The first game of roulette originated in 18th century France. As it ‘travelled’ across the world, it was changed and adjusted. Rules were added and removed, but the core roulette experience stayed the same. Thirty-six numbers and a spinning wheel that determines the outcome.
Online casinos primarily offer European roulette, or single-zero roulette, as a baseline. However, there are European roulette tables that include some of these excluded rules from time to time. One of them is the En Prison rule, occasionally found on French Roulette tables. Today, we will explain what this rule is, and how it affects your odds of winning.
En Prison is a French phrase, meaning in prison. Not that it was very difficult to guess, given that one word is identical! However, it is important to mention as it serves as a rather accurate description of what the rule does. En Prison will lock up your current wager under the right circumstances. If things go well, you can even win it back!
The bet is only available when playing even money bets. These are the low/high, odd/even, and red/black outside bets, available on all roulette wheels. If the ball lands on zero while playing these bets, you do not lose your wager. Instead, your stake is put ‘in prison’ for the upcoming round.
What happens next depends on your luck. If you win the next spin, you get the original bet back in its entirety. If you lose, then the original wager is also lost. It is a rather simple concept, but one with a serious impact. It decreases the advantage the house gets from the zero position on the wheel. Your roulette house edge with En Prison active will be 1.35% instead of 2.7%.
Few casinos are willing to accept a lower house edge. Most players are content playing regular European roulette. Why host a game that you have a lower return in? This makes roulette with the En Prison rule difficult to find. Thankfully, there are many Online Casino, Online Gambling & Variations out there.
You will want to hunt for French roulette games. They have the highest chance of having either En Prison or La Partage active. Do not assume all French roulette games have this rule enabled. Many roulette tables will be called French roulette because the dealers use the French language. This is especially true among live casino games.
Some French roulette games will offer the La Partage rule instead of En Prison. We have covered La Partage before, so we will not go into too much detail in this article. It works in a similar way to En Prison. If you make an even-money bet and a zero is drawn, you get half of your money back. It is the lower risk option, but the house edge remains the same.
As both options give you the same RTP, it all comes down to preference. Do you take half of your bet back every time? Alternatively, do you try to risk it to recover the entirety of your wager? That is up to you to decide!