Best Advice to Roulettians: Play French Roulette Only

By Ben Hamill - February 25 2016
Play French Roulette

This column is for all the die-hard roulette fans out there. I know that there are many roulette fans who would like us to talk about roulette more often. There are reasons why we talk about other online casino games more than we talk about roulette. Blackjack is far more cerebral; slots are more varied in their themes and storylines; video poker requires you to make decisions; parlour games are goofy and fun.


More than anything else, roulette is slow! However, if you like to watch the virtual wheel go round and round, roulette is your game. Having committed myself to a column about roulette, I have three main pieces of advice for roulette players.

Make Sure That it Looks Good

First, find an online casino that has the most attractive graphics for roulette. Some online casinos are still in the 1990's regarding graphics for some of their games. Whereas the graphics and animation for video slots improve often because the slots are prosaic, roulette is basically the same as it was decades ago. But some casinos have tried to spruce up the wheel and the movement of chips so they look more realistic.

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Find Roulette Variations

Second, some casinos are introducing roulette with interesting side bets. Roulette is basically a game composed of side bets but if the new games have creative new bets, they may be worth playing. I've read about a new variation in which a ball landing on 0 creates a push for any even money bet. This is a great benefit to players because it takes away almost all of the house's edge.

The house still has an edge because it shaves a fraction of the fair-value payout on almost all bets except the even money bets. When a casino pays out the exact real value of a winning bet, then we might say that the house has no edge at all. Interestingly, even if the house had no statistical advantage, it would still come out ahead most of the time because most online players sit down to play expecting to lose money! Of course, you should never let yourself lose more than you can afford for entertainment.

Play French Roulette

There are three basic forms of roulette and French roulette is by far the most player-friendly. In American roulette, you have both 0 and 00 so the house's edge is 5.26%. I'm not a statistics wiz so I can't explain how they come up with that figure but I trust the stats geeks.

(No derogatory meaning towards geeks or statisticians; I've been called a geek myself on more than one occasion and I wear the moniker proudly.)

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In European roulette they take out the 00. This alone reduces the house edge to 2.70%. The bets are all the same as in American roulette except for any bets that include 00.

French Roulette Cuts the House Advantage in Half

French Roulette uses the same wheel as European roulette. It has two alternative actions that occur only when 0 comes up and only for even-money bets. These two alternative universes are mutually exclusive, as you'll see, so only one can apply to any French roulette game. They both reduce the house's edge to 1.35%. It would take a very long time to lose your bankroll if you made only even-money bets and played only French roulette!

The two alternative scenarios in French roulette are called en prison and la partage. The first is easy even for non-French speaking Canadians: "in prison". The second requires a little elementary French. It's not connected to carrying something across a body of water as my neighbors here in Florida think! It means "sharing" because the house and the player share the losing bet when 0 comes up and you've made an even-money bet.

La Partage is quite simple: you lose half your bet. En Prison means that your losing bet is kept in roulette prison for one more spin. For that spin, the most you can lose on the bet you have already lost is the amount of the bet if you lose the next spin. But if you win the next spin on that bet alone, you break even. You get your original losing bet back but the house doesn't pay you for the winning bet.

A Caveat to Roulette Fans

I love gaming online. I usually play video poker or blackjack but I make an excursion into the field of slots once in a while. I also like playing parlour games because they make me smile. Parlour games also have the highest house edge of any category of casino games and I play then anyway!

So, it's okay if you like roulette and it's also okay if you play American roulette. If I were to play roulette, I would seek out an online casino that offers French roulette and has an attractive game face.

Play in Instant Play

I know that many online gamers are reluctant to download casinos. So, by sending you on a search for the best-looking online roulette plus a casino that offers French roulette, it could seem that I am toying with your computer's hard drive and memory.

Many online casinos now allow you to play on the casino's website. It's been called the no download option. Playing roulette without needing to download it makes my advice much more doable.

Terms and Conditions

I've been doing a little research on the wording of terms and conditions at different casinos. I hope to get enough research done for an informative article next time.

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