What Is The Difference Between French Roulette And American Roulette?

A top-down shot of a French Roulette wheel.

During the early 20th century, even live casinos were far from common. At that time, the most famous roulette venues were Monte Carlo in Europe and Las Vegas in the United States. However, from the 1970s onwards, the game became more popular and accessible, leading to the gradual spread of live roulette casino all over the world. However, the emergence of the game as a truly widespread favourite had to wait for the arrival of the global Internet. With the appearance of the first online gambling game casino in 1996, all kinds of Internet gambling, especially roulette games, took on a whole new dimension.

As with the introduction of any new technology, online casinos have had a strong impact on the way people participate in online roulette and other games. Now, it has been possible to play on demand at any time, as players no longer have to travel to the venues and adhere to their opening hours, dress codes, etc. The digital age has also introduced some other new variants of the traditional game, such as roulette, pinball roulette, multi wheel roulette, etc.

But with advances in technology, it is now possible to play roulette games with live dealer VR technology, allowing you to enjoy one of casino "s most popular and glamorous games in a virtual environment that mirrors and imitates some of the elegance of the game's illustrious origins in land-based casinos.

Two great roulette variants

Throughout the long history of roulette, it has been played in a variety of different formats and is subject to a number of different rules and strategies. There are two major versions of roulette that avid gamblers are sure to encounter - French roulette and American roulette. Although each of these variants has much in common, especially for those who take only the initial appearance and similarities at face value, there are also some important differences between the two games. And it is these that have had a significant impact over time on the development of each roulette version. Understanding how these differences can affect game outcomes is an important topic for anyone who wants to progress as a player.

A dealer laying out casino chips on a Roulette table.

French roulette wheel

The French roulette wheel layout of the numbers 1-36 plus a single zero pocket is the more popular version. Clockwise, the numbers move in the following order:

0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25, 17, 34, 6, 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10,

5, 24, 16, 33, 1, 20, 14, 31, 9, 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26

The order of these roulette wheel numbers is not directly related to their arithmetic value. This order has been carefully worked out to insert elements of balance into the structure of the game. Numerically, it can be difficult to get a sense of pattern when looking at the layout, which can make it difficult to think of a particular "sector" when placing a bet.

But on closer inspection some characteristics become clear:

The design and layout of the wheel numbers are therefore anything but random and give a clear visual impression of balance and fairness, which contributes to the attractiveness of the game.

American Roulette Wheel

The American roulette wheel has a layout of the numbers 1-36, plus a single zero pocket and a double zero pocket. In addition, the numbers "0" are arranged according to a slightly different pattern, which looks clockwise as follows:

0, 28, 9, 26, 30, 11, 7, 20, 32, 17, 5, 22, 34, 15, 3, 24, 36, 13, 1,

00, 27, 10, 25, 29, 12, 8, 19, 31, 18, 6, 21, 33, 16, 4, 23, 35, 14, 2

This alternate sequence has slightly less visual balance, as both high and low numbers, as well as odd and even numbers, are more likely to occur on adjacent pockets.

Casino chips laid out besides a Roulette wheel.

Roulette table arrangement

Unlike roulette wheel layouts, which can have an impact on how the two versions of the game are played, the layout of the roulette table is more or less standard for each version of the game. Any differences that occur, such as the use of the French language for the betting names on the French wheel, can be considered neutral in terms of their ability to influence the results of the roulette game.

Roulette wheel layouts affect the chances of playing

A French roulette wheel consists of 37 pockets: the number sequence 1-36 plus only one zero pocket. In contrast, the American roulette wheel is numbered 1-36 with two further pockets - a single zero pocket plus another zero double pocket. This means that the house advantage in French roulette is only 2.7%, while the house advantage in American roulette is much greater 5.26%.

In terms of an RTP return-to-player average, this means that a player using a French roulette wheel can expect to win back 97.3% of the total bet. However, on an American roulette wheel, a player's RTP average drops to only 94.74% - a significant disadvantage that would convince many players to opt for a French roulette game whenever there is a choice between these two versions.

A close-up of the single zero on an American Roulette wheel.

The Roulette Zero

Another difference players may encounter in French roulette is the different practice when a zero number appears on the wheel. In some casinos, all bets are declared "en prison," i.e. frozen if their outcome"4" is decided by a new spin. Elsewhere, what happens to the bets "4" "5" is decided by ""1" "2"." Here, players can keep half of their frozen bet while the other half goes to the casino.

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