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French Roulette


French roulette is considered the birth-giver of all other styles of roulette. It doesn’t differ very much from what we know about European and American roulette – only the design differs. The world “roulette” actually comes from French and it translates literally into “little wheel”. Instances of the game are recorded to have been played as far back as 1796 A.D in Paris, France. Not much has changed during the past 200 years – the tables got bigger and the roulette wheels shinier, but the same basic rules still apply to this day.

The Croupier

In French roulette there is no dealer. You, and everyone else, must address the roulette attendant by his proper title – croupier. You must watch your croupier carefully, for he will be taking your bets; informing you when you have won/lost and generally be with you throughout the course of the game. Look at his gestures and movements carefully, especially if you are one of those compulsive typed who likes to place bets at the very last minute. The croupier will give you a few seconds after the he had spun the wheel. Once his raises his hand, this means “no more bets”.


The Chips

Each player is given chips, corresponding to a given colour. The croupier is the only person who should know who has which chips. This way no two parties would argue over who made which bet. At the end of each spin, the croupier will announce the winning number and collect the rest using his special spade. Additional purchasing of chips is not only allowed, but encouraged as well.


Specifics in French Roulette

The first thing we must take into consideration when learning how to play French roulette, are the different (foreign) names of the various outside bets.

Low (Manque) – This stands for low numbers – 1-18.
High (Passe) – This stands for high numbers – 19-36
Red or black (Rouge ou Noir)
Even or odd (Pair ou Impair)


The rest of the bet variations will not be indicated on the layout – they are pretty much the same as European and American layouts, so no worries. There are however additional rules when it comes to French roulette. Unlike American roulette, where the casino is really out to get you. French casinos have a much lenient attitude when it comes to their customers actually winning. First of all there is only one house number – 0. Most American casinos have two – 0, and 00. The odds of the ball hitting a zero are 2.7%. This coefficient is also known as the house edge – or how ‘likely’ the house is to win. But to make matters even more interesting, most French and European casinos will employ a few rules, that protect your bet in case the ball lands on zero.

En Prison

This rule applies only when you have made an even money bet (red or black, odd or even, high or low). If the ball lands on zero, your bet is ‘imprisoned’ for another spin. If you guess correctly, you get to keep half of your earnings – basically your initial bet. Sometimes this rule can differer from one casino to the next. Sometimes when the ball lands on zero a second time, you don’t get to keep your half. Under different policies, the casino might spin the wheel until something different than zero pops up.

La Partage

This is probably the best ‘get out of jail free’ cards when it comes to French roulette. You place your bet on the table, and if the ball lands on zero you get half of your bet back.

More Articles Covering Roulette

How To Play Roulette
History of Roulette
Interesting Facts About Roulette
Roulette Variations
Roulette Evolution
European Roulette
French Roulette
American Roulette
Roulette Bets and Odds
Roulette Outside Bets
Roulette Call Bets
Roulette Betting Strategies
Roulette Wheels

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