French Roulette: Quick guide to playing

French Roulette Guide

Although this variation of a casino favourite is one of the oldest forms, it has often fallen behind the European and American variations. But the popularity of French roulette is growing, and more Canadian online casinos are offering it than ever before.

We thought it was only right that then offered up a user friendly guide on the topic, to demystify the game for newcomers and help veteran roulette players discover a new favourite.

Our guide includes:

  • The basics on how to play French Roulette
  • Types of bets available
  • Explanation of unique rules
  • A brief history of the game

As well as our most frequently asked questions answered, so that you can spend as much time as possible playing your newly found favourite game.


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How to play French Roulette

The basics of French Roulette will be familiar to anyone who has played any variant of the game, either online or offline. There is a wheel with the slots containing numbers 1-36, half of them red and half black, and 0 (there is no double zero, which makes French Roulette different to American Roulette), which is spun in one direction. A ball is spun in the opposite direction, bets are placed on where it will land, and players win or lose depending on which of the 37 slots the ball lands in.

The felt on which the players place their bets is entirely green, unlike some other variants of roulette where it is colour-coded to match the numbers on the wheel. However this does not mean online roulette players cannot use the same 'red or black' bet as in other versions of the game.

Types of bets

There are many available bets in French Roulette, as detailed below:

  • 'Straight Up': Bet on a single number and if you win you get a payout of 35:1
  • 'Split': A bet on two adjacent numbers (17:1)
  • 'Street': three numbers all in a row (11:1)
  • 'Corner bet': four numbers on a corner (8:1)
  • 'Six-line': six numbers (5:1)
  • 'Column': a sequence of 12 numbers, either 1,4,7,10,13,etc., 2,5,8,11,14,etc. or 3,6,9,12,15,18,etc. This pays out 2:1
  • 'Dozen': A specific set of 12 numbers, either1-12, 13-24 or 25-36. Like the 'column' bet, this pays out 2:1
  • 'Even-money bet': 'Red or Black', 'Odd or even', or 'Low (1-18) or High (19-36). This pays out 1:1, or 'even-money'.

'En Prison' and 'La Partage'

French Roulette en prison

French Roulette has two unique rules which make it distinct from other variants, and the first of these is known as 'La Partage'. This rule offers players insurance whereby if they make an even-money bet and the ball lands on zero, they only lose half of the amount staked.

The second unique French Roulette rule is called 'En Prison'. This also relates to the ball landing on zero after an even-money bet. However instead of forfeiting half the bet, players can leave the bet 'in prison' and try yo effectively win it back on the next spin of the roulette wheel. The 'En Prison' rule is popular with players who have a lot of gamble in them.

History of French Roulette

As the name suggests, French Roulette originated in France, the country commonly regarded as the home of the game. Even the word 'roulette' is French, meaning 'little wheel', and some suggest the first version of a roulette wheel can be traced back to the 17th century mathematician Blaise Pascal.

However the game in its current form seems to have its origins in the late 18th century, with reports of its use in Paris' Palais Royal. Like its American equivalent, French Roulette started out with zero and double zero, however this was removed some time during the 19th century. The online version of French Roulette has always been played with a single zero.

Availability online vs offline

At brick and mortar casinos in Canada, American Roulette is the most popular, and in many cases the only version of roulette available. Due to the presence of the double zero, this game provides more of an edge for the house and is naturally more popular with the casinos.

However players need not worry, as French Roulette is readily available on a whole host of Canadian online and mobile casino sites. Other variants are also available, but French Roulette offers elements not found elsewhere, often bringing a greater return on investment and helping you get more play for your money.

FAQ About French Roulette

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