The word "roulette" is french for "small wheel". The original roulette game was also known as "French Roulette" and it literally took over the European gambling scene in the early 18th century. Today almost all French Roulette tables around the world have been replaced by a European version of the American Roulette.
The American and the European roulette table layouts are practically the same, the main difference is that the European table has one zero position (0) and the American table has two zero positions (0, 00). The other major difference is the sequence of the numbers on the roulette wheel. They are totally different.
The French roulette too has one zero only, but the table layout is slightly different and wider (see picture of table layout below), and there are no individual coloured chips for the players, cash chips are used. Also, a stick is used by the dealer and stickman to announce the winning number, to collect the chips from the table and to pay the winners, which makes the game slower than the American version.
In the American and European roulette individual coloured chips are used for each player and after the outcome the losing chips are collected from the table by hand and the winnings are paid by hand. Play is much faster than the French roulette.
In French casinos "American Roulette" means a roulette game with double zeros (0, 00 - on the table layout and on the wheel), the same as used in the USA. The American roulette with one zero (or the European version) is referred to as English Roulette to distinguish it from the double-zero American Roulette and to emphasize that it has one zero only (as used in the UK).
However, in many countries (including the UK) the single-zero European roulette is called American Roulette to distinguish it from the French roulette table layout and for the manner the game is played. In some African countries they call it 'Roulette with French numeration on American table'.
To sum up:
- American Roulette can have a single zero or a double zero, but the manner it is played is the same for both, and play is faster than French Roulette. Apart from the zero positions, the table layout is the same. The other major difference is in the roulette wheel, the sequence of the numbers on the wheel is totally different.
- European Roulette, a term mostly used in the USA, is roulette with a single zero regardless of the table layout, could refer to either the American Roulette with a single zero or to the French Roulette as both use the same type of roulette wheel with the same sequence of numbers.
- French Roulette is known everywhere as French Roulette, has a single zero, a wide table layout and have Stickmen that handle the chips.
- American Roulette in USA casinos and in French casinos is referred to the American Roulette with double zeros (0, 00).
- American Roulette in non-US and non-French casinos (for example: in United Kingdom casinos) is referred to the American Roulette with a single zero. In some European casinos the American single zero roulette is called Fair Roulette.
- English Roulette, a term commonly used in French casinos, is referred to the American Roulette with a single zero, as used in United Kingdom casinos.
French roulette table layout
(The odds and payouts are as above)
A - 1 number, Straight up.
B - 2 numbers, Split.
C - 3 numbers with 0 and 3 Line.
D - 4 numbers with 0 and 4 Corner.
E - 6 numbers, 6 Line.
F - 12 numbers, Column.
G - 12 numbers, Dozen.
H - Manque/Passe, 1-18/19-36 (Low/High).
I - Pair/Unpair (Even/Odd).
J - Noir/Rouge (Black/Red).
Finales - A type of group bets on numbers ending with the same digit. Examples:
- Final 7 means bet on the numbers 7, 17 and 27 straight up (three chips).
- Final 2 means bet on the numbers 2, 12, 22 and 32 straight up (four chips).
- Final 2-5 means split bets on the numbers 2/5, 12/15, 22/25 and 32/35 (four chips).
The table layout on the French version of roulette is different from the American style roulette table shown above. The main difference is in the position of the side bets (outside bets). The side bets on the French table are split in two and run along both sides of the table layout. Each side bet is given its French name and sometimes also its English translation underneath.
Roulette Announced Bets or Call Bets (Used in French roulette tables and in some European casinos with single-zero wheel roulette tables. Common in most UK casinos with single-zero wheel American roulette tables.)
These bets consist of a group of numbers and there are 5 types:
Number Neighbours bet/Neighbors bet (Voisin du Nombre): 5 chips bet on a number which covers the number itself and the two numbers on either side of it on the roulette wheel.
Zero Neighbours bet (Voisins du Zero): 9 chips bet covers Zero plus seven numbers on right, and nine numbers on left, 0/2/3 + 25/26/28/29, each with 2 chips, 4/7 + 12/15 + 18/21 + 19/22 + 32/35, each with 1 chip.
A Third section of the Wheel bet (Tiers du Cylindre): 6 chips split bets cover numbers from the 33 to the 27 on the roulette wheel, 5/8 + 10/11 + 13/16 + 23/24 + 27/30 + 33/36, each with 1 chip.
Full Orphans bet (Orphelin Plein): 8 chips bet covers 0 + 6 + 9 + 14 + 17 + 20 + 31 + 34, each with 1 chip.
Orphans Split bet (Orphelin Cheval): 5 chips bet covers numbers 6/9 + 14/17 + 17/20 + 31/34, each with 1 chip split bets, and number 1 with 1 chip bet.
Roulite or Roulight table layout
Roulite or Roulight is the modern variety of Roulette. A table game that has been developed in the first instance by specialists at the Wiesbaden Casino, Wiesbaden, Germany.
The game is dynamic and very fast. Players, who like to play sectors and neighbours love it. Bets can only be placed on full numbers (staight up), on two connected numbers (split), neighbours of numbers and sections of the wheel. No outside bets.
La Boule table layout and wheel
Boule or La Boule is a simple and fast game that is similar to Roulette, popular in French casinos and can now be played online.
The game features a table and a wheel with only 9 numbers and 3 different colours. The wheel is spun and a small rubber ball bounces around the wheel before settling into one of the coloured holes to determine the outcome.
Betting will be familiar to Roulette players with the table layout providing a range of betting options. Players can place a bet on Red or Black, Odd or Even, High or Low, or on individual numbers of the wheel.
The number 5, coloured yellow, plays in a similar way to the zero (0 or 00) in normal Roulette. You can bet on it like any other individual number, but if the number 5 is spun then only the bets on 5 win and all other bets lose.
Because there are less numbers in Boule, the chances of spinning a 5 are greater than a zero being spun in normal Roulette, which makes the house edge of La Boule higher than Roulette.
If you bet on the winning number then you are paid 7:1, which is the payout for all bets on individual numbers, and 1:1 on all other bets.
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