One of the first things that a roulette player learns is the difference between the American and European roulette wheel. The American wheel has two ‘zero’ spots (0 and 00) and 36 numbered spots for a total of 38 different outcomes for every spin of the ball. The European wheel has only one zero (0) with the 36 numbered spots for 37 different outcomes. If you do the math to determine the ‘house edge’ that also means that the American wheel creates a 5.26% house edge for the casino while the European wheel’s house edge is significantly lower at 2.70%.

Depending on where you play, there are other rules specific to the European game that can work in the player’s favor. These rules aren’t easy to find but what ‘player friendly’ rules in any casino game *are* easy to find? These rules are known by their French names as ‘En Prison’ and ‘La Partage’. Like European wheels in general, they’re significantly easier to find in Europe. In fact, the ‘La Partage’ rule is offered by default at many French casinos. The ‘En Prison’ rule is a bit more difficult to find even in Europe but most experts suggest that it is the more beneficial of the two bets. Both of these rules are specific to ‘even money’ bets.


‘La Partage’ translates to ‘the divide’ in French and the reason that it is called such will be apparent when the rule is explained. Like ‘En Prison’, the ‘La Partage’ rule is in play only for even money bets. As noted above, it’s in effect by default at many French casinos. As is the case elsewhere, the outside ‘even money’ bets are very popular among European bettors. These bets are the high-low, even-odd, or red-black wagers all of which pay off at even money.

When the ‘La Partage’ rule is in effect here’s what happens–when the wheel spin comes up with a ‘zero’ (and remember that the European wheel has only one zero) the dealer immediately divides all even money bets in half, keeping half for the house and returning one half to the player. If you’re thinking that this must significantly reduce the ‘house edge’ at roulette you would be correct. In fact, it also cuts the house edge in half from 2.70% without the ‘La Partage’ rule to 1.35% with it.

Keep in mind that only the even money are half refunded under the ‘La Partage’ rules. The other bets including column, section and individual number bets are all automatic losses if the zero comes on the wheel.


The ‘En Prison’ rule is a variation on the same theme as the ‘La Partage’ bet. Even the less literate of you have probably figured out that ‘En Prison’ means ‘in prison’ in French. And like the ‘La Partage’ bet the source of that nomenclature will be readily apparent once we get to the explanation of the ‘En Prison’ bet. Like the ‘La Partage’ bet the ‘En Prison’ bet only covers even money bets. What happens is that if a zero comes on the wheel the dealer places a marker by the bet indicating that it is ‘En Prison’. On the next spin, if the player wins he gets this original bet back in its entirety. So if he bets $100 on ‘Even’, a zero comes followed by an even number he gets his $100 back. If an odd number comes with the same scenario, he loses his full bet.

In casinos where the ‘La Partage’ rule is in play by default the player can indicate that he wishes his original stake to be ‘En Prison’. Alternately, he can just accept half of his stake back under the ‘La Partage’ rule and continue play from that point.