French Roulette Terms – Some Casino Terminology Explained

French Roulette Terms Explained

Roulette is a fantastic game to play, but to make it fun it’s important where you play it too.   I’ve played in casinos all over the world and I have to say the slightly unusual and classy ones are definitely my favorite.   But of course the outcome is equally as important, which is why I’d never really enjoy playing on an American roulette table, as we all know having two zeros on the wheels dramatically increases the house edge.  The game is definitely multinational, you’ll even see many of the original French roulette terms in most casinos.

Anything which actually increases the house advantage like an extra zero is there just to change the odds.  Which of course makes it much more unlikely that you will actually win even on an even money bet.    This is an important first check before you play on any roulette wheel, arguably more than any specific roulette rules.

Always check the number of green zero slots on a roulette wheel before you play!

  • European/French Roulette will have a Single Zero
  • American roulette wheels will have two or double zero.

That extra zero doubles the house advantage and makes it much harder for you to win.  It’s just an extra place for the ball to land that destroys all those even money outside bets. Many casinos including those in the US will have a mixture, but stay away from the double zero wheels!  They have effectively a biased wheel in favour of the casino!   It’s not a complicated game but getting some important roulette information before  you play can definitely help you win.

Roulette – a Multicultural Game for Everyone

 French Roulette Terms

I used to play roulette quite a lot in a very simple little casino in Salford in Manchester, it was a pleasant enough place but certainly no Monte Carlo or Atlantic City.

The thing I remember most about playing there was the large Chinese community who played roulette and played it extremely fast.

There seemed to be a desperate rush to place as many chips down on the table as quickly as possible, almost as if the more bets they placed the more likely they were to win.

When played like this, roulette loses some of it’s relaxing hypnotic aspect however it does make for a fun night out.  The game is something to be savoured and the experience enjoyed, if you win then that’s a huge bonus.  Although I suspect that many people in that little Salford Casino didn’t actually enjoy playing, it certainly never looked like that.


It’s like online roulette, although it can be great fun there are two fundamental problems in my eyes with the vast majority of online casinos.


  • The wheel is controlled by a computer program, I mean how can lady luck have an input into a computer algorithm.   Whether the algorithm is random or fair is besides the point, I play roulette because it’s fun and with luck I’ll win.
  • Computer controlled roulette is too quick.  This might not sound important but if you double or treble the number of spins that happen in an hour, you can easily double or treble losses that you make (ok and winnings).  The entertainment level plummets when you’re forced into this artificial (because it is) rotation of betting and spinning.  When I play these online roulette games I feel like one of those little old ladies you see practically comatose as they shovel money into the Las Vegas slots.

Quick Guide to French Roulette Terms

That’s why I like the online games that are linked to real casinos, a live roulette game which you can find with most of the major roulette companies is a much better option in my opinion.   But of course nothing beats going to a real casino with a European roulette wheel.   One problem that is not quite as obvious though is that this search will possibly end up in a European casino where often everything is  in French.   It can be quite disconcerting especially if you’ve spent time learning all the correct roulette terms to find the in a completely different language ! It’s worth finding these games though as you have better odds than in American roulette.

Most of the time it’s not really important knowing the terms, roulette is a pretty visual game and many bets are quite obvious.  If you’re in a casino never be afraid to ask for advice, croupiers are of course casino employees and are always happy to help when they have some time.

Important French Roulette Rules

The following rules won’t be found in an American roulette game, however they’re worth knowing as they’re useful for the players.  If you only spend a minute learning the French term for casino rules, make sure it’s the following two.  Both can give you a mathematical advantage over the basic games and help you join those high rollers !

En Prison Rule

If this rule is being played, if the ball lands in zero then you can leave your stake ‘in prison’ until the next spin.  If your next spin is successful then your original stake is returned.   It’s fairly common in European casinos, although not all of them.  You’ll not find it in many American casinos or online.  It effectively reduces the house edge even more and can be extremely useful if you’re trying a betting system like Martingale.

La Partage Rule

Is a variation of the en prison rule which is usually only applicable to outside even money bets – like red/black or odd/even.  If you bet on one of these are the ball lands in zero then half your stake is returned.  It again reduces the house edge so is an advantage to the player when available.

So here’s some other French Roulette Terms to help you get started.

  1. En Plein –  Simple Straight Up Bet
  2. A Cheval – Split Bet
  3. Carre – Corner Bet
  4. Sixaine – Line Bet
  5. Transversale – Street Bet
  6. Passe/Manque – High/Low
  7. Impair/Pair – Odd/Even
  8. Douzaine – Dozen Bet
  9. Colonne – Column Bet
  10. Tiers du Cylindre – Third of the wheel bet covering numbers 33 right round to 27
  11. Voisins du Zero – neighbours of zero bet covering the numbers from 22 to 25 by the zero wheel section.

Don’t worry though you soon get use to it even playing in language you don’t understand.  Don’t let yourself get confused – roulette is a simple game and pretty standard across the world.  But most of all if you find yourself in a wonderful new casino, enjoy the atmosphere, gamble sensibly and simply experience it.

How many numbers are on a roulette wheel?

There are 37 numbers on a European roulette wheel (0 to 36) and 38 numbers on an American roulette wheel (0, 00, and 1 to 36).

What does Roulette Mean?

Roulette is a casino game named after the French word meaning “little wheel”. In the game, players may choose to place bets on either a single number, various groupings of numbers, the colors red or black, whether the number is odd or even, or if the numbers are high (19–36) or low (1–18).

What Does Roulette Mean in French?

Roulette in French means “little wheel”.


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