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  French Roulette:

As with all variations of roulette (except the Russian), this game is about betting on where a ball dropped onto a spinning wheel divided into numbered compartments will be by the time the wheel stops moving. Players may bet on a single square or a group of squares. The bigger your chances of winning (i.e. the larger the group of squares you bet on), the smaller your potential returns. Sad, but true.

There are a few “cosmetic” differences that you might notice right away, if you are used to playing the American version of the game. First of all, you might notice that the numbers, as displayed on the rectangular diagram on the roulette table (not the wheel) are all red. Huh? How strange! Does this mean that betting on red or black is not an option in French Roulette? No, not at all. The wheel itself still has both red and black numbers, so you may still make this relatively safe, even money bet.

The other major difference you will notice right away is that the names for bets are in French. Do not panic. If you are playing in a casino with a largely English-speaking or international clientele, your croupier can tell you which one it is. However, you may feel embarrassed about holding up the game by asking for a translation all the time. So, here is the rundown: “pair” and “impair” bets refer to even and odd numbers respectively, manqué and passé refer to low and high numbers respectively, while p-12, m-12 and d-12 refer to the first, second and third groups of twelve numbers respectively. There are other, more complex bets whose names are also in French, such as the Voisins du Zero bet, which means any of the numbers on the same side of the wheel as the zero. If you like, try making a list of French-to-English translations early in your visit, so that you can continue to play with less hassle.

French Roulette


However, the distinguishing characteristics of French Roulette are more than just color and language. If you look closely, you will see that the French Roulette wheel is different from the American one. Actually, it is the same as the European Roulette wheel in that there is only one zero (American wheels have two). With fewer pockets, there is a smaller probability that you have bet wrong/a larger probability that you have bet correctly.

French Roulette is also well-known for its La Partage rule. This rule only applies in very special circumstances, but is still enough to further increase the odds in your favor. You get to take advantage of it when you make even money bets like pair/impair. If the ball lands on zero—which is neither odd nor even—you do not forfeit your entire bet, but at least get to keep half of it.

As with other types of roulette, strategies have been developed for French Roulette. These mainly involve the calculation of probabilities. Still, these kinds of odds are only reliable over the long-term. If you are only planning to bet on a few spins of the roulette wheel, you might get results that are extremely far off from the “expected” 50-50 ratio. For example, let’s say that you only want to sit down for five spins. It is possible that the wheel will turn up four red numbers, and only one black. However, after you leave, there may be a stretch of another four black numbers. Unlikely, but possible. However, the longer you stay, the closer you will get to the expected results of half red, half black. Here is a likely set of statistics: 39 red and 37 black out of 76 spins, 51 red and 50 black out of 100 spins. Even so, the La Partage rule does make even money bets slightly safer than in other roulette variations. If you want to sit down at the roulette wheel for a long time, playing a series of different even money bets is a good way to go.

French Roulette Table


The major “pro” of French Roulette is the favorable set of odds it presents most players, given the slightly lower number of pockets and the La Partage rule. There is also the novelty of the table design, and the French names for bets, which both make everything feel a little more stylish. All red squares on the table? Tres chic! We love it! You can also tell yourself that you are playing “real” roulette, which after all, was developed in its present form in France.

True, French Roulette is not a perfect game. However, its drawbacks are only the ones common to all variations of roulette. The first of these is the fact that you are almost totally dependent on luck. Besides as a way to practice a (very) few French words, French Roulette offers very little in the way of skill. In that, it is very much like other kinds of roulette. This is to be expected. You cannot manipulate the wheel or ball, so all the decisions you make involve what number(s) you want to bet on, and how much you want to bet.

The second is that a great deal of fun is lost when you are not playing the game in a “live” casino. A great deal of the charm of roulette—French, American or what have you—comes from the attendant paraphernalia, and the atmosphere of a casino. A croupier with flair, plus a group of friends clapping and cheering while the wheel spins are all a huge part of the roulette experience. However, certain online casinos are trying to close this gap by making more innovative graphics and sound effects. They are also taking advantage of the fact that, in the United States and some other countries, it can be difficult to find French Roulette in a brick-and-mortar casino. These establishments are well aware that they may lose money from offering a roulette variation that gives players such favorable odds. Go search for good, legitimate online casinos, and you will probably have better luck finding a French Roulette game.

  List of casinos with French Roulette:

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