French Roulette is the oldest form of the game; you probably know that the name is actually French for “Little Wheel”. From there, it spread to the rest of Europe and then to America when colonisers landed in the New World.
The European and American games were modified, and are simpler than the French original. The wagers and rules that are specific to French Roulette make it the most intriguing format for many players. Learn more about these bets and regulations here.
American Roulette, which spread via players travelling the Mississippi River, is the version with the steepest house edge, because of the 00 panel on the wheel. There are fewer wagering options too, since the Call Bets seen in French and European Roulette are not included.
The Call Bets are so named because they have to placed as they are announced, or called out. Players put their chips on each of the numbers involved in the specific bet, to cover he entire wager. Your Call Bet options are:
- Voisins du Zero: You predict that the ball will land in either of the panels that surround the 0.
- Tiers du Cylindre: You predict that the ball will hit any of the 12 numbers that are positioned opposite the 0 on the wheel.
- Orphelins: You bet that the ball will land on any of the numbers that are not involved in Tiers du Cylindre or Voisins du Zero wagers.
- Neighbours: You predict that the ball will either hit a specific panel, which you name, or will hit one of that panel’s neighbours.
- Jeu Zero: You put money on the ball landing on 0 or on any of the segments that are closest to it; namely 15, 32, 26, 3, 35 or 12.
- Finale: You bet that the ball will land on a segment that ends with a particular number. For example, with Finale 2 you’ll be betting on the panels numbered 2, 12, 22 and 32.
En Prison and La Partage Rule
The En Prison (In Prison) and La Partage (Sharing) rules are specific to French Roulette; they aren’t featured in the European or the American formats. They make the game a lot more favourable to players, which is especially helpful for beginners. That’s why most experts suggest novices start with French roulette before progressing to the European and then finally the American version.
Either of the rules can be evoked when you lose an even-money Outside Bet, and each of them gives you a second chance. In En Prison, your money stays on the table (so it’s imprisoned as the rule’s name suggests) until the next spin. If you win on the second spin your full wager is returned to you.
On the other hand, La Partage shares out your stake. If you lose you can claim half of your bet back, without any further spins. While safer than En Prison because you’re guaranteed to get at least some of your funds back, it’s also less potentially rewarding. Everyone needs to weigh the risks and decide what to do when they play.