Throughout the years, the game of roulette has undergone certain changes, ultimately resulting in three variations: French, European and American roulette. The first two have the same layout of 37 numbers on the wheel (0 to 36), while the third variant has 38 slots on the wheel (0 to 36 and a slot with 00).

Considering the fact that the game’s house edge basically determines the player’s benefit from it, you should know that American roulette has a house edge of 5.26%, while the edge on the European wheel is nearly half – 2.70%.

French Roulette – Main Features

There are two main distinctions between European and French roulette, despite the fact that they have the same wheel structure. Namely, in French roulette, the table layout is in French with a few distinctive bet positions.

The second feature which makes French roulette distinct from the European variant is a specific set of rules. ‘La Partage’ and ‘En Prison’ are the two most famous and beneficial among them, originally named in French to mean ‘to divide’ and ‘to imprison’, respectively. What makes them really special is their effect on the house edge, which is why they have been present from the early days of roulette to today’s online live casino platforms.

‘La Partage’ & ‘En Prison’ – To Divide or To Imprison?

Both the ‘La Partage’ and the ‘En Prison’ rule apply solely to even money bets – these are bets with a fifty-fifty chance like red-black or odds-evens. Occasional players tend to avoid these due to low payouts, but any experienced  high stakes roulette enthusiast knows their real worth, which makes these two rules all the more desirable.

The ‘La Partage’ rule in French roulette is quite straightforward – if you place an even-money bet on this type of game and the ball ends up in the slot marked by 0, your stake is divided in half. One half goes to the house, while the other half is returned to the player. Due to this specific outcome, the rule practically reduces the house edge by an exact half – instead of 2.70% in regular European and French roulette wheels, the ‘La Partage’ rule turns it into 1.35%.

The ‘En Prison’ rule, on the other hand, is seen as a variation of the ‘La Partage’, mainly because it has the same effect on the house edge, but achieves it with a different tactics. When a roulette game has this rule, the dealer puts a marker on top of all even money bets – practically imprisons them. The rule implies that if the ball lands on the slot marked with 0, your whole bet amount is left for the next spin. Should the next spin result in your favor, the stake is released and returned to you in full; otherwise, it is imprisoned by the house.

Consequently, the French roulette variation offers the lowest house edge and the greatest winning opportunity for its players. ‘En Prison’ is extremely rare, but with a little gambler’s luck, you could find a reputable live casino ‘La Partage’ roulette wheel.