I’ll begin this section by first discussing the characteristics of a great roulette game. Then, I’ll cover which of the aforementioned variations offers all of these characteristics.
The biggest division in roulette games comes down to whether the wheel has a single zero or double zero.
Here are the traits of each wheel:
Single zero – 37 numbers; single zero pocket; 2.70% house edge
Double zero – 38 numbers; single and double zero pocket; 5.26% house edge
American Roulette features the wheel with a double zero. It’s commonly available in casinos throughout North America.
European Roulette offers the wheel with a single zero. This game is typically available at gaming sites and European land-based casinos.
Given the choice, you definitely want to choose the European version when it’s available. After all, this game’s house edge is nearly half that of American Roulette.
La Partage Rule
Normally, you lose all of your money on a lost roulette bet. This situation is no different than with any other casino game.
However, certain casinos give half your money back when you place a losing even-money bet (a.k.a. la partage). Even-money wagers include high/low, odd/even, and red/black.
Here’s an example of this rule in action:
You place a $10 bet on odd (odd/even).
The ball lands on an even number.
You receive $5 back from the losing wager.
Both the American and European wheels can feature la partage. But the latter is more likely to include the la partage rule. A game that combines a European wheel and la partage is known as French Roulette.
Low House Edge
Each roulette variation features a different house advantage. You can see the main variants along with their associated house edges below:
American Roulette = 5.26% house advantage (2.63% with la partage)
European Roulette = 2.70%
French Roulette = 1.35%
Mini Roulette = 7.69% (3.85% with la partage)
French Roulette is easily the best game of the bunch. It not only stands out among roulette variations but also compares well to the highest-paying casino games.
European Roulette is the runner-up in this category. It features a 2.70% house edge, which is respectable in comparison to other games.
You definitely want to avoid American and Mini Roulette if your primary goal is to win. These games feature 5.26% and 7.69% house edges, respectively, with no la partage rule involved.
The stakes are the final consideration when choosing roulette games in Europe. After all, some casinos only offer French and/or European Roulette when extreme stakes are involved.
You always have to consider that the house holds a long-term advantage with these games. A 1.35% house edge doesn’t seem so great when you must bet $50 or more per spin.
Here’s a comparison to show how minimum bets affect your losses:
French Roulette with $50 stakes
You wager $50 on each spin for 100 rounds
100 x 50 = $5,000 in total bets
5,000 x 0.0135 = $67.50 in theoretical losses
American Roulette with $5 stakes
You bet $5 on each spin for 100 rounds.
100 x 5 = $500 in total wagers
500 x 0.0526 = $26.30 in theoretical losses
The French game offers much-friendlier odds. However, the high stakes make this version much riskier when compared to $5 American Roulette.
Assuming you’re a high roller, you may be perfectly comfortable with $50 roulette. But you should always keep the stakes in mind, especially when dealing with a smaller bankroll.
Which Countries Offer French Roulette?
Plenty of European countries offer French roulette here or there. However, your chances of finding this game improve greatly when concentrating on the right places.
Some countries are more apt to offer this game. Here’s a list of European nations where with a high concentration of French roulette tables:
Monaco (Monte Carlo)
Simply put, you want to search for the best European Roulette games in the eastern and central portions of the continent. France, Germany, and Austria are especially good locations to begin your search.
Of course, any country can offer a French game here or there. The UK, for example, has some of these games in the high stakes variety.
But again, the countries listed above are nice places to begin your search. They also improve the chances that you can enjoy French roulette at reasonable stakes.
Why Are Some European Casinos Willing to Offer the French Version?
Most casinos feature American or European Roulette due to the larger house advantage. They want to boost their winnings to cover the cost of dealer salaries, equipment (e.g. tables), and utilities.
However, European casinos are more likely to offer French Roulette than any other continent. They do so to stand out from the competition.
Consider the story of Francois and Louis Blanc for more context. The Blanc brothers opened a casino in the spa town of Bad Homburg, Germany.
At the time, Parisian casinos drew the most European gamblers. Located 585 kilometers (364 miles) from Paris, Bad Homburg casinos had little chance of truly competing with Paris.
So, Francois came up with a new roulette wheel that only included a single zero. This invention, European Roulette, drew many gamblers who wanted better odds of winning.
Today, the European wheel is all over the continent. As a result, casinos must opt for the French variation in order to stand out.
These same casinos have thinner profit margins due to the 1.35% house edge. But they can make up for the smaller margins by drawing a larger volume of gamblers.
How Can You Play French Roulette Outside of Europe?
Unfortunately, French Roulette isn’t widely available across the world. You need to live in or around one of the aforementioned countries to consistently find this game.
However, you don’t necessarily have to live in Europe just to play the French variant. Here are some other ways that you can potentially enjoy it.
Online roulette sites offer the most feasible route to playing French Roulette for the majority of gamblers. Certain online casinos offer this game at $1 stakes.
You can’t do any better than a dollar per spin when you’re on a budget. You may even decide to place multiple bets on each spin due to the low stakes.
Microgaming and RealTime Gaming (RTG) casinos both feature French Roulette. Microgaming sites are available to many European and South American gamblers.
RTG casinos, meanwhile, are available to players throughout most of the world. For example, American, Australian, Canadian, and South African gamblers enjoy RTG sites on a regular basis.
I’m not entirely sure what other developers feature French roulette. But I’m willing to bet at least one or two other providers offer this game.
High Stakes Roulette in Vegas
Las Vegas isn’t a hotbed of French or even European Roulette. However, some casinos offer the French variation at higher stakes.
For example, Aria, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, and Sands all feature French Roulette. The catch, though, is that you must place minimum bets worth $50 each.
As covered before, you stand to lose less by betting $5 on the American wheel. But you’ll find the French game worthwhile if you’re a high roller.
High Stakes in Other Countries
Las Vegas isn’t the only place to enjoy high stakes French Roulette. Plenty of other countries feature this game in their VIP area.
The idea is to reward players who bet more. Most casinos believe that gamblers who wager $100 per spin deserve better rules.
That said, plenty of other nations feature high stakes games outside of the US. You just need to be willing to risk much more money per spin.
You don’t have to visit Europe to enjoy French Roulette. Plenty of real money online casinos offer this game, and for cheap stakes.
But Europe is certainly the best place to go if you’re looking for a variety of land-based tables. Several countries on this continent offer French Roulette at reasonable stakes.
You’re not guaranteed to find this game just because you visit France or Germany, for example. However, you definitely improve your chances when going to the old continent.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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