When you hit the Live Casino at Unibet, players of any game will be given plenty of choice. In terms of roulette, there are no fewer than 18 different options and while Lightning Roulette, First Person Roulette and Double Roulette have all added a modern day twist, everything revolves around three key versions of the game.
American, European and French Roulette are the classic variants and in this guide, we’re going to take you through the French version of online Roulette. While the wheel and betting surface may look familiar, there are some intriguing twists to the rules that make French Roulette truly unique. Make sure to also check out our guide on how to play Roulette.
Spin that Wheel
The French Roulette wheel consists of 37 different pockets. Numbers 1 through to 36 are alternately coloured red and black while there is single zero (0) marked in green. This format is identical to the European version so, if you’ve played European Roulette before, you’ll have a head start.
American Roulette differs from the other two as it has a second green pocket which is the double zero (00). This has the effect of increasing the house edge very slightly so, for a marginally better chance of winning, you should be engaged with either the French of European versions.
How to Bet
If you’ve played any form of roulette then you will already know how to bet at the French version. If there are any gaps in your knowledge, please read our guides how to play live casino which cover the basic rules and remember, you can play demo versions of all our casino games while you’re getting used to the gameplay.
Back to the bets: Essentially, these are identical to the European variant although you may see them described in the French language. Therefore rouge = red and noir = black. A manque bet relates to numbers 1 - 18 while passe is for the following set of numbers 19 - 36.
Like other versions of the game, players can also bet on extra number combinations, they can stake on odd or even, low or high and, of course, single numbers. This is very basic and anyone with a knowledge of roulette will be comfortable with the bets available in the French version.
From this point, however, the unique nature of the game is about to make itself known.
Making Things Special
At the start of this preview we mentioned certain rules that make French Roulette a unique version of the game. We’re talking about the quirks known as La Partage and En Prison so what, exactly, do they mean?
We’ll start with En Prison, simply because it’s easier to translate into English. The literal meaning states that you are In Prison and in French Roulette, the rule can come into play when the ball lands in the zero pocket and leads to a losing bet. Your initial bet would have been one of the ‘either / or’ options so we’re talking red or black, high or low and odd or even.
When this scenario occurs, the croupier provides you with the option to receive half or your stake back as a form of compensation or, you can let it ride until the next spin. The chips will be marked as En Prison as the ball travels around the wheel.
The La Partage rule is similar except, in this instance, there is no option to let your bet stay on the table. La Partage translates as ‘sharing’ and half of the losing stake is returned automatically.
As you will have deduced, these two rules are mutually exclusive and they can’t both be in play at the same time. Therefore, you should check to see if your online roulette game is employing La Partage or En Prison. Both are useful rule changes that have the effect of reducing that house edge even further and while we’re only talking in terms of small percentages, that’s enough to see many experienced roulette players head to the French version.
Forming a Roulette Strategy
We should reiterate at this point that all versions of roulette are games of chance. In the French version, there are 37 pockets and all of our games are equipped with a Random Number Generator (RGN). This means that all results are random and no-one can be certain as to where the ball will land on each spin.
Players can, however, look at various strategies that exist that have the potential to turn the odds in your favour. Some are based on mathematical probability while others are simply designed to reduce exposure.
Practise makes Perfect
Before taking to the wheel with real stakes, we suggest taking some demo spins to begin with. All of our roulette games can be played for free and while you won’t log off with a real money boost to your bankroll, this is a perfect way to understand gameplay, particularly between the three main versions of the game.
Practise with a range of notional bets and keep on spinning until you are happy with your own approach. At this point, it’s time for things to get real.
Reducing the Risk
The chances of winning after betting on a single number are 37/1. It’s a big and brave punt and while history shows us some stunning wins, both online and in the physical world, these are very much the exception rather than the rule.
Therefore, when you’re starting out, we recommend those either / or bets. Start with small stakes and take red or black, odd or even or high or low. It may not be the most exciting way to play roulette and the odds are lower but so is the risk. Many experienced players continue to bet ‘Red or Black’ and as a newbie, this can be an ideal way to get started.
Do the Maths - Martingale
We’ve touched on the subject of mathematical probability and this is evident in a strategy known as the Martingale System. Occasionally referred to as the Hawks Method, this is applied to one of those either / or options and for the purpose of this example, we’re going to be focussing on red or black.
Let’s say we’re betting on red and we stake £1.00. On the very first spin, red drops in and we collect so it’s all gone well so far. However, if the ball lands in black then we simply take the loss, regroup and double our stake to £2.00.
The process is repeated and the theory is, that eventually red will land and we recover all our stakes whilst taking that initial profit. Mathematics tends to back this up but there are some issues with the Martingale System.
Firstly, it should be remembered that bets such as red or black and odd or even are not quite 50/50 bets. We have that single zero that comes into play which brings down the percentage so it’s not an exact ‘either / or’ call.
Secondly, while the concept may be infinite, your bankroll isn’t. Let’s say that you have £500 to play with and you start with a seemingly modest £1.00 stake. Under the Martingale System, it would take nine incorrect bets before that entire sum is wiped out
Now that may seem unlikely but streaks such as this are not entirely out of the question. Players should also be aware of any maximum stake that could clear that bankroll even sooner.
As a final word of warning - and there have already been a few of those - do not attempt to play the Martingale System at a bricks and mortar casino. It’s not a practise that will be welcomed and you will be quickly asked to leave.
So, is there a truly successful system that can be applied to French Roulette? The short answer to that question is no. Essentially, this is a game of chance and while we’ve seen one system that has the potential to turn the odds in your favour, we’ve also learned that this isn’t completely foolproof.
Players may also want to check out the Paroli Method. This is similar to Martingale in the sense that players are also doubling their stakes but these are looking for a winning, rather than a losing streak.
In addition, there is another twist on the Martingale which is known as Gun and Run. In this system, players will still double stakes but, if there is a run of two losses, the advice is to sit out two games.
The idea behind Gun and Run is to avoid those losing streaks that can wipe out your bankroll after 6 to 8 spins but as you should be able to deduce, this isn’t foolproof either.
The best approach to French Roulette is to accept that it is a game of chance. Bet responsibly and within your limits and simply look to enjoy it. Keep our guide handy so that you can refer back and check on any rule points if necessary but by now, you should have all the information you need to head online and take on Unibet’s French Roulette options.