A roulette table can be a busy and frenetic place, especially in the closing seconds before the wall is released and ‘no more bets’ is called.
For anyone wanting to place a simply bet on red or a few straight ups this doesn’t cause much concern, as they have plenty of time to accurately place their handful of chips.
There are a few bet types though that include a lot of numbers covered in a few different ways, and these are often known as the French bets since they have French names, but they might also be called racetrack bets.
However, the story behind call bets and announced bets is not quite a simple as that, because they are actually two different things.
Although the terms are used interchangeably by most people these days, purists will want to know how to use them correctly.
The Difference Between Call Bets and Announced Bets
If you talk about call bets or announced bets in a casino today, then the chances are people will assume you are referring to the French bets mentioned above.
However, if we are being picky a call bet is not the same thing as an announced bet, although they do both serve a very similar purpose.
The idea behind them is that the player tells the croupier which bets they want to place rather than actually putting chips down.
The difference between the two is as follows:
- Call Bet – This is essentially a bet on credit. So the player can call any bet they want, even if it’s a really simple one, and the casino is putting up the money. The player then either wins or owes the casino money if they lose. This is very rarely allowed in the Western world anymore, and is illegal in the UK, but nevertheless that’s what a call bet is.
- Announced Bet – This is where the player tells the croupier what bet they want to place, but has to immediately put the money down on the table to cover the cost of the bet. They don’t need chips, but if they have chips they don’t have to place them on the board, but they do need to be visible.
Announced bets were so commonly used for more complex bets like Voisins du Zero and Orphelins (the French bets), that the term ‘announced bet’ eventually became short hand for them. The misunderstanding between ‘announced’ and ‘call’ bets meant that the same is now true of the term ‘call bets’.
In fact, call bets is arguably much more widely used when describing these French bets, probably because it is easier to say. We even use the term elsewhere on this site.
If you want to learn more about the French Bets, we have a full article on them and the Racetrack here.
How to Make Call or Announced Bets
If you wanted to place a large bet like this in a real casino, it’s simply a case of keeping your money or chips in sight and to hand, then informing the dealer in good time.
The dealer needs to hear you make the call and confirm that the bet has been accepted, so if you try this and don’t get a clear confirmation then make sure you speak up and tell the dealer again.
The dealer will know which numbers are included in this bet and will remember that you have placed it, but won’t place any chips on the table for you.
Once the wheel has been spun and the ball has settled in one of the pockets, the winning number will be marked as normal and if your bet is a winner you will be paid out the winning amount.
Note though that you won’t get the winnings plus stake, since you didn’t have any chips on the table. So for simplicity, if you won a straight up bet paying 36:1, you would get 36 chips rather than 37.
Of course, if you have placed something like a Voisins du Zero bet then the outlay is 9 chips, so you would have to take the cost of these other bets into account as well – they would eat into your winnings.
If you lose, you have to hand over the money or chips to cover the cost of the bet you made and lost.
Can You Make Call or Announced Bets Online?
Some online roulette variations do include a racetrack and allow these bets to be placed with a single click of your mouse, with the betting positions then auto-populated to save time. Obviously though, it’s not possible in the traditional sense as there is no dealer and an online game can’t hear you.
If you are playing a game that does not have this feature, you can also place the bet manually and then use the ‘re-bet’ button to save you having to do it chip by chip every time.
Do All Casinos Allow Call or Announced Bets?
In a real casino, it’s probably best to check with the dealer first.
If you find a French roulette table then it will almost certainly be possible, but if you are playing European roulette then it’s anyone’s guess, although there is a higher probability on high stakes tables.
Every casino – and to some degree every roulette table in every casino – is different, so to save arguments it’s best not to go charging in.
Can You Place a Call or Announced Bet on American Roulette?
Not traditionally. American roulette has that sneaky extra slot, the double zero, which messes the whole thing up, so you can’t call or announce bets with this variation in the typical way. That’s not to say you won’t find American roulette tables with a racetrack though.