Roulette wheel with chips.
Sometimes, how you play roulette doesn’t matter as much as which roulette table you choose. The kind of roulette wheel you choose can often define your odds and payouts for the night. 

The same is true when you choose between American, European, and French roulette. While one roulette wheel offers positive outcomes when the ball lands on the zero pocket, other wheels may provide negative results. 

It is important to choose a wheel depending on which rule you like the most and which outcome corresponds with your long-term goals from wheel odds and payouts. Keep reading to learn more about the En Prison Rule and how it can affect your odds and payouts;

What is the En Prison Rule? 

The En Prison Rule can be found in many casinos containing French roulette wheels across the USA. However, you are not going to find it in the American or European wheel. This is what sets the wheels apart. 

In the En Prison Rule, even money bets are the ones affected after the ball lands on a zero (0) pocket. Once that happens, the En Prison Rule comes into play, allowing the player to avoid losing the entire bet. For the next bet, the player is imprisoned, which simply means they skip that turn. In case the spin after that wins the bet, the player will get their money back. 

This is a great way to recover your wager if you don’t want to lose it to that single zero. This is an option that isn’t provided in the American or European wheel. However, if you lose again on the second spin, you will lose the entire bet. 

The house edge is significantly reduced in even money bets within the En Prison Rule. In short, taking away the negative factor of losing when the ball lands on the zero pocket leaves some breathing space for players. This space is where they can shine as the next spin can give them their wager back, with which they could bet again. 

How Does the En Prison Rule Affect Roulette Odds and Payouts?

Here’s how the En Prison Rule affects roulette odds and payouts;


In an average game of roulette that doesn’t incorporate the En Prison Rule, whenever the ball lands on the zero pocket, the player will lose all of their even money bets. The bet is going to go to the house in its entirety. This increases the house edge to 2.70% for European Roulette and 5.26% for American roulette wheels. 

Depending on the kind of French roulette wheel you encounter, the odds for the wheel significantly improve. As the En Prison Rule comes into effect, the ball landing on the zero pocket doesn’t immediately lead to a loss for the player. It is imprisoned for the next round. 

In the round after that, the bet must win to survive. If it does win, the player will get their original wager back, with which they can play again. This significantly reduces the house edge to 1.35%. 


With the En Prison Rule, your payouts are not going to change. You still have a 1:1 payout. If you win, you receive your bet plus an amount equal to that bet as your winnings. However, there are some slight changes that you should note. 

For example, when the croupier spins a French wheel, the payout changes depending on whether the ball lands in the zero pocket. If it does, your bet gets imprisoned. If you win in the round after that, you only get your wager back, not the extra amount equal to the wager. 

Tips and Tricks for Playing the French Wheel

Here are some tricks you can apply to the French roulette wheel to get your wins;

1. Get the Basics Right

Work on understanding all of the rules, your odds, and your payouts. Get the basics right, and choose the wheel accordingly. French roulette has a different structure when compared to European and American wheels. If you are going to try the French wheel, it is important to understand it through and through.

The basics also include your bankroll. Start by understanding your goals from the game. Do you want to make money or simply want to play for longer for entertainment? If the latter is true, it is best to use your bankroll sparingly. 

It also means that you should avoid high-risk bets and tables that ask for a higher minimum bet, as that also comes with extremely low chances of winning. 

2. Strategize

It is time to start strategizing if you want to win at roulette. Strategies include choosing between betting systems depending on what you want to get from them. The Martingale and Fibonacci betting systems work for some players because they help them manage their bets. 

However fun you find betting systems, it is important to keep an eye on your bankroll as betting systems can quickly eat away at your money. Be aware of their limitations and don’t give them too much importance. 

3. Don’t Get Superstitious

There is no such thing as a lucky or hot number. The wheel spins at a random chance, and leaving your wins to the fates is important. The more you believe in false superstitions, the more disappointed you will be at the end of the day. 

Each spin of the wheel is an independent event (it doesn’t depend on the spin that came before), which means that the ball is going to land in a random place. Creating patterns that don’t exist can affect your bankroll negatively. 

If you find yourself getting caught up in superstitions, perhaps it is time to take a break. A break can get you to unwind and think more rationally when betting. 

En Prison Rule at the casino.
Picture of the roulette wheel spinning.

Final Thoughts

The En Prison Rule is a big part of the French roulette wheel. It can affect your odds and payouts in ways different from the other kinds of wheels. It is important to understand the house edge and bet accordingly. 

You can afford to risk much more at the French wheel. So go ahead and place those bets!

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