The Biased Roulette Wheel

One of the oldest and most practical ways of taking advantage, and be sure to realize the key words here -“taking advantage”, of a casino is by utilizing some very discrete flaws that exist in casino equipment, either from the point of origin, or flaws that develop after some wear and tear. As noted in the previous report about one way cards, there are also some very subtle avenues the advantage player can use that border on the law.

Lawsuits have generally favored the player in cases where no outside cheating devices were used. The problem of taking advantage of a weak link in the casino’s system is a serious problem that all casinos must directly anticipate.

Over the last century the game of roulette has been a target of sharp gamblers that noticed that the tiniest flaw will affect the
outcome of the spin and f911 of the ball. What seemed to be a simple matter of recording each spin of the ball on pencil and paper is actually a method to tell if a roulette ball is biased to certain numbers. In Monte Carlo it is house policy to offer anyone who is interested an accurate record of every spin of the ball from the day the game started. In fact there is one person who simply writes these results into a record book for the curious gambler.

In Las Vegas the casinos donlt offer this service, rather youmust record your own results. Many casinos offer score cards
similar to the score cards used in baccarat to tally the day’s spins.

Some sharp gambler figured out that some patterns were developing on certain roulette wheels that opened the door to actually being able to beat the game simply by betting the numbers that seemed to repeat more than others.

Why did certain numbers repeat? The answers to this question are not complete, nor is the amount of money that was won using this method determined. However from what is known on the streets, a tremendous amount of money has been taken off the games, simply because the wheel had an inherent flaw.

Upon examining most wheel heads, the numbers around the head have been adhered in a continuous circular piece. In that piece there is a seam that protrudes slightly. A ball falling out of the track across the seam will be affected by the abnormality. Simply by betting those numbers that are favored by the imperfection will allow the player a tremendous advantage.

Variations in the size of the metal frets that separate the numbers will also dramatically affect the randomness of the spin. The frets can be either not even in height and width. It stands to reason that if one number had frets that were slightly turned inward, those numbers would have a less chance of showing. The inserts where the ball drops are positioned in a continuous red and black pattern around the wheel, excepting for the numbers 0 and 00, which are green.

What is important here is the fact that the inserts are individually seated with glue, and not a solid piece of material. The individual inserts are subject to
hot and cold temperatures and affixed in an manner that is subjective to the person doing the construction. Several inserts may have the last dab of glue from an old bottle that may not be
as bonding as a new bottle, for example. There also may be some air pockets in between the inserts and the base of the wheel. Any slight imperfection like this will cause the ball to have less resiliency than normal and therefore stay in certain number pockets more often than normal. Ideally for the advantage player a bigger roulette ball will perform better under these conditions, that is bounce less than a smaller and lighter ball.

Roulette teams have scouted for biased wheels and have sent teams out to play on them earning “classical” amounts of money, to use the vernacular of the road hustler. In Lake Tahoe, a prominent casino was beaten out of more than $400,000 over the course of the team’s play, in just a couple of days. The players bet the exact set of numbers each spin of the wheel. The four to six number were bet straight up, with no other bets placed.

To ward off suspicion, the team traveled to Las Vegas and legitimately gambled with the winnings. This ploy is a clever method used by most hustlers to cover their tracks. They figure that after the dirty work is done, why not take a shot with the house’s money. Very, very clever.

Another team that we were able to gather more information about played two different sets of numbers straight up in a different Las Vegas casino and won $40,000 in an evenings work last February. The numbers bet were 0, 17, 32 and 11.

A new wheel has been developed to prevent this type of advantage play from happening by Paul-Son Dice and Card Company of Las Vegas. Their new wheel, the brainchild of Lou DiGregorio, is designed to allow the numbers to be rotated to any position by the use of a movable ring. The frets can be moved in the same manner. Thus daily, even hourly, the wheel can be adjusted so that not even the cleverest of players could determine where the ball may fall.