French American & European Roulette
No matter how long you may have been frequenting online and/or off-line casinos, the chances are high that you may not be aware of the finer differences between the French, European and American roulette. Well, it’s difficult understand these differences without throwing light on the roulette wheels first.
There are no more than two basic types of roulette wheels – the European wheel and the American wheel. The primary differences between the two are:
- American roulette wheel features two zeroes in the form of ‘0’ and ‘00’. European roulette wheel on the other hand has just one ‘0’ on it.
- Both these wheels have different layouts and the numbers on them are placed in different positions.
Owing to the extra zero in the American roulette wheel, its house advantage increases to 5.3%, while in European wheel, the house advantage is just 2.7%.
Differences based on the roulette rules
This is where the actual differences between the American, French and European roulette come into the picture. Contrary to the popular perception, the rules of roulette don’t have anything to do with the table or the wheel. Both of them are just physical objects. Rules are something which are intangible in nature and aren’t connected to them at all.
Essentially, there are only two conventional roulette rules that are followed throughout the world: French rules and the American rules. It can’t be denied that people play on the European roulette wheels too, but there’s nothing like separate European roulette rules. Hence, you can’t have a unique European roulette game.
As per American roulette rules, the differentiating factor is the ‘0’ or ‘00’ on the table. Whenever the ball falls into the ‘0’ or ‘00’ slot, all outside bets placed on the table, including the low, high, black, red, even and odd bets, get lost entirely.
In case of French roulette (which is usually played on the European wheel), whenever the ball falls into the ‘0’ slot, all outside bets (same as the ones mentioned above) don’t get lost entirely. Rather, either of the following two rules become applicable:
En Prison Rule – En Prison is the French for ‘In Jail.’ So, whenever the ball lands in the ‘0’ slot, your money doesn’t get lost, but your bet temporarily stays ‘in jail’. Your bet remains on the same outside bet (as the last spin) for the next one. In case you get a ‘0’ again, you lose your bet. Else, you take your winnings or losses as normal.
La Partage Rule – La Partage is the French for splitting. As per this rule, you lose half of your bet upon the ball landing in the ‘0’ slot. The remaining half is handed back to you and you’re free to bet with it in the next spin however you like.
Regardless of the rule in effect, both La Partage and En Prison rule are for the player’s benefit.
Please keep in mind that there can be all sorts of possibilities with regard to the roulette wheels and the rules in play. You can have an American wheel on a French table and play with American rules, or have a European wheel on an American table, and use the French rules to play roulette!