You should now have a clear understanding of the various roulette wagers and how they are placed on the American double-zero betting layout. The American wheel and its layout refer to a wheel that has 38 different numbers. The French-style wheel only has 37 pockets (there is no 00). The payouts on the French wheel are the same for each bet type as the payouts on the American wheel (i.e. a straight-up bet pays 35 to 1). It is because of the extra pocket, while maintaining the same payout, that the American wheel’s edge increases.
You may encounter two French layout styles in the casinos. The first is the style that you will see in North American casinos with single-zero wheels. This layout looks almost identical to the American double-zero layout except there is only one green zero found at the top of the layout. Everything is labeled in English and is easy to understand. Some American casinos will offer one single-zero wheel in the high rollers’ area. Because there is no 00 present, and payoffs are still the same, the house edge is cut from 5.26 percent down to 2.7 percent. However, don’t think that the American casinos are getting soft. What they lose in house edge, they make up for by imposing much higher table minimums on their single-zero wheels. As a result, they have half the edge but on at least twice and sometimes three or four times the minimum wager. Look at Diagram 1-C for an example of the French-style layout used in North America.
The second French-style layout is used in Europe and is a bit different. The inside numbered grid is very similar to the American style. Three columns of 36 numbers alternating red and black are printed on the layout. The single zero is up at the top. Because players in Europe are permitted to sit on both sides of the table and bet, the outside wagers flank both sides of the numbered grid. In addition, you will see French terminology used in the outside betting boxes to describe which group of numbers you are staking. Diagram 1-D illustrates the French-style layout used throughout Europe. We will take a quick look at each type of bet and its corresponding French terminology. In no time, you will be placing bets like James Bond in Monte Carlo!