Roulette enjoys enduring popularity among casino players, largely thanks to its straightforward rules and rich assortment of betting options. Many unconventional variations of this casino staple have emerged over the years but traditional single-zero versions like French and European Roulette remain the ultimate player favorites.
This partiality comes as no surprise since players face better odds and lower house edges at single-zero tables compared to double-zero games where the casino holds twice as big advantage.
But it gets better as some single-zero variations offer two unique rules, La Partage and En Prison, that cut the house advantage in half, further improving players’ winning chances with specific bets. Continue reading to learn more about these favorable rules and find out how they benefit roulette players.
Bets Covered by La Partage and En Prison
Before we proceed any further, we would like to point out that the two rules in question apply to certain outside bets only. La Partage and En Prison cover even-money wagers that pay at odds of 1 to 1 and lose to the green zero, which gives the house its edge in roulette.
While dozens and columns also belong to the category of outside bets, they are beyond the scope of the two favorable rules. Players can take advantage of the latter when betting on:
1Red or Black Bet
Red or Black – the bet includes either 18 red numbers or 18 black numbers and loses when the ball lands on the green zero.
2Even or Odd Bet
Even or Odd – the player bets either on numbers completely divisible by two or on numbers that are not divisible by two. The zero is neither odd nor even in roulette.
3Low or High Bet
Low or High – the wager covers either all low numbers (1 through 18) or all high numbers (19 through 36).
How the La Partage Rule Works
When available, La Partage takes effect when you bet on even-money selections and the ball settles in the zero pocket. Rather than losing your entire wager as you normally would, the dealer will collect only half of the bet and give you back the other half.
The La Partage rule essentially cuts down your losses on even-money wagers to 50% when the zero lands. Here is an illustrative example to show you how this works.
Example with the La Partage Rule
You place a $50 wager on the high selection which covers numbers 19 through 36 included
The ball ends up landing on zero, which obviously does not belong to the category of high numbers
You recoup $25 of your lost bet and the dealer collects the rest
How the En Prison Rule Works
Similarly to La Partage, En Prison is another player-friendly rule that applies to two-sided outside wagers like red/black, odd/even, and high/low. Under this rule, the player gets a second chance for a win instead of losing half of the bet when the zero is spun. The dealer places a marker on the unsuccessful wager to indicate it is ‘in prison’.
The bet remains on the layout for a second spin and gets released from the ‘imprisonment’ in the event of a win. The player practically breaks even as the dealer returns only the original wager without paying out any of the winnings. The rules regarding what happens when a second zero gets spun are largely casino-specific.
Possible ways to settle imprisoned bets after a second zero lands on the next spin
The player automatically loses the imprisoned bet.
The wager transforms into a double-imprisoned bet.
In the event of a win, the double-imprisoned bet moves one level up and transforms into a single-imprisoned bet. The player must essentially win twice in a row to release their original wager from the double-imprisonment.
In the event of a third consecutive zero, the double-imprisoned wager becomes triple-imprisoned if house rules allow. If not, it loses automatically without the option to release it on successive spins.
Impact on Players’ Expected Value
Roulette wheels contain green zero pockets for a reason and it is not to give you extra betting opportunities. The addition of the zero enables the house to retain a fixed percentage of players’ total wagers in the long term. Said percentage represents the house edge, i.e. the mathematical advantage the casino holds over its patrons.
The house edge is always grinding against roulette players regardless of what betting system they use. No strategy or betting pattern can possibly help them overcome the negative expectation inherent to this game of chance.
Online Roulette Games with La Partage and En Prison
La Partage and En Prison are not restricted solely to landbased casinos. Players looking for thinner house edges can also find these advantageous rules in some online versions of the game. However, we should note the availability of La Partage and En Prison is not immediately obvious.
Our suggestion is to navigate to the game’s rules or the info section where this information is typically to be found. Or you can spare yourself the hassles and go for the roulette variants we have handpicked for you. Some of them rely on random number generation for the outcomes, while others are hosted by human dealers in real time for a more authentic gaming experience.
Enjoy Lower House Edges in the Following Online Roulette Games:
French Roulette by NetEnt (randomly generated)
French Roulette by Play’n GO (randomly generated)
Roulette Superior by Authentic Gaming (live dealer)
Auto Roulette La Partage by Evolution Gaming (live dealer)
Live French Roulette by Playtech (live dealer)