European and French roulette are very similar games. Sure the table layouts look very different but for the most part odds and payouts applying to possible bets are the same despite the names given to those bets, as indicated in the below table.
|Chip Covers||French roulette Bet name (European roulette bet name)||Payout|
|1 number||Plein (Straight Up)||35 to 1|
|2 numbers||Cheval (Split Bet)||17 to 1|
|3 numbers||Transversale Pleine (Street Bet)||11 to 1|
|4 numbers||Carré (Corner Bet) or Transversale de Quatre (Four Bet)||8 to 1|
|6 numbers||Transversale Simple (Line Bet)||5 to 1|
|12 numbers||Douzaine (Dozen Bet) or Colonne (Column Bet)||2 to 1|
|18 numbers||Rouge/Noir (Red/Black), Pair/Impair (Even/Odd), Manque/Passe (Low/High)||1 to 1|
The wheels used are identical. In fact, one thing you may notice switching between tables (European to French and vice versa) at casinos offering these games is that in some cases the same dealer is conducting the game. Only the (virtual) table top is altered.
But before you starting thinking the differences are cosmetic only, there is one very important difference to be aware of.
The La Partage rule
The rule of La Partage dictates that you lose only half of your bet, not all of it, if you place even money (outside) bets and the ball lands on zero. It is a rule of French roulette and it is applied to live French roulette games offered by Playtech and Evolution Gaming.
Bet $50 on Red/Black or Even/Odd or 1-18/19-36 playing live European roulette and you lose the lot if the ball lands on zero.
Bet $50 on Rouge/Noir or Pair/Impair or Manque/Passe playing live French roulette and you lose only $25 if the ball lands on zero.
Below we see the outcome of a losing $5 bet on Rouge, with a zero result, during a game at BetFred. YOU WIN! $2.50 can of course also be seen as YOU LOOSE! $2.50 (casinos do prefer to adopt a glass half full take on most outcomes), but it does illustrate the fact that in this scenario you only lose half your bet.
The implications of this are pretty obvious. If outside, even money bets are your preference when playing live roulette then your theoretical returns will be better playing French rather than European tables. Those of you swearing by Martingale systems based on even money bets take note! This should be your preferred option. Not that I suggest you place reliance on any kind of Martingale system mind you.
If inside or Announce bets are your thing then it doesn’t really matter which form of the game you choose.
The en Prison rule
The en Prison rule is worth a mention because it is applied in some games of European roulette and is similar in a way to La Partage.
It is not applied to live European roulette from Playtech, Evolution Gaming or as far as I’m aware (please correct if wrong) any of the other platforms on this site.
For interests sake, this rule allows a losing even money bet (with outcome of zero) to be recovered on the subsequent spin. The bet remains on the table ‘en prison’ and if the next spin wins the bet is recovered. Different casinos offer different rules on what happens where the ‘en prison’ spin results in another zero.