French Roulette has an interesting backstory.
Roulette is one of the most popular casino games in existence. At present, there are many variations of the game. Each type of the game offers a unique kind of entertainment. But there are a lot of questions surrounding the history of the game. When was the game created? More importantly, which type of roulette was invented first?
According to historians, the home country of the game of roulette is France. Many also believe that the modern-day wheel used in the game was first invented by French scientist Blaise Pascal. However, whether or not Pascal actually invented the wheel used in the game is unknown.
What we know for sure is that, in 1842, French brothers Louis and François Blanc improved the game by adding a zero section on the wheel. This tremendously increased the house edge of the game, making it a lucrative option for gambling operators all over the world. Not long after that, casinos all over the world made the game popular. Even though the game underwent various changes, depending on where it was introduced, its original version did not lose popularity and, before long, it became known as French Roulette.
Many people wrongly assume that French and European Roulette are one and the same game, but the situation is not such. It is true that both the European and French versions utilize a single-zero wheel. Apart from that, these are two different games.
To begin with, the layout of the French table is slightly different than the layout of the American and European tables. The position of the wheel in the French table is in the center. On top of that, there are no colored numbers on the board. However, the numbers still count as either black or white.
French Roulette does not only look different than other types of roulette—but it also includes two rules that are absent in all other forms of the game. There will be more about those in the next section.
French Roulette offers two unique rules, which differentiate it from other types of Roulette. The first rule is the “En Prison” rule, which is available when players make even-money bets. Essentially, “En Prison” imprisons a gambler’s wager for another spin whenever the ball lands on a zero section, but it also allows the player to retrieve half of the original bet, instead of leaving it on the table.
The second rule in the French game is “La Partage” rule, which allows the player to retrieve half of their even-money bet when the ball lands on the zero section.
French vs. American Roulette
As mentioned, French Roulette is unlike other variations of the game. The French version has a unique table layout. Apart from that, the game also boasts a lower house edge than American Roulette. Should we speak in figures, French Roulette allows call bets and has a house edge of 1.35%. The American counterpart of the game has a house edge of 5.26%.
Some of the differences between American and European Roulette include the wheel layout. First of all, the wheel used in the French game has a single zero. The wheel in the American version has an additional zero section. What is more, the distribution of the numbers positioned on the two wheels is different.
Last, but not least, the outside betting field on the table of the French version differs from that of the American version. In the American version, the variations of the outside betting options are usually placed on the left side of the table. In the French table, each outside bet has its own separate section. The name of each bet is given in French, but a translation in English is usually provided below the French name.
Taking the aforementioned into account, we can conclude that French Roulette is a preferred alternative over its American and European counterparts. This is primarily because of its lower house edge compared to the two other variations.
Having said that, finding a land-based casino offering French Roulette outside of Europe is not the easiest of tasks, which makes the game less popular among gaming enthusiasts.