Not all roulette games have the same house edge. The worst odds come from new ‘Triple Zero’ roulette games. American wheels have two green slots with a zero and a double-zero, tipping the odds in favour of the house. When you play French roulette, you get to spin the European (single zero) wheel – with a bonus of half of your stake returned for outside bets if the ball lands in that zero slot.
French roulette is hard to find in live casinos outside of private rooms for high rollers. Online, you will find many variations of roulette, with French rules widely available. If you can have just as much fun, and pay as little as 1.35% to the house, then seeking out a French roulette table is the choice smart gamblers make.
This page covers everything you need to get started with French roulette. The bets, advanced betting layout and game rules are covered first below. After that some gambling strategy, plus practical information on taking advantage of bonuses and comps at French roulette casinos is covered.
How do you play French roulette?
For the most part, French roulette and European roulette operate in the same way. The bets are explained in the section below.
If you are only placing ‘inside’ bets – on individual numbers or combinations of them – then the odds and game play are identical.
For players placing bets on even money shots, the French roulette wheel has a significant advantage. This covers red/black, odd/even, and high/low number bets. Any time the ball lands in the green zero, you get half of your bet on even money shots back. Some games use an alternative system, where these bets remain in place for a second spin.
This reduces the house edge for even money bets by half. Instead of 2.7% (the standard European game), you get 1.35%. Since most players combine bets on single numbers, even money chances and 2-to-1 shots, the exact house edge will vary – though is still significantly lower than for a standard game. Compare this to the 5.26% house edge for American roulette, and you will see how the right choice of table makes a big difference over time.
French roulette bets and payouts
In a live casino the roulette wheel never stops spinning. Each player receives stacks of coloured chips – and has until the croupier says ‘no more bets’ to place them on the long betting grid. Bets range from single numbers to those that cover half of the outcomes. If you prefer to bet on the numbers hitting at that point, a display will show the outcome of the 10+ most recent spins.
Here are the common roulette bets, along with the pay outs for each:
- Single Number: 35:1
- Split Between 2 Numbers: 17:1
- Split Between 4 Numbers: 8:1
- Columns (3 numbers across the grid): 11:1
- 2 Columns (2 adjacent columns): 5:1
- 12’s (3 columns at appear length ways across the grid): 2:1
- 12’s (1-12, 13-24, 25-36): 2:1
- Odd / Even, High / Low, Red / Black: 1:1
Most players develop a layout or combination of bets that they use frequently – often doubling up on the winning wagers. If you are playing French roulette online, you can simply hit the ‘repeat bet’ button.
French roulette advanced bets
There is an additional ‘Racetrack’ betting option, which is favoured by advanced/experienced players. Instead of the familiar grid, this shows the numbers in the order they appear on the wheel – laid out as an oval.
In addition to the single number bets, you can choose to bet on groups of numbers. Here are the racetrack bets:
- Neighbours of Zero: This wager covers 17 numbers. They are the single zero and the 8 numbers either side.
- Tiers du Cylindre: This bet covers 12 numbers, which are opposite to the zero on the wheel.
- Orphelins: There are 8 numbers not covered by the above bets, these are the ‘orphans’ and are covered by their own bet.
- Neighbours: This bet allows you to bet on specific small sections of the wheel, you are betting on a specific number and the two slots either side.
Can I beat French roulette with the right strategy?
There is no strategy that will beat the house edge in the long term. By choosing the French roulette table over the American or European games, you have already made the smartest selection – keeping the house edge as low as 1.35%.
If you see a ‘system’ advertised, then keep in mind that casinos welcome players using them. The only people profiting from ‘Martingale’ systems and complex variations are the people selling them. Doubling your stake after every loss works to smooth out results, though it will never overcome the house edge over time.
The best strategy for roulette is to take advantage of bonuses and comps, bet with money you can afford to lose – and get the maximum entertainment while you play. When those winning streaks come along, you can enjoy the profits and maybe even press your bets for a big windfall.
Playing French roulette online
There is no good reason to play any other roulette game at online casinos that offer you the choice. If you bet on even money chances, playing American roulette with a 5.26% house edge or European (2.7%) is simply giving money away.
As well as the software-based roulette games, online casinos offer live dealer roulette. While this does not yet offer French roulette rules, you will get to bet on a real wheel spinning at a remote studio. Live dealer roulette gives you a social experience – which you bet on using your computer or mobile device. Other online options include the entertaining 100/1 roulette, and mini-roulette wheels which are designed to work with online casino apps.
Bonuses and casino comps for French roulette players
The house edge of 1.35% is already one of the lowest available in Canadian casinos. If you want to reduce this even further, then you can take advantage of bonuses and comps. Live casinos across the country offer card-based loyalty schemes. You collect points as you gamble – and exchange them for free play at specified milestones. Your card will also get you discounts in bars, restaurants, and spas at some resorts.
Online casinos also offer bonuses. The low house edge of French roulette does work against it for meeting your play-through requirements. This game is often excluded, of else given a low ‘weighting’ towards bonus clearance. There is nothing to stop you enjoying no deposit bonuses, matched welcome bonuses and other promotions on slots or other casino games online – then hitting the French roulette tables with the profits.
Wrapping Up: When it comes to roulette, choose French
You will not always have a choice of which roulette wheel to play. Many smaller casinos have only one or two wheels, with the American game preferred for smaller stakes games. French roulette uses a single-zero European wheel, though has an important difference. Getting half of your stake back on even money bets when the ball lands in the green zero means the house edge is much lower than for the other games.
When you combine the low house edge with casino comps and bonuses, you can make your casino bankroll go a lot further than with the other roulette games. Only traditional table games such as baccarat and blackjack (with favourable rules) come close in terms of value for money.
If the regular bets are too easy, French roulette has options to bet on the ‘Racetrack’ setup. Whether you bet on your favourite numbers, or employ complex staking strategies, this is the right wheel for you!