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French roulette: everything you need to know
French roulette: everything you need to know

04/03/2024 18:00

French roulette: everything you need to know

A French roulette wheel with a marker in the front and the French flag behind it with the text "French Roulette" on a yellow bar, on an abstract black background.

French roulette is a casino classic with a rich history dating back to 18th-century France. This game is distinguished by a single zero and specific game rules such as 'La Partage' and 'En Prison'. This roulette game offers you an attractive balance between house advantage and winning chances. In this blog, we dive into the origins, game rules, and unique features of French roulette and reveal why it is considered the ultimate roulette experience worldwide.

Origin of French roulette

The history of French roulette began in 18th-century France, where it found its origins. The game, which literally translates to 'little wheel', first saw the light of day in French casinos thanks to Blaise Pascal, a famous mathematician and inventor. In the 19th century, brothers Louis and Francois Blanc made a radical change by adding a single zero to the roulette wheel, increasing the tension and increasing the house edge. This French version of roulette soon became globally recognised as the ultimate game of chance and strategy.

From France, roulette began its global journey, spreading to other parts of Europe and eventually across the ocean to America. Each country and culture added its own unique twist to the game, but it was the French version that ultimately proved the most popular and withstood the test of time.

Rules of play of French roulette

Central to French roulette is of course the roulette wheel, equipped with numbers 1 to 36 in red and black, plus the characteristic green single zero (0).

The game round starts as soon as the croupier launches the ball into the wheel. This marks the beginning of a new round where chance and tactics meet. The familiar announcement "Rien ne va plus", or "No more bets", signals that it is time for the ball to choose its final destination.

French roulette stands out not only for predicting the winning number but also for its deeply rooted traditions. The betting options, known by names like 'chances simples' (simple odds), include bets on red or black, even or odd, and low (1-18) or high (19-36). These French-language terms add an extra dimension of cultural depth to the game, making the experience feel authentic and rich in history.

La Partage and En Prison game rules

Specific to French roulette are the 'En Prison' and 'La Partage' rules, which offer a unique advantage when betting on single odds. These take effect when the ball falls on zero.

La Partage

This is a rule that allows you to win back half of your bet if the ball lands on zero. That is, if you have bet on a single chance such as red/black, even/odd or high/low, and the zero is spun, you get half your bet back. This rule slightly reduces the house edge and increases the RTP (Return to Player) for players.

En Prison

This is a rule where your bet is 'imprisoned' if the ball lands on the zero. Instead of losing your bet immediately, your bet remains on the table for the next spin. If you win in the next spin, you get your original bet back, but with no additional winnings. If you lose in the next spin, your bet is lost. This rule offers players an extra chance to keep their bet or even win after a zero result.

The rules of French roulette are designed to offer a perfect balance between simplicity and strategic depth. This makes the game accessible to newcomers while challenging for seasoned players. The combination of historical richness and specific game features makes French roulette a fascinating experience, where each spin of the wheel not only offers the possibility of winning, but also embodies the charm of a timeless casino game.

Betting options

In the game of French roulette, betting options are central to your roulette strategy and experience of the game. These range from simple, almost intuitive choices to complex bets that require a deeper understanding of the game. Here is an overview of the options and their French names:

  • Rouge ou Noir: Choose red or black. A simple but popular bet.

    • Pair ou Impair: Bet on even or odd numbers.

      • Manque ou Passe: Decide whether to bet on the low numbers (1-18) or the high numbers (19-36).

        • Plein: A bet on a single number. It offers the highest payout.

          • Cheval: Choose two adjacent numbers on the playing field.

            • Transversal: Place your chips on a row of three numbers.

              • Carré: Select a block of four numbers.

                • Transversal Simple: Place a bet on two adjacent rows, good for six numbers.

                  • Colonne: Bet on one of three vertical columns.

                    • Douzaine: Select one of three dozens: première (1-12), moyenne (13-24), or dernière (25-36).

                      A screenshot of NetEnt's game 'French Roulette'. A French roulette wheel is depicted along with the roulette table.

                      Moreover, players can bet on specific sections such as '0 game' (jeu zéro), 'big series', 'small series', les orphélins, or on numbers called 'the neighbours' (x et voisins). Here, players choose a number of numbers scattered across the betting tableau, but next to each other on the turntable.

                      Online roulette

                      Roulette games are easily accessible at legal online casinos like PepperMill Casino, with several versions including European, French and American roulette. All of our games are available on mobile devices and automated with an RNG (Random Number Generator) system, giving each spin a completely random chance of winning. You can also play demo versions first without using real money, so you can learn the game and better determine your budget.

                      Difference from other version

                      The most notable difference is the presence of only one zero on the French roulette wheel, unlike the American version which has an extra double zero (00). This subtle distinction has a significant impact on the house edge, making your odds more favorabel in French roulette. In addition, while European roulette is very similar to French roulette in design, it lacks the specific French terminology and traditional layout of the playing field that characterizes French roulette. The atmosphere of French roulette, enhanced by the language and the interaction with the croupiers, offers an experience that takes you back to the origins of the game, something you experience less strongly in the other versions.

                      With a wide selection of betting options, try your luck at every spin. From the simplicity of red or black to precise betting on specific numbers, French roulette encourages a personal and thoughtful gaming approach. Each spin reveals new opportunities, influenced by your choices. At PepperMill Casino, we offer a wide range of roulette games.

                      Which version do you prefer? Discover them now!