La Boule

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One of many variations on the table game known as Roulette is “La Boule.” It is especially popular in France and also a common sight as casinos in neighbouring Switzerland. Instead of a wheel that spins, it has a stationary playing surface with numbered “dimples” arranged in two sets of concentric circles around a central hub. A rubber ball, just a bit smaller than a tennis ball, is spun onto the surface and will eventually come to rest on the winning number.

Also unlike Roulette, La Boule features only the numbers 1~9 and no zeroes. The numbers are divided into three colors: red for numbers 1, 3, 6 and 8; black for number 2, 4, 7 and 9; and yellow for number 5. Bets are placed on a field displaying the black numbers on one side and the red numbers on the other, with 5 in the very middle, flanked above and below by wagering areas for even and odd.

In Playtech’s version of “La Boule” developed for online casinos, the table layout is highly realistic, resembling what one might find at a bricks and mortar gambling club outside Paris. The circular playing surface appears on the left side of the screen, and the field for betting is shown on the right. There are five different chip denominations just below the betting field in what looks like a wooden tray: €0.25, €1, €5, €10 and €20.

To begin a game of La Boule, the initial stake value must be selected by clicking on one of the chips from the chip tray. The chip value can be changed at any time prior to starting play by simply clicking on another denomination. Then, the player must place wagers directly on the betting field by clicking on whatever outcomes are predicted.

Straight-up bets on individual numbers 1~9 pay offer odds of 8.8 times the amount wagered. Group bets on the colours, red or black, pay out at 2.2X. Similarly, betting on the even or odd numbers will award 2.2 times the amount wagered for a winner, as will bets on Manque (1, 2, 3 or 4) or Passe (6, 7, 8 or 9). There are no combination bets in this form of the game. For example, it is not possible to wager on adjacent numbers without placing an individual bet on each of them.

In the course of making bets, the amount wagered on each betting position will appear as a numeric value within the chip that has been placed. Clicking again on the chip will add to the amount in increments of the chip denomination selected. Passing the cursor over a betting position that has bee selected will display not only the “Bet” amount but also the “Payout” rate and the “Return” expected. If a mistake is made or the player simply wishes to change the bet, clicking on the red “Clear Bets” button at the lower right corner of the display will remove all your bets.

Note that there are limits on the amounts that can be wagered. The limits are shown on the paytable that pops up when the purple “Bet Limits” button is clicked below the betting field. The minimum for any bet is €0.25. For wagering on a single number the maximum bet is €10, and for betting on a group of four numbers it is €20. Should the wager exceed the limit, such as betting on a position with a chip value that is greater than the maximum stake allowed, the bet will be placed up to the maximum for that bet.

Clicking on the green “Start” button in the lower right corner will set the La Boule ball in motion. When it comes to rest, any winning position will light up and a pop-up window will describe the amounts won. All losing bets will be cleared away, but it is possible to “Repeat” the wager by clicking on the corresponding green button next to the Start button. Additional wagers may be made after clicking on Repeat, too.

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