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Last Updated: October 28, 2005

Boule

Introduction

La Boule is a similar to roulette. I noticed the game at a casino in Antibes, France. The game features 9 numbers and 3 colors of which to bet on. The only time I saw the game it was closed at the time of day I was there. However, I could tell it is played on a large wooden wheel and from casino literature I know it is played with a rubber ball a little smaller than a tennis ball. The wheel looks like this...


Image source: Casinos Barriere rule book.

Rules

As the above image shows the wheel is divided into 9 numbers, 1 to 9; and three colors, black, red, and yellow. The numbers 1, 3, 6, and 8 are black; 2, 4, 7, and 9 are red; and 5 is yellow. After the dealer calls "Rien ne va plus" (no more bets) he will spin the wheel and ball; the depression where the ball lands determines the outcome. The following image shows the betting layout.


Image source: Casinos Barriere rule book.

The table below shows the available bets, what each pays, probability of winning, and house edge.

La Boule Odds

Bet Pays Probability House Edge
Red 1 to 1 44.44% 11.11%
Black 1 to 1 44.44% 11.11%
Low (1-4) 1 to 1 44.44% 11.11%
High (6-9) 1 to 1 44.44% 11.11%
Odd 1 to 1 44.44% 11.11%
Even 1 to 1 44.44% 11.11%
1 7 to 1 11.11% 11.11%
2 7 to 1 11.11% 11.11%
3 7 to 1 11.11% 11.11%
4 7 to 1 11.11% 11.11%
5 7 to 1 11.11% 11.11%
6 7 to 1 11.11% 11.11%
7 7 to 1 11.11% 11.11%
8 7 to 1 11.11% 11.11%
9 7 to 1 11.11% 11.11%

As the table above shows, every bet has a house edge of 11.11%. This is much worse than roulette, especially European roulette. So, given the choice between la boule and roulette, always choose roulette.

Thanks to Dave Hubbard for sending me a rule booklet on the game.

Malaysia Rules

The Genting casino in Malaysia has a game called French Boule. Under the Singapore rules a ball is thrown into an arena with many indentations, each with a number from 0 to 9. The total number of indentations for each number is equal.

One type of bet is on a specific number, for example 5. The probability of winning is 10%. Wins pay 8 to 1. The house edge is 10%.

Another is on a set of three numbers, in particular 1,4, or 7; 2, 5, or 8; and 3, 6, or 9. The probability of winning is 30%. Wins pay 2 to 1. The house edge is also 10%.


Written by: Michael Shackleford

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