Roulette Surrender Rule

If we are to pay a little bit more attention to outside betting in roulette, we need to mention that roulette practice has witnessed some casinos providing players with a second chance to profit from an even-money outside bets, if the winning number is a single zero or a double zero. Some people might say ”Well, casinos have nothing to do with philanthropy, what would this second chance possibly be?” Yes, there is such and it is allowed by a specific rule, which we are going to discuss.

As we have already said, by placing outside bets a player may dispose of either 2 to 1, or even-money payoffs. The specific rule is valid only for outside bets, which pay even money – bets on color, bets on even or odd numbers, bets on low or high numbers. This is the time to note that the rule comes in three variations, depending on the region and the wheel used. These variations are known under the following titles ”en prison”, ”le partage” and ”surrender”.

En Prison

As a rule, it is valid for the French roulette wheel only. As noted earlier, when playing French roulette, one is faced with a 2.703% advantage for the house, or a greater chance of winning compared to the American roulette, for instance. By applying the ”en prison” rule, the house edge is reduced even further, to 1.35%, thus, the chance for a player to profit is additionally bolstered. However, it is this circumstance that makes the ”en prison” rule not so easy to find both among land-based and online casinos in Europe.

Let us explain what the rule postulates. If a player places an even-money outside bet, but the single zero turns out to win, he/she will need to make a choice between two options – to lose 50% of his/her bet, or to let the entire bet be ”imprisoned” during the next ball spin. By saying ”imprisoned” we mean that the player’s chips will be left standing on the table during the next spin. In case the outside bet wins, the player will be allowed to keep the original wager. But in case the bet loses, it will be surrendered to the house.

Say, an original bet of $120 is placed on red. The winning number, however, is 0 (green) and the bet will be put in prison during the following wheel spin. At the next spin, in case red wins, the original 120-dollar bet will be recovered to the player. In case red does not win, the entire 120-dollar bet will be surrendered to the house.

This rule, in fact, provides the player with a second chance, if he/she has lost due to the single zero on the wheel.

French Roulette En Prison rule illustration

Additional complication

There are a few casinos, where the rule is even more complicated. In case a single zero is followed by another single zero during the next spin, the player will have three options – to lose the bet, to win the bet or to leave the bet for additional wheel spins. One would certainly say it is best for the bet to win, but such a scenario is quite rare. After two consecutive single zeros are spun, it is more likely that the player will lose his/her bet.

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Le Partage

This variation, used in the United Kingdom, has certain similarities with the ”en prison” rule.

Imagine that a player makes an even-money outside bet. On many roulette tables ”Le Partage” rule will come into effect automatically, once a single zero is spun. The even-money bet will immediately be divided by two. This way 50% of the bet will be recovered to the player, while the other 50% will be surrendered to the house. With this rule there is no option of leaving the original bet for another wheel spin. Thus, we can conclude that by applying ”Le Partage” rule the house edge is again axed from 2.70% to 1.35% for all even-money outside bets.

Many gambling experts claim that casino owners in the UK use ”Le Partage” rule rather than the ”En Prison” rule, as it provides players and dealers with a better deal.

European Roulette Le Partage rule illustration


This rule is widely used at locations such as Atlantic City and is valid for the American roulette wheel only. It postulates exactly the same terms as ”Le Partage”. The only difference is that it comes into effect, once the winning number is either the single zero, or the double zero. By applying the ”Surrender” rule, the house advantage is cut from 5.26% to 2.63% for all even-money outside bets.

American Roulette Surrender rule illustration

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