers new and interesting options that will keep the game feeling fresh and exciting. For those of you who are completely new to roulette then it is probably worth addressing the very basics first. There is a wheel full of numbered pockets with alternate colors - black and red - with one green marked ‘0’. A ball is released and the roulette wheel is spun, whichever pocket the ball lands in that will be the winning number. The table has multiple bets you can choose from ranging from simple evens bets to high-value odds worth up to 35/1.
For those of you who are keen roulette players, many of the markings on a French roulette table may seem unfamiliar. After all, they are in French. It really won’t take too long to get the hang of these. A few games in and you will soon be familiar with what ‘Passe’ means (High) and what ‘Impair’ means (Odd).
Let’s take a look at some of the basic bets that you can place on roulette:
- Red/Black - betting on whether a red or black number will come in.
- Impair/Pair (Odd/Even) - betting if the number is odd or even.
- Manque/Passe (Low/High) - betting if the number is low or high.
- Straight Bet - choosing a single number from the table.
- Split bet - splitting your stake across two adjacent numbers on the grid.
- Street bet - choosing a row of three numbers that could come in.
- Corner bet - choosing a group of four numbers that it could land on.
Now, let’s go over some special bets that are available in French roulette.
- Voisins du Zero (Neighbors of zero) - this bet covers the 17 numbers that lie on either side of zero on the wheel from 22 to 25.
- Tiers du Cylindre (Third of the wheel) - This covers a third of the wheel roughly opposite zero from 27 around to 33.
- Orphelins (Orphans) - This covers the numbers not covered in the previous two bets and consists of numbers 1, 6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 31, and 34.
- Jeu Zero (Zero Game) - This covers the seven numbers around the zero.
Your payout when playing French roulette will depend on the type of bet you place. These can range from simple 1/1 on the red/black or odds/even bets up to 35/1 when you pick out a single number. A simple €10 bet could return €360 if you select the correct number. This is why French roulette and roulette, in general, are so popular! Many other payouts can be found across the betting table with varying levels of chance, such as 2/1 on a column bet and 11/1 if you bet on the street. See below for the full list of standard payouts that you can win:
- Straight - 35/1
- Split - 17/1
- Street - 11/1
- Trio - 11/1
- Four-Number - 8/1
- Square/Corner - 8/1
- Six Line - 5/1
- Column - 2/1
- Dozen (P12, M12, D12) - 2/1
- Red/Black - 1/1
- Impair (Odd)/Pair (Even) - 1/1
- Manque (Low)/Passe (High) - 1/1
The unique French roulette bets of Voisins du Zéro, Tiers du Cylindre, and Orphelins all offer changing payouts and this depends on the winnings number.
French Roulette strategies and other helpful tips
There are many casino games that require elements of skill, however, with french roulette, it is quite literally a game of chance. As such, having a fool-proof French Roulette strategy is not possible. That’s not to say there aren’t methods you can use to increase your chances of winning or at least contribute to making sensible decisions, see below for our best tips.
GoodLuckMate’s best tips for playing French Roulette are:
- The 1-3-2-6 Stake Plan - A reasonable way of betting small amounts sensibly without risking too much. It is essentially a four-stage betting system with the number representing your stake. It is used on even money bets and the strategy will ensure that you never bet too much during your gaming session.
- Find a table with limits that don’t exceed your limits. Each table will have different minimums and maximums so always check first before you play.
- Because the roulette game is purely luck-based, the number one priority should be having fun.
- You should only consider increasing your bets when you’re winning and not when you are losing.
House edge – what are your chances of winning?
It is always useful to have an idea of the chances of you winning when playing any online casino game. Well, we are here to deliver the good news that French roulette has the most favorable RTP of all the roulette tables out there. The French roulette house edge depends on the type of bet you decide to place. If you are betting on any non-even money bets then the edge is 2.7%, however, this falls to just 1.35% for the available even money bets. If you compare this to say, American roulette, where the house edge is 5.26%, it is clear to see that you do have an advantage when choosing to play on the French roulette table.
Play French Roulette at online casinos
Roulette is one of the most common games to be found in the lobby of any online casino. Thanks to the popularity and betting options of French roulette, you will have no trouble finding this particular variant of the game. You may need to search around a bit to find the limits that suit your budget. Still, all the top casinos will provide you with small stakes up to high roller options. Many sites still provide players with free French Roulette online games which are great for learning the basics.
Nowadays, you can also enjoy the French roulette game on many of the live casino platforms. It means you now have the choice of playing the digital RNG versions or playing along with the live dealers. All the top software providers supply their own roulette games and so depending on which providers are available at your casino, you can even choose between game designs with various table layouts and betting buttons to match your personal preferences.
Live dealer games vs RNG games
When you choose your next French Roulette casino you are likely to find both live dealer games and RNG games. There is no definitive answer to which is better and it is entirely down to you. Whether you choose to play with the live dealer or you choose to use the RNG games, the payouts are exactly the same and the likelihood of winning is the same, too.
If you are new to the French roulette game or roulette in general, it can be beneficial to try it out on the RNG games to get to grips with the rules and the terminology being used in your own time. This will put you in a confident position before you step up to the live dealer games for the real casino experience where there will be a time limit on each betting round.
If you prefer to play at your own pace then the digital RNG games will be better for you, but if you like the idea of watching the live dealers spin the ball around the roulette wheel from multiple angles then a live casino French roulette game is going to be your best choice.