French roulette is a classic roulette game with 37 numbers on the wheel, including one “0” pocket. Although it has much in common with the European variant, French roulette differs in that it has a special French-style table layout with bet names written in French (Orphelins, Tiers du Cylindre, etc.). A French table is easily spotted as it is much wider. Besides, it uses the La Partage rule that lowers a house edge to 1.35% on even-money bets. If the ball lands on zero, the player loses only half of his bet, provided it is an even-money bet.

Some French roulette variants have the En Prison rule, which is similar to La Partage. This review will cover the rules, bets and payouts, game variations, and a how-to-play guide to help players begin real-money gambling.

Best casinos to play French Roulette

French roulette variations

When playing French roulette online, you will encounter two main variations of the game: online and live French roulette. The former game was the first to enter the iGaming scene from various software developers like iSoftBet, NetEnt, Microgaming, and Evoplay, just to name a few. The latter, on the other hand, came as online gambling evolved, offering players a more authentic and realistic gambling experience, with suppliers like Evolution leading the charge.

Online French roulette

This version of French roulette is run by a random number generator (RNG) algorithm, which helps decide the outcomes of each game round. So, online French roulette games usually feature an automated gaming procedure where the wheel and the roulette ball act automatically. This means gameplay runs automatically and begins when you click the ‘Spin’ button to rotate the French roulette wheel and the ball, which eventually decides the round’s result. 

Some versions of online French roulette feature the provably fair software. It allows players to manually verify the fairness of roulette outcomes using online verification tools. Such titles offer French roulette lovers much-needed transparency.

Live French roulette

Some players prefer a more realistic gaming experience similar to land-based casinos, and live French roulette is the closest to that. In live versions of French Roulette, the gameplay is conducted by human dealers who rotate the wheel and spin the roulette ball (typically in the opposite direction the wheel is moving). This gambling action is usually aired through a high-quality video stream, which you load on your desktop or mobile device.

This means you can observe and engage in the gameplay in real time. On your screen interface, you can then place bets, just like in online French roulette games, with the added excitement of chatting with the dealer or other active players. While some game developers provide real-time game streams from dedicated studios, others transmit the action from actual land-based establishments.

French roulette wheel

The French roulette wheel in both live and online renditions is the same. The wheel is similar to the European model, which features 37 pockets. Of these pockets, 36 are numbers from 1-36, while the one remaining slot is a single zero (0) in green. On the wheel, half of the numbers are black, while the other half are red, appearing in alternating fashion.

French roulette table layout

As mentioned, the French roulette table layout is easily identifiable to seasoned roulette gamblers. This is because it’s much wider than the European or American roulette table. While the table grid layout in French roulette is similar to the ER variation (12 rows of three numbers in a grid, with the single zero on the left side), betting zones on the table contain French terms.

For example, odd/even wagers are labelled as Impair/Pair, or the high/low is denoted as Passe/Manque. Generally, bets in online and live French roulette are in French. In addition to this betting grid, players may find an oval-shaped betting grid known as the Racetrack in French roulette. Experienced gamblers mainly prefer racetrack bets (more on this later).

French roulette rules

Fortunately, roulette rules are universal. That means that if you know the gameplay rules of one roulette, you can employ them when playing a different version. Of course, there may be slight disparities regarding bet types, RTP, etc., when you play for real money. So, when you play French roulette online, payouts will only be made if your chosen number wins. Each bet option offers unique payouts, and there are usually betting limits for these bet types.

As mentioned in online French roulette, the game starts when you click the Spin button. In the live version, game rounds begin after a specific period, and you must place your bets within this period to join the round. French roulette games may have additional rules: La Partage and En Prison.

La Partage rule

This is one of the main differences between French roulette and the other roulette game versions. With the La Partage rule (if incorporated by the game provider), players will receive 50% of their stake back if they had an even-money bet (red/black, odd/even, or high/low), and the ball lands on the zero (0) pocket. For instance, if you have a $20 wager on any of the even-money bets and the outcome of the round is zero, you will split the amount with the house, where it receives $10, and you get half of your stake back ($10).

En Prison rule

This French roulette rule is almost similar to the La Partage rule in that it applies to even-money bets and involves half of your stake when the ball lands on the zero slot. So, with the En Prison rule, if a round’s outcome is zero, you get two options: Take half of your stake and end the round or leave your entire stake untouched or trapped (imprisoned) for the next spin, hence the ‘En Prison’ name.

You lose the round if you leave your wager for the next round and the ball doesn’t land on your selected even-money bet. However, if you win on your even-money bet in the next spin, you only get your entire stake back (without the 1:1 payout). Notably, some French roulette casinos have a ‘Second spin Zero’ rule for En Prison, where if the ball lands on zero after the second spin, your bet will be imprisoned for another spin.

Types of bets and payouts in French roulette

There are many bet options you can consider when playing French roulette online. These bets are primarily categorised into Inside, Outside, and Announced bets. As mentioned before, in live French roulette, these bets have French terms, but the French lingo shouldn’t deter you from playing. You place these bets by placing your chips on the betting grid or the racetrack (oval-shaped grid). You can refer to our Roulette Rules and Payouts page to learn how to place these bets.

Inside bets in French roulette

These bet options are found on the inner part of the betting grid and are similar in both ER and FR. Also, they offer more substantial payouts than outside bets. Here are the available options:

  • En Plein (Straight-up): A wager on any single number. It pays 35:1.
  • Cheval (Split): This is a bet on two adjoining numbers, either vertical or horizontal, offering a 17:1 payout.
  • Transversale (Street): A wager on a row of three numbers in a single horizontal line. It pays 11:1.
  • Carre (Corner): This is a bet on four numbers in a square layout. Carre bet pays 8:1.
  • Sixainne (Six Line): A bet on six numbers in two adjacent rows, paying 5:1.

Outside bets in French roulette

These wagers in French roulette are placed on the outer section of the betting layout. They offer lower payouts but higher winning odds, with even-money bets having an almost 50/50 chance of success. These are the options you can consider:

  • Colonne (Column): A wager on 12 numbers on any of the three columns on the betting layout. Put your chips on any empty square on the right side of the layout to place this bet. It pays 2:1.
  • Douzaine (Dozen): These are bets on 12 numbers in three consecutive rows. Place your chips on the sections labelled P12, M12, or D12. This bet pays 2:1.
  • Rouge-Noir (Red/Black): A bet on either red (18 numbers) or black (18 numbers) with a 1:1 payout. Place your chips on the red or black diamond-shaped icon on the table.
  • Impair-Pair (Odd/Even): A wager on the 18-even number or 18-odd numbers on the wheel. Place your bets on the sections labelled Impair or Pair. It offers even-money payouts.
  • Manque-Passe (Low/High): A bet on low numbers (1-18) or high numbers (19-36). Put your chips on the Maque or Passe sections to play this bet with a 1:1 payout.

Call or Announced bets

These bets are placed on the racetrack betting field and involve betting on multiple sections of the wheel at once. Since the racetrack is a visual representation of the wheel, you can bet on the numbers on either side (Neighbour bets, Voisine in French) of your selected number on the racetrack. You can adjust the Neighbour settings by clicking the ‘-‘ and ‘+’ buttons to decrease or increase the number of digits on either side of your number (up to 8). These are the options in this category:

  • Voisins du Zéro (Neighbours of Zero): A bet on all the numbers between 22 and 25 on the French roulette wheel. It covers 5 Cheval (Split) bets and two Carre (Corner) bets.
  • Jeu 0 (Zero): It involves an En Plein (Straight-up) bet on 26 and three Cheval bets: 0/3, 12/15, and 32/35.
  • Orphenlins a Cheval: It covers the Straight-up bet on the number’ 1′ and four Cheval bets: 6/9, 17/20, 14/17, and 31/34.
  • Tiers du Cylindre: This wager is also known as ‘A Third of the Wheel.’ This is because the bet covers 12 numbers between 27 and 33. It involves these six Cheval bets: 5/8, 10/11, 23/24, 13/16, 27/30, and 33/36.

Extra bets in French roulette

Besides the above bet options, players may find the following additional bets when playing French roulette for real money:

  • Finales en Plein: This is a bet on all numbers on the wheel that end with the same last digit. For example, a Final Six bet covers numbers 6, 16, 26, and 36, requiring four chips.
  • Jeu 7/9: With this bet, you place a Straight-up wager on numbers 19 and 27 and split bets on 7/8, 8/9, 17/18, and 28/29.
  • Finales en a Cheval: This is a bet on all the numbers that end with the last two digits of your choice. For instance, a Finales 3/4 wager will cover numbers 3, 4, 13, 14, 23, 24, 33, and 34.

Bet limits in French roulette

The bet limit ranges usually vary from one French roulette casino to another. Also, these limits may vary depending on the roulette table you’ve joined. VIP tables typically have higher minimum and maximum limits per round. Generally, when you play French roulette online, you should be able to play a round with about $0.10, $0.50, or $1. Higher-limit tables may offer minimums of $2-$10 or even more per spin. The maximum thresholds, on the other hand, could vary, but these are the common limits: $500, $1000, $2000, $5000, and $10,000.

How to play French roulette for real money

Follow the below procedure to play French roulette for real money or fun:

  1. Choose a top French roulette casino, register, and then fund your account.
  2. Launch online and live French roulette from your casino operator, depending on your preferences.
  3. Select your bet size by clicking on the appropriate chip sizes.
  4. Afterwards, choose your ideal bet (s) by placing chips on the betting grid. When you’re done, click the ‘Spin’ button. In live French roulette, you’ll have a defined period to place your bets, after which the game starts regardless of whether you’ve placed any bets.
  5. The croupier then spins the French roulette wheel and releases the ball (in online French roulette, this is automated). The round’s outcome is then determined by the ball’s position on the wheel, and respective payouts are made.

French roulette RTP and house edge

The French roulette base game offers a 97.30% RTP, which is pretty awesome as this is one of the highest RTPs among online casino games. However, if the French roulette game features the additional La Partage and En Prison rules, the game’s house edge is reduced to 1.35% from 2.70%. This means that if these additional rules are incorporated, live and online French roulette games offer a stunning 98.65% RTP. The implication is that players can enjoy more regular payouts when playing French roulette online.

Summary of French roulette

French roulette is one of the best titles you can play for real money. This is because it offers a high RTP, and it increases further with the inclusion of the En Prison and La Partage rules. Despite the French lingo in French Roulette titles, there are no new rules or conditions that change the gameplay procedure. So, seeing as this review has covered everything about the game, from rules, payouts, and how to play, you can join any table and start playing for real money. If you’d like to test and hone your skills, this page offers a free demo play version of online French roulette you can exploit.