French roulette was the original roulette game created in 1655 by Frenchman Blaise Pascal who was trying to invent a perpetual motion machine. In 1842 Francois and Lois Blanc added the green zero to the game for King Charles III of Monaco which gave the casino a 1.35% mathematical edge over the player. In the 1880’s roulette was modified further when it was introduced to the US.
French and American Roulette Differences
In their present form, there many differences between the two roulette game variations. As described below, some of the differences are very important to the outcome of the game for players while some of the differences are immaterial.
The most important difference between French and American roulette for players is the 1.35% house edge in French roulette and the less profitable 5.26% house edge on the American version resulting from different rules and a different amount of numbers which both negatively American roulette. French roulette has “La Partage” and “En Prison” rules for even money bets that allow players to take back half of their losing bets or place the entire bet on the next spin when the ball lands on the green zero. American roulette also has an additional green “00” which further increases the house edge on even money bets.
Minor differences that do not affect player odds are on the roulette wheel itself and the board language & layout.
Roulette Wheel Layout
The French roulette wheel has a different number sequence than in American roulette. In addition to different positions for numbers on the roulette wheel, in French roulette the numbers face inwards while in American roulette the numbers are supposed to face outward. The extra green 00 in placed on the opposite side of the single 0 in American roulette.
Roulette Table Layout
In French roulette there is the main table layout on which player can place chips. The outside bets on the players table are also on either side of the table in French roulette rather than on one side as in American roulette. There is also an added “race track” layout meant to be used by the croupier to place special bets for players. The language is also in French rather than English as on the American table.