Roulette: French Call Bets.There is more to roulette than the standard bets!
If you play roulette a lot, you probably know that a single-zero wheel cuts the casino’s advantage from 5.26% to 2.7%. That’s a mighty big chunk. Clearly, it always pays to choose a single-zero wheel whenever possible.
But unless you’re really a roulette maven, you may not realize that a single-zero wheel (typically called a “European” wheel) has another significant difference from an “American” double-zero wheel. Look closely. The numbers are in different positions. How this came to be is a fascinating story that I’ll tell you some other time, but the practical result is that European games traditionally allow call bets; these wagers are generally unavailable in American games. And in some cases you can use call bets to beat the casino’s edge.
What is a call bet? In a brick-and-mortar casino, it’s a bet that you verbally request and the dealer handles (similar to a place bet in craps). In an online casino, it’s simply a combination bet. Call bets come in various types. As we list them, remember that bets on combined numbers pay the same as if the single numbers have been wagered individually. Also note: these bets originated in France, so they have French names.
Voisins du Zero (Neighbors of Zero): This bet covers seventeen numbers in an arc between 22 and 25. It costs nine chips. The numbers 0-2-3 are covered with two chips, and the remaining fourteen numbers are covered with seven chips. You win fifteen chips net if the ball drops on 0-2-3, and you win nine chips net if it drops on any of your other numbers.
Tiers du Cylindre (One-Third of the Cylinder): This bet covers the twelve numbers in an arc between 27 and 33. It costs six chips and pays 2:1.
The remaining eight numbers on the wheel located in mini-arcs 1-9 and 6-17 are called appropriately “orphelins” (orphans).
Orphelins en Plein: This covers the orphans with one chip on each number. It costs eight chips and pays 7:2.
Orphelins a Cheval: This bet covers the orphans with one chip on 1, one on 17, and the remaining three chips on the other numbers (technically 17 is bet twice with a split, but the practical result is a one-chip bet) . You win thirty-one chips net if the ball drops on 1 or 17. You win thirteen chips net if the other numbers win.
Neighbor Bets: This bet covers any number and the slots to the left and the right, either three, five, seven, or nine numbers in all. In a casino you would say “25 and its neighbors,” naming whatever number is in the center of the group. The bet costs one chip for each number.
Okay… How can you use these bets to beat the casino? In brick-and-mortar operations, when a wheel is biased, you can bet favored sections of the wheel and give yourself an advantage. Ditto for situations when the dealer has a “signature” on his spin. For more info about biased wheels and dealer signatures, check out The Unofficial Guide to Casino Gambling.
Alas, there are no biased wheels or dealer signatures in online casinos. But there are still call bets on European-style games, and they can be profitable if you are lucky.
Enjoy the game!