Translated literally as ‘little wheel’, French roulette was popularised in 17th century France after French scientist Blaise Pascal created what we know today as the French roulette wheel. The game quickly grew in popularity, and at the end of the 19th century the French brothers Francois and Louis Blanc added the ‘0’ slot to the wheel characteristic of French roulette.
The French Roulette Wheel Explained
The French roulette wheel is divided into 37 slots numbered from 0 to 37. The numbers 1-36 are coloured in black and red alternately around the wheel, and a single number 0 is marked in green.
The American roulette wheel, however, features two number 0s instead of the single 0 found on the French roulette wheel, which offers the house an increased edge. Of all variants of roulette, French roulette has the lowest initial house advantage.
How to Play French Roulette
The rules of French roulette are slightly more complex than American roulette and European roulette, but are still easy to grasp with practice.
1. Place Your Bets
Place your bets on the numbered slots around the roulette wheel. Before playing, it can be useful to familiarise yourself with basic French roulette vocabulary words often used when playing French roulette. For example, it is worth remembering that Passe means ‘Even’ and Impair means ‘Odd’.
2. Place Announced Bets
Players can make ‘announced bets’ in French roulette by calling out the name of the bet you wish to place – for example Tiers du Cylindre. When making an announced bet, be sure to remember to place enough chips on the table to cover your proposed wager.
Announced bets are also made in French, so, again, it’s worth familiarising yourself with their names before playing. There are only roughly half a dozen terms to remember, so you’ll be sure to be comfortable with them after a few rounds.
3. Full Betting Explained
A full bet in French roulette covers 12 different bets in 1. If you want to announce this bet, simply call out the full number you want to bet on. For example, if you wish to place a full bet on number 6, call out ‘Full Bet on 6’ or a similar phrase to the dealer.
4. No More Bets
After the croupier releases the ball into the cylinder, he or she will call out ‘No More Bets’ to indicate that the window of opportunity has closed during which you can place your bets. Once the ball is released onto the wheel, you cannot attempt to place more bets – the dealer’s word is final on this matter.
5. Collecting Your Bets
When the roulette ball falls into a slot, the winning number for that round is determined. The dealer then collects the chips from the losing bets on the table, so that only winning bets are left remaining.
Next, players with winning bets will receive their payouts. Multiple winning combinations are available in French roulette, so it is very common that more than one player will receive a payout at the same time.
French Roulette: Types of Bets
French roulette features the same types of bets found in European roulette and American roulette, in addition to some extra kinds of bets not found in other variants. Here is an overview of the types of bets normally found in French roulette.
French Roulette: Inside Bets
The term ‘inside betting’ is used to describe bets placed on individual numbers on the roulette wheel. Inside bets can be made on either a single number slot, or on a certain combination of numbers located near to each other in some way.
Examples of inside bets include:
Corner Bet: The term ‘corner bet’ is used to describe a bet placed 4 numbers at one time.
Straight Bet: The term ‘straight bet’ describes a bet on one single number.
Split Bet: The term ‘split bet’ is used to describe bets placed on 2 numbers at one time.
French Roulette: Outside Bets
The term ‘outside betting’ is used to describe bets made in French roulette which cover multiple numbers in one bet.
Examples of outside bets include:
Column Bets: Column bets are bets covering 12 numbers in one bet.
Odd/Even and Red/Black bets are bets which are paid out at even stakes.
French Roulette: Announced Bets
Announced Bets are bets placed on certain sections of the roulette wheel, and are more commonly known as French Bets. There are 3 main types of French Bet, and they are normally called out using their French names, instead of in English:
Voisins du Zero: Voisins du Zero is the French term used to describe what happens when a bet is placed across the numbers 22-25 on a French roulette wheel. The term Voisins du Zerotranslates from French to mean ‘neighbours of zero’. This bet will cost the player nine chips to call.
Le Tiers du Cylindre: Translated into English to mean ‘thirds of the wheel’, Le Tiers du Cylindre covers the numbers 27-33, which sit opposite the number 0. This bet costs the player six split bets, and so will require six chips to play.
Orphelins: Literally translated into English to mean ‘orphans’, this bet covers the 8 numbers that sit outside of the previous two bets. This bet will cost a player only 5 chips to call.
French Roulette: Special Rules
Although very similar to American roulette and European roulette in terms of rules, the game of French roulette also features two extra rules not found in its counterparts. They are as follows:
La Partage: La Partage is the term used when the ball lands in zero after betting an even money shot. If this happens, you’ll receive back half of your stake.
En Prison: This rule also comes into play when the ball lands in zero and you’ve already placed a bet on an even money chance. Your stake will then remain on the table for the next spin, and you will receive back your entire stake if the ball lands on the combination you have bet on.
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