In this post, I’ll explain ‘la partage’ and ‘en prison’.
La Partage and En Prison apply only to even money bets in roulette. For those who aren’t familiar with the phrase ‘even money bet’, an ‘even money bet is any bet that pays $1 for every $1 bet. Anything other than 1 to 1 is not an even money bet. For example, red and black are even money bets because if you bet $100 on black, and the result is black, you will win $100. Another even money bet is the odd or even bet.
With la partage rules, if the better makes an even money bet, and either 0 or double 0 is the result of the spin, the player will receive half his wager back. The player does NOT win half his bet; rather, he only receives half his bet back. While this sounds adverse, it’s far better than standard American roulette, where the player loses his ENTIRE bet if the result is 0 or 00.
The house edge on a double zero roulette game with la partage is 2.63%.
If the game is a single zero roulette game with la partage, then the house edge is 1.35%. I never see a single zero roulette game with la partage, although, I’m sure they exist somewhere. Atlantic City single zero roulette games – which I regularly play – do not offer la partage.
The En Prison rule is not as favorable as the La Partage rule; however, it’s far better than plain ole American roulette. The En Prison rule is invoked when the player’s even money bet results in 0 or 00. The players bet is ‘imprisoned’ and the player can only get it back if the next spin results in a win. The player is not paid for the win; rather he only receives his bet back.
There are two variations of En Prison. One variation is that the player loses his bet is the imprisonment spin is another 0 or 00. The second variation is where the player will continue spinning if the subsequent imprisonment spins are 0 or 00, and will continue until a win or loss results. Obviously, the better rule is the latter.
Hypothetically, if En Prison is offered in American roulette, that’s roughly equivalent to getting back 47% of the player’s money, which is less than the 50% of La Partage. I have never seen the En Prison rule in American roulette.
En Prison roulette is also known as French roulette, where in addition to the En Prison rule, the wheel is only a single zero wheel. This wheel has a house edge of 1.38% if the player loses his entire bet if the result of the imprisonment spin is 0. If the player may spin until the result of the imprisonment spin is not a 0, then the house edge is 1.37%.
If given a choice, the player should opt to play single zero roulette with en prison, also known as French roulette. Ideally, the best roulette game would be single zero roulette with la partage, but I am told that there is no such game.
If the player is in Atlantic City and has a choice between single zero roulette and double zero with la partage, if the player sticks to even money bets, the double zero wheel with la partage is marginally better at a house edge of 2.63%. Single zero roulette has a house edge of 2.70%. Citation: Wizard of Odds.
Of course, if the player insists on playing numbers straight up, then single zero Atlantic City roulette is better, by far.