French roulette rules

French roulette was the first version of roulette ever created, paving the way for the eventual variations of European and American roulette. Exactly who invented this game and when is heavily disputed, but the general consensus is that French roulette was first created by inventor Blaise Pascal during the 1600s as a result of his failed attempt to create a perpetual motion machine.

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Given the addition of a couple of rules that makes French roulette more favourable to players, these days it’s rare to find French roulette offered in a land based casino. Online players will find French roulette at a majority of our recommended casinos, so suss out the rules in this article and follow our links to play French roulette for real money.

The French roulette wheel and betting table

The French roulette wheel is essentially identical to the European roulette wheel. Consisting of 37 numbered pockets from zero to 36, all numbers on the wheel are coloured red or black, except for the zero which is green.

The standard number layout on a French roulette wheel, in clockwise order is as follows:

French roulette online real money0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25, 17, 34, 6, 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33, 1, 20, 14, 31, 9, 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3 and 26.

The corresponding betting table uses a wide layout, with bets placed on any of six boxes located on either side of the number table or the dozens boxes located at the end of the number table. The bets are similar to European roulette except that a majority of the names are written in French as translated below:

  • Rouge = all red numbers
  • Noir = all black numbers
  • Manque = numbers 1 to 18
  • Passe = numbers 19 to 36
  • Pair = even numbers
  • Impair = odd numbers
  • Premier douzaine = first dozen (numbers 1 to 12)
  • Moyenne douzaine = second dozen (numbers 13 to 24)
  • Dernière douzaine = third dozen (numbers 25 to 36)

How to play French roulette

French roulette is played just like American or European roulette. The player is betting on the predicted outcome of the spin of the roulette wheel, placing chips onto different sections of the betting table to signify their bet. Multiple chips can be placed per spin, but each one will require an additional wager.

Once all bets are placed, the croupier spins the wheel until it comes to a stop and the ball lands on one of the numbered pockets. Any player who bet on that number or one of the corresponding inside or outside bets is a winner and paid out accordingly.

French roulette differs from American or European roulette in that it has some additional rules which work in favour of the player, lowering the house edge. The different bets and additional rules for French roulette are explained below.

Call bets in French roulette

Inside and outside bets in French roulette are the same as in European roulette (check out our page on European roulette for full details), but there are some additional call bets available in French roulette:

Call bets

Call bets literally require the player to verbally announce their bet to the dealer rather than place a chip on the betting table. Call bets are a little more complex than the standard inside and outside bets and can take some time to get familiar with:

  • Jeu Zéro – “the zero game” covers the zero and the six numbers appearing closest to it
  • Voisins du Zero – “neighbours of zero” covers the 17 numbers that lie between 22 and 25 on the roulette wheel (the 17 numbers closest to the zero)
  • Tiers du Cylindre – a bet on the 12 numbers appearing opposite the zero on the roulette wheel
  • Orphelins – a bet placed on any of the ‘orphan’ numbers that aren’t included by the three bet types mentioned above.
  • Finales en Plein – bet on numbers ending with the same digit (eg. placing a bet on finales two en plein means you’re betting on all numbers ending with two; 2, 12, 22, 32)

Additional rules in French roulette

French roulette has a couple of unique rules that you won’t find in other variations of roulette, which decrease the house edge and add to the player’s chances of winning. These rules aren’t always applicable so always check with the croupier or online instructions to see if these rules are available to use:

La partage
If the ball lands on zero, the la partage rule gives you the chance to take half your wager back, meaning you only lose half your bet.

En prison
Alternatively, if the ball lands on zero you can choose to leave your whole wager “en prison” which essentially results in a free spin. If you win on the next spin, you don’t win any additional money but you get your initial bet back, breaking even.

Both the la partage and en prison rules are only allowed if an even money bet is in play (odds/evens, red/black, high/low).

Why French roulette is the best choice for online players

Due to the additional la partage and en prison rules, the house edge in French roulette is lower when these rules are in play. While both French and European roulette share a house edge of 2.70%, the house edge in French roulette becomes a low 1.35% when either of these rules is used.

This makes French roulette the most statistically player-friendly game and is highly preferable over American roulette which has a house edge of 5.26%.

French roulette is rarely found within the walls of land-based casinos. It is common at leading online casinos, however, making it the best variation for online roulette players.

Follow our links in the casino table above to try French roulette for free or real money bets at reputable sites. We recommend as our top-rated casino site for players from United States, which has some excellent welcome bonuses available for new players along with a great range of online roulette games available for free play or real money bets.

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