There is a way to beat the casino at roulette. It involves finding an unbalanced wheel, one that is presumably old and rickety, which is more likely in a smaller casino or perhaps at a fair where the mechanics of the wheel are far from state of the art.
It is impossible to make a perfectly balanced wheel, one where each number has exactly the same chance of coming up as any other number. A slight imperfection in the material, normal wear and tear, a warp, a tiny tilt, a floor that is not level, or a slightly larger or shorter slot—these possibilities and any number of others can cause the imbalance of a wheel and favor some numbers to be spun more often than others.
Wheels are made with such tremendous precision nowadays that it is extremely unlikely to find a wheel with a bias significant enough to make this theory interesting. However, you may find an older wheel in use, one that’s been subjected to enough wear and tear that a bias is created, or one with faulty mechanics. Until the casino has figured out that you’ve got something going on and shuts down the wheel, you can make a lot of money—with the odds.
First you must determine if the wheel is biased and how large the bias is. To do this requires a lot of work and patience, but if indeed you’re hunch is right and the wheel is significantly biased, you will have made the effort worthwhile. There are many stories of dedicated players patiently clocking wheels, finding a bias, and winning enormous sums of money until the game is shut down on them.
To properly track a wheel, you’ll need a partner or an associate or two because every spin of the wheel will need to be recorded for at least 24 hours and, ideally, two or three times that much time to get a fair sampling. A sampling taken for less than 24 hours will only show short-run deviations (unless the wheel is incredibly biased) and will not be an accurate account of numbers that may be biased.
The expectation of any single number being spun is 1 in 38 on an American wheel (1 in 37 on a European one).
For a strategy to be effective and show profits, a single number’s bias must not only be greater than the 1/38 (1/37 in Europe) expected result, but be sufficient enough to overcome the casino’s inherent edge of 5.26% on an American wheel and 2.70% on a European one for single-zero betting.
You may find one number or several that stand out on a wheel as being biased and base your winning strategy on those numbers (or number). The superior odds inherent in single-zero roulette make those games much better to track since, if a bias is found, the smaller house edge is easier to overcome and profits will be greater.