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A Beginner’s Guide to French Roulette

 Learn the basics of French Roulette together with some simple strategies that will help you get off to the best possible start. 

An Introduction to French Roulette 

If you are looking into playing Roulette, then there is a good chance that you know the game has its origins in France. In fact, the word Roulette comes from the French for ‘little wheel’, and the game is indeed based around the spinning Roulette wheel. As a result, there are many who think that French Roulette is the ‘purest’ form of the game and will choose to play it over European or American Roulette. 

The good news is that in order to play French Roulette you do not need to know any French. While the game does make use of French betting terms, there are not many of them and you will get to grips with them very quickly. There is another major advantage to playing French Roulette and it is known as the La Partage rule. It will be explained later on, but the important thing to know is that it cuts the house edge from 2.70% down to 1.35%, meaning that you have a better chance of winning! 

How to Play French Roulette 

As mentioned, French Roulette is focused on the spinning wheel. The wheel has been divided into 37 numbered segments, from 0 to 36 inclusive. A ball is released into the wheel and all you need to do is bet on which of the numbered segments it will come to rest on.  

However, the game has been cleverly designed so that you can do far more than just bet on individual numbers. You will notice that the numbers on the wheel are coloured red or black, except for 0, which is green. Furthermore, the numbers do not run sequentially around the wheel and this order is reflected in the betting area. All of this combined means that the game has many different betting possibilities.  

In addition to betting on individual numbers, you can also bet on groups of numbers and there are a few different types of groups. There are groups made up of numbers that share certain properties, such as all the red numbers on the wheel or all the even numbers. There are then groups that are formed by the layout of the wheel/betting area, such as all the numbers in one of the columns on the betting area. You can also bet on certain ranges of numbers, as shown on the betting area.  

All of this means that there are many different types of bets and the bets are split into two categories, Inside Bets and Outside Bets. 

Inside Bets 

  • Straight bet: A bet on a single number from the 36 available – It pays 35:1 
  • Split bet: A bet on two numbers that are adjacent to one another on the betting area – It pays 17:1 
  • Street bet: A bet on three numbers that form a row on the betting area – It pays 11:1 
  • Corner bet: A bet on four numbers whose corners meet to form a square on the betting area – It pays 8:1 
  • Line bet: A bet on two streets that are next to each other on the betting area – It pays 5:1 

It is worth noting that the Street Bets and Corner Bets can also include the number 0. 

Outside Bets 

This is where you may need a small knowledge of French, but once you have your head around these betting terms, you will not need any more.  

  • Column bet: A bet on one of the three columns of 12 numbers that are on the betting area – It pays 2:1 
  • Douzaine bet: A bet on a group of 12 numbers, 1 – 12, 13 – 24 or 25 – 36. The groups are called Premier (first), Moyenne (second) or Derniere (third) respectively and are often shown as 12P, 12M or 12D on the betting area – It pays 2:1 
  • Rouge/Noir bet: A bet on all of the red or all of the black numbers number – It pays 1:1 
  • Pair/Impair bet: A bet on all the odd or even numbers – It pays 1:1 
  • Manque/Passe bet: A bet on the low group of numbers, 1 – 18, or the high group, 19 – 36 – It pays 1:1 

After all bets have been placed, the croupier (or dealer) will release the ball into the spinning Roulette wheel. Once the ball has come to a rest, then you are paid out for any winning bets.  

However, as mentioned before, there is a special rule in French Roulette and this affects how you are paid out. If the ball lands on 0 then you will receive half of any even money bets back. For example, if you had bet €4 on reds and the ball lands on 0 then you receive €2 back.  

There is a variation of this rule called the En Prison but it is rarely found at online casinos. When this rule is in play, if the ball lands on zero then your bets will remain on the table for the next round of the game.  

Advanced Bets 

There is a third category of bets in French Roulette. You may have noticed that in addition to the main betting area there is a second one that is shaped like a racetrack. It is used to place these advanced bets. Essentially, they are betting patterns that use a combination of the Inside Bets explained above.  

  • Voisins du Zero (Neighbours of Zero): This bet covers all of the numbers on the wheel between 22 and 25. This bet uses nine chips placed between as split bets, corner bets and threesomes. 
  • Le Tiers du Cylinder (Thirds of the Wheel): This bet covers all of the numbers opposite zero on the wheel, from 27 to 33. This bet uses six chips placed as split bets between these numbers. 
  • Jue Zero (Zero Game): This bet covers the six numbers either side of 0 on the wheel and the 0 itself. This bet uses three split bets and a straight up bet on 26. 
  • Orphelins (Orphans): This bet covers the eight numbers that are not covered by the above bets. There are two forms of the bet, the Orphelins En Cheval, which uses five chips placed as four split bets and a straight up bet on 1, and the Orphelins En Plein, which uses eight chips placed as straight up bets on each number 
  • Finales: These are bets on all the numbers that end in a certain digit (e.g. 3, 13, 23 and 33). The bets can be placed as either Finales En Plein (straight up bets) or Finales A Cheval (split bets). The amount of chips used depends on the chosen numbers.  

A Beginner’s French Roulette Strategy 

French Roulette is a game of chance and skill has very little to do with the game. However, this doesn’t mean that there is nothing you can do to improve your odds. There are in fact two approaches to French Roulette strategy, the first is using clever betting patterns in order to cover as much of the wheel as possible and the second is careful bankroll management.  

A common way to manage a bankroll is using the Martingale system. It is very easy to use and is a fantastic way to make your bankroll go further. The system works on the simple idea of increasing your bet after every loss until you win, at which point you return to your original bet size. The system works best with the even money Outside Bets explained above (Red/Black, Odd/Even, and 1-18/19-36). Imagine you start with a bet of €1 on reds and you lose, you then double your bet to €2 and as long as you stick to the even money bets, you can use any of them. If that loses you then double your bet once again to €4, and so on. As soon as you win, you return to the original bet of €1 and you will have made a profit of €1. The only thing to be aware of is how quickly the bets can increase. If you start with €1 then after 14 losing rounds you will need to bet €8192, so it is probably a good idea to start with a much lower stake.  

Hedge Betting Examples  

Betting pattern strategies can get complicated very quickly, but a relatively simple example is Hedge Betting on Even numbers. This is when you place bets that complement each other and go a long way to cancelling out each other’s risk. For example, imagine you have €10 to bet on the next spin and bet on Odd/Even (which pays at 1:1). A possible pattern is to bet €1 on five individual odd numbers and €5 on all even numbers.  

This means that you have reduced your chances of losing the €10 to 14 out of 37 as there will be 12 odd numbers that you have not covered, as well as the 0. If any of your individual numbers win then you will be paid at 35:1, meaning you win €35 and lose €9 on the other bet, i.e. a profit of €26. However, if the ball lands on an even number then you break even as you will have won back your initial €10.  

You can also apply the principle of Hedge Betting to Dozens bets. For example, you bet €5 on the first dozen (1 to 12) and then place five €1 split bets on the remaining numbers 13 to 36 plus 0. This way there are just 15 numbers that you have not covered with your bet. If you win one of the split bets then you will receive €17 from your €1 bet and lose €4 on the other bet and €5 on the first dozen. If the ball lands on a number from the first dozen then you will win €10, so you will still make a €5 profit after losing money on the split bets. 

There are many more such strategies and as you get to grips with the game, you are sure to come up with many of your own. Sign up for your free Casino account today and you can start testing your French Roulette skills against our live dealers straightaway.  

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