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French Roulette

Most people know roulette as a game that comes in two main forms: American and European. Depending on where you live in the world, one of these versions of the game will dominate, with the other either very hard to find or unheard of. The online arena is a different story, with both games being widely available for players.

Some online casinos (not just the French ones) even have a third version, known as French Roulette. In many ways, this game is the same as the European game, utilizing very similar rules and the same payouts. However, depending on exactly how your particular site has implemented the game, there could also be a few changes that are beneficial to players, often making this the best option for fans of the game.

How it Works

At the start of each spin, you will have the ability to place bets anywhere on the layout, with many different bets available at different odds. French Roulette uses the single-zero layout, meaning there are 37 numbers on the wheel: 1-36, as well as a zero. You can bet on any number you like at odds of 35-1, but combination bets are available, too: betting on two numbers returns 17-1, for instance, and betting on a row of three will earn you 11-1 if one of your numbers is chosen. The easy way to understand these odds is that they always pay perfectly fair odds if the game were played with exactly 36 numbers; the extra space on the wheel is where the house gets its edge.

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French Roulette

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There are also bets that cover large portions of the wheel at once. You can bet on a dozen numbers at 2-1 odds, or take a side of odd/even or red/black for even money. These options are on the outer part of the layout, and are known as “outside” bets. If there is a table minimum, each outside bet must be for at least this amount; by contrast, the “inside” bets can be smaller, as long as your total bet at least adds up to the table minimum.

The French version of the table often comes with some expanded layout options, which are known as the French bets. These traditional wagers have no special advantages or drawbacks, but they add some flavor and allow you to cover certain segments of the wheel. For instance, the “Jeu 0” (or “Zero Game”) covers the zero and the numbers near it. Some Internet games allow you to make these bets, but they really shine at fancy live resorts, where you can show off your roulette knowledge by placing them!

One other rule that may be implemented in some of these games (as well as in some European games) is the En Prison rule. Under this rule, if you make an even money bet and the spin results in a zero, you do not instantly lose your bet. Instead, it is imprisoned, and if the next spin results in a win for you, you will have the bet returned to you.

A similar rule is known as La Partage. This simplifies the imprisonment system, but has basically the same results in the long term. Under La Partage, if you make an even money bet and a zero is spun, you will only lose half of your bet, and the other half will be returned to you.

Is There A Strategy?

While roulette is not generally a game of strategy, there are a few ways to minimize the house edge if the La Partage or En Prison rules are in effect. The best way to play these games is to make even money bets, where you will benefit from the protection these variants offer. If these rules are in play, then the house edge is only 1.35% on these bets.

Even if you can’t have some of your losses imprisoned, though, the single-zero format is still the superior version for players. All bets on a wheel with just one 0 have a house edge of 2.70%, compared to well over 5% in double-zero games.

Change It Up

French Roulette is a great way to play a classic game and make it a little more interesting without making any major changes. Just the presence of a more classical looking table and a few fancy bets really brings back some of the game’s mystique, and if the optional rules are in effect, that only makes it better for players. Since there are no drawbacks to speak of, this is usually the best version to play if you want to take a shot at hitting your numbers on the wheel.

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