French Roulette

The Game of Choice for Winning Wheel Players

Invented by the only country to name a kiss, French Roulette is the original that others copied and with a few changes, now call their own.

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 Yet experienced wheel players consider French Roulette their first and only choice. Discover why, and experience your own “Eureka!” moment.    

Where can you play the best French Roulette online?

French Roulette is a staple in every respectable casino! It is, after all, the original Roulette game, and a favourite amongst casino goers.

If you are playing online, you don’t need to worry as most online casinos offer a few options of French Roulette, whether you are looking to play an RNG version or one within the Live Casino genre.

To help you get started quickly we’ve listed some ooperators known to offer both versions of French Roulette. Otherwise, you can check out our casino reviews for the best operators to play online Roulette!

Master the Rules & Odds of French Roulette

Masters of invention, the French have given us the bicycle, Aspirin, Scuba, and of course…roulette. Learning the rules and odds of French Roulette is about as simple as learning to pedal, or hold your breath.

Naturally very similar to the American and European games adapted from it, French Roulette still gives the best odds. Vive la France!

The Objective

Playing French Roulette doesn’t require a translator. Like other versions, players bet on a numbered pocket where a white ball circling the spinning roulette wheel will land as the wheel slows to a stop.

If the player guesses the correct pocket, they win. French Roulette is played against the casino, not other players.

Types of bets in French Roulette

Always remember that the French Roulette wheel was the original that the European and American wheels were copied from.

But unlike American Roulette, don’t expect to see a double zero (00) pocket on a French (or European) Roulette wheel. That feature is uniquely American, and one that only favours the House advantage. 

The French style of betting was also adopted by other versions. It forms the basis of the betting structure shared by all popular variations of roulette, and may already be familiar. There are three categories of bets to consider when playing European Roulette:

  1. Outside Bets – The outer section of the roulette wheel. This area is preferred by beginners – primarily because the chances of winning are statistically higher.
  1. Inside Bets – Those numbers, pockets and sections of the wheel closest to the centre. Inside bets are usually preferred by experienced European Roulette players who understand that while the odds are less favourable, the payouts are higher.
  1. The Rest – variations and combinations of bets available that offer players a range of opportunities to win on a given spin.  

Outside bets for French Roulette

  • Low/High

On a French Roulette wheel numbered from one to thirty-six and containing one additional pocket for zero, a bet on any number between 1 and 18 (inclusive) is a Low bet. A number between 19 and 36 is a High bet. Both bets pay even money.

  • Red/Black (Colour bet)

Choosing Red or Black correctly will pay even money, irrespective of the number the ball lands on. Keep in mind that the green pocket for zero reduces the odds on a Colour bet.

  • Odd/Even

Players can bet on an odd or even number between 1 and 36 (inclusive). This bet also pays out even money.

  • Dozen (Section bet)

The French Roulette wheel is divided into three sections. Each section contains twelve numbers; 1 to 12, 13 to 24, and 25 to 36. Players can bet on one of the three sections and should the ball land in the one chosen, the house will pay out 2:1 on that wager.  

  • Column bet

Similar to the three sections, three columns form part of the wheel design and each contains a group of twelve numbers. Unlike in the sections, the column groups of numbers are unsequenced. If players bet on a column containing the number pocket where the ball lands, this bet also pays out at 2:1.

Inside bets in French Roulette

  • Straight (Up) bet

Players bet on a single number on the wheel. If the ball lands on that number, the payout is 35:1.

  • Split

Players choose two numbers and split their bet across them by placing a chip on the line that divides them on the betting table. Therefore, the two numbers must be adjacent to each other. Players can expect a 17:1 payout.

  • Street (Row) bet

Players bet on a row of three numbers displayed on the betting table. By placing a chip at the edge of the row, players can win when the ball lands on any of those three numbers and expect a payout of 11:1.

  • Corner/Quad (Square) bet

Choosing the intersection where four numbers meet on the betting table to form a block (or cube), players can place a chip and spread the bet across the number group. The Corner is a four-number bet and pays out a handsome 8:1.

  • Six/Line (Double Street) bet

This wager spreads across a line of six numbers, or two adjacent lines each containing three numbers. A chip is placed at the end of the two rows or on the borderline separating them. Expect a payout of 5:1

Other types of bets

As the inventors of the game, leave it to the French to create a level of sophistication in French Roulette other variations simply can’t match.

So much so that in European Roulette, where the influence of France is foremost, wagers known as “French Bets” are available. These are also known as “Call” bets and can be divided into two categories;

Variable Call Bets

  • Les Voisins (The Neighbours)

This bet covers five numbers on the wheel. A player chooses one number, wagers on it, as well as the two numbers to left and right of it – the number’s neighbours. This is a straight-up bet on a line of five numbers identified by the central number in the line.

  • Finales en Plein Bet

This bet is placed on a single number – and all other numbers that contain it as a final digit. A three-bet would cover; 3, 13, 23, 33. A nine bet would cover; 9, 19, 29. Subject to the player’s preference, this is a three or four number bet.

  • Finales a Cheval Bet

Played similarly to the Finales en Plein Bet, two numbers are chosen and bets are placed on all other numbers that contain them as the last digit. A 3/9 bet as illustrated above would cover; 3, 13, 23, 33 and 9, 19, 29. Subject to the player’s preference, this is a six or eight number bet and slightly more complicated as it utilizes both Split and Straight Up wagers.

Fixed Call Bets  

  • Voisins de Zéro (Neighbours of Zero)

This bet includes the seventeen (17) numbers that are situated closest on the wheel to the zero pocket.

  • Jeu Zéro (Zero Game)

This bet includes the seven (7) numbers that are situated closest on the wheel to the zero pocket.

  • Le Tiers du Cylindre (Thirds of the Wheel)

This bet focuses on those numbers at the bottom of the wheel directly opposite to the zero pocket. The section includes the stretch between the 33 and 27 pockets.

  • Orphelins Bets (The Orphans)

These bets address the numbers which are not covered by either the Tiers du Cylindre or Voisins du Zero bets and as such are called the ‘orphans’ because the numbers were not adopted into those wagers. (1, 6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 31, 34) 

Orphelins en Plein Bet: Straight up bets with one chip on all eight numbers.

Orphelins en Cheval Bet: Four split bets and one straight-up bet on the number 1. 

RTP, Payouts and House edge in French Roulette

Eureka! French Roulette offers the best Return To Player percentage (RTP) of all the roulette variations. Now you know why it is the favourite among experienced wheel players.

The comparison tables below illustrate just how large this advantage can be, particularly when compared with American Roulette.

As can also be seen, the house edge is uniform across the range of typical bets. The payouts are based on the probability that varies between a low of less than three percent (a win less than three times in every one hundred spins of the wheel), and almost fifty percent – nearly the same odds as winning a coin toss.

RTP in French Roulette

The Return To Player (RTP) percentage offered by French Roulette is 97.30%, except on even money bets where it increases to 98.35%.

This lower edge makes French Roulette the most profitable game for players. Expressed in dollars, this means that players can expect to lose $2.70, or $1.35 on every $100.00 wagered.

When compared to the average 94.74% RTP American Roulette offers, it becomes clear why experienced wheel players prefer French Roulette. C’est Magnifique! 

Payouts in French Roulette

French Roulette offers a similarly wide range of payouts as the European and American versions.

Conservative players can enjoy the game betting even money or even try 2:1 odds.

Ambitious players looking at the long game can reap rewards as high as 35:1. That said, French Roulette offers the best even money odds to players. 

House Edge in French Roulette

The house edge in French Roulette – 2.70% and as little as 1.35% – is the most favourable in comparison with other Roulette games.

It is lower than European Roulette and nearly half of the edge the American version commands.

This is primarily because of the double zero pocket on the American wheel, a unique feature that nearly doubles the house advantage when compared to French Roulette.

French Roulette vs. other Roulette Variants

As mentioned, the main difference between French Roulette and other variants is the wheel. While French and European Roulette share the same 37 pocket design, the double zero pocket found on the American wheel is unique to that game.

The additional pocket negatively impacts RTP and the betting menus. The table below provides a snapshot of how French Roulette compares to the two other most popular versions:

French RouletteAmerican RouletteEuropean Roulette
Layout37 pockets
(0-36)
38 pockets
(0-36 + 00)
37 pockets
(0-36)
BetsInside, Outside, Call, Announce, En Prison, La PartageInside, Outside,ExoticInside, Outside, Call, Announce
RTP98.65%94.74%97.30%
House Edge1.35%5.26%2.70%

Difference between French and European roulette

Using the same wheel as the European version, French Roulette reduces the House odds still further with a wider betting menu and wagering rules that advantage the players.

As the game rules are nearly identical for these two versions, players who learn the basics of European Roulette eventually try the French game for the superior odds it offers.

Difference between French and American roulette

The biggest difference between French and American Roulette that is of interest to players is the House Edge. French Roulette wheels feature thirty-seven pockets rather than the American version of thirty-eight that incorporates the double zero.

This translates into a nearly 50% reduction in the House advantage faced by French Roulette players. 

How to play French Roulette – Breakdown of a Round

Like most casino games, playing a round of Roulette begins with making a bet.

  1. Players place a chip on the betting table to indicate and confirm their wager. The betting table is a corresponding map of the roulette wheel that displays each number, colour and section.
  1. The Dealer (or Croupier) will usually announce when players can place their bets. This period may include after the roulette wheel has been spun.
  1. The Dealer will close off the betting at some point while the roulette wheel is still in motion. No more bets can be placed after that announcement.
  1. When the ball lands, the Dealer will use a puck or other marker to identify the number that has won. At this point, all losing bets will be cleared from the table. 
  1. The Dealer will pay out the winning bets.
  1. After the bets are paid out, the Dealer will remove the puck from the winning number. At this point, new bets can be placed on the next spin.  

Strategies for advanced players

European Roulette is first and foremost a game of chance. There is no possible way for a player to influence the outcome of a spin. That said, some players have adopted and practice betting strategies for roulette based on a number of different rationales including betting styles and chip placement.

The Martingale System

Used by Roulette and Blackjack players alike, the Martingale system is a popular and well-known betting strategy. Players double the bet value after every loss in order to win back their bankroll. After a win, players revert to the initial betting amount and begin the process again. 

While popular, the Martingale system is not well-liked by experienced roulette players. Typically, when using the system, large bets earn small wins and the potential to rack up large losses quickly is its main weakness.

Reverse Martingale strategy

Also commonly known as the Paroli Strategy, the Reverse Martingale strategy recommends that players start a roulette game with a minimum wager and double their bets after every win. At the first loss, the player reverts to the minimum wager again and restarts the betting cycle.

The Reverse Martingale Strategy is designed to take advantage of winning streaks and unlike its namesake, tries to avert significant losses. Considered a more balanced approach to the mathematics of probability, its biggest advantage is in the fact that players don’t lose a large sum at once.

Fibonacci strategy

Named for a medieval Italian mathematical principle and adopted by gamblers down through the years, the Fibonacci Strategy relies on betting according to a sequence of numbers. Usually starting with the number one, players bet an amount that is the sum of the previous two numbers in the sequence; 0+1=1, 1+1=2, 2+1=3, 3+2=5, 5+3=8, 8+5=13, 13+8=21, etc.

Players move back two numbers in the sequence when a bet is won. 

Only to be used for outside bets where even money is at stake, the Fibonacci System is considered a strategy that takes advantage of winning streaks. Like all gambling strategies, it is not failsafe and in real terms, only gives players an organized method of wagering – but no proven advantage.

James Bond (007) Roulette Strategy

Most fans can attest that British secret service agent James Bond knows his way around a casino. Typically a Baccarat fan, Bond was also famous for making a very specific bet on the roulette wheel.

Known as a flat bet (the same amount used on each spin), it consists of placing the equivalent of $20, $200, or $2,000 across the betting table. The ratios are what is considered important: $14 on the high numbers (19-36), $5 on the six numbers of 13 through 18, and a dollar on zero for insurance. 

Whether players are shaken or stirred by this strategy remains to be seen. While one segment of the bet may win, the other two will lose. Having the luck (or designation) of a couple of zeros turning up at the table is a hefty part of the success – or failure – of this strategy.

Conclusion

French Roulette. Once you’ve played the original, there simply is no substitute. No need for a translator, French Roulette is universally recognized by experienced wheel players as the very best game going. With the highest RTP, the widest variety of bets and sophistication once only found in Monte Carlo and the finest Parisian Gaming Salons, French Roulette remains truly Magnifique!   

Players can find a game of French Roulette at most full-service casinos in Canada and online casino sites operating in the North American markets. As easy to learn as riding a bicycle, it’s a game that easily translates into winnings.

Frequently asked questions

French Roulette is one of three popular versions of roulette. The other two are American and European Roulette. French and European Roulette are very similar, and the most popular versions of the game outside of North, Central and South America.
That depends on player preference. For gamblers looking for the greatest advantage or RTP, French Roulette is best. Others prefer online roulette that provides players with a similar gaming experience without the pressures of placing bets within the Dealer’s timeframe. For some, Live Casino roulette games offer the best of both worlds.
No. French Roulette is fairly easy to learn and the betting options are straightforward. Game rules are very similar in all versions.