You have probably noticed the game of French roulette in some casino lobby once or twice but you never really tried it out. Despite that it is the third most common version of the roulette game, you didn’t quite understand the bet names, the table design looked a bit weird to you and you decided to pass on.
French roulette differs a bit from European and American roulette but it is actually overall the same game. So we think that this roulette version wouldn’t look so strange after you have read our French online roulette playing guide.
What Actually is the French Version of Roulette?
Essentially, French version of roulette is pretty much a European roulette where the table layout is different. Seriously, if you simply take a European roulette table and change the placement of a few of the betting areas what you will come with would be the French version of roulette.
In the French version, most of the outside bets are renamed but on the other hand, they all work in the same way. For instance, the first ‘dozen’ bet is called ‘P-12’ or ‘Premiere 12’ which could be translated as ‘the first 12’ in English.
The basic addition to most tables for the French version of roulette is actually the racetrack betting area. On some occasions, this betting area can be found on European tables but it should be noted that it is peculiar to the French roulette variation.
Note: there are internet casinos offering a ‘French roulette table’ but they maintain the European table layout. This simply shows that French and European roulette are structurally the same. The single reason to be called ‘French’ is because of the addition of racetrack bets on the side.
European Versus French Roulette Table Layout
Take a look at the pictures of a European roulette table and a French version of a roulette table. Notice that both wheels are totally the same where the only difference is in the betting area’s layout.
Odds, Bets and Payouts
If you have ever played the game of roulette before, you will be informed about the various kinds of bets and their payouts. The only thing you have to become familiar when it comes to the French version of roulette is the few different conventions of naming and the alternative layout.
Take a look at a table of outside bets with different names in French roulette and the corresponding bet names in the European or in the American roulette.
Note that the black/red and the column bets instead of names have icons or symbols, so these outside bets don’t need to be translated. This applies to the inside bets also.
The Racetrack or Called Bets
The most important feature of any decent French roulette table is definitely the racetrack betting area. It looks like this:
What is it Actually For?
The racetrack gives you the opportunity to place bets covering different sections of the roulette wheel. On the racetrack, there are three basic bets. And surprise! They are all in French. If translated, however, they become pretty clear:
- Voisins du Zero or neighbors of zero – covers seventeen numbers which surround and include the green zero.
- Tiers du cylindre or thirds of the wheel – covers twelve numbers opposite the neighbors of zero.
- Orphelins or orphans – covers the eight numbers that are left not covered by the aforementioned call bets.
See, it is quite easy. The other kind of bet you can place playing the racetrack is the neighbors bet. In this situation, the actual racetrack comes into use:
Neighbors – covers five roulette wheel numbers which are neighboring.
It means that if you place a chip on the racetrack’s number one, the numbers you will be betting on are 14, 20, 1, 33, 16. It means you will be betting a total of five chips. This type of bet is great If you want to cover in a hurry a certain roulette wheel’s section without the need of placing manually each bet on the table.
Note: the racetrack bets are in some cases called ‘called bets’, because you need to call or announce them at your table when you are playing a live casino French version of roulette.
The House Edge of French Roulette
The French version of roulette is just the same as European roulette but with a table layout that differs from it, and therefore, they both are with the same house edge of 2.70%.
‘La Partage’ and ‘En Prison’ Rules
Some offline and online casinos provide the la partage or en prison rules with their tables of French roulette. Both of the mentioned rules have all events bets’ house edge from 2.70% to 1.35%.
If the rules are applied, they will be active when you place an evens bet (black/red, odd/even) and when the ball lands on zero green:
- With la partage you receive half of the evens bet wagers back.
- With en prison for one more spin the evens bet is held in prison. As usual, you will either lose or win this bet on your next spin. So it is just an additional opportunity to win.
In fact, not all internet casinos providing French tables offer any of these rules. Unfortunately, there are very few of them that do that. Take a look at those that offer either of the two rules:
Which is the Best Roulette, French, American or European?
Honestly, American roulette is pretty much European roulette that comes with a house edge twice as bad (5.26% compared with 2.70%) and this means that American roulette is the first to get out of the competition. So we should choose between French and European roulette.
To be honest, when it comes to a rational comparison, they are both generally the same, so our advice is to keep playing the one which gives you more joy.
For sure, most of the people have a preference toward the European roulette’s more familiar design. In addition, the racetrack bets are not exclusive to French roulette tables, they could be found on many online European tables in recent time. Take a look at the following table, which shows that the internet casinos could offer the racetrack or called bets without offering the French version of roulette at all:
Our guess is that there are mainly two reasons for you to switch to French roulette from European roulette:
- You are attached to the design because you have previously played the game.
- You are French or French Canadian or French speaker.
It is a very pleasant alternative option, but in general, it is just an alternative rather than favorite. It is definitely worth trying, we recommend doing it at least once.