Roulette is not the unpredictable game most people think. Even when I started out in roulette, I didn’t see how the winning number was even remotely predictable. With a narrow view, I saw only a bouncing ball that went everywhere. And that’s a common blinding view of most new players.
This article discusses the key elements to consider when choosing a wheel to play on. Specifically it focuses on physical characteristics that make spins predictable. It is by no means an exhaustive explanation. It’s more designed to open your mind to understand what’s predictable.
RNG Vs Real Roulette Wheels
I often refer to the differences between RNG roulette and real wheels – these are the more elemental roulette variations. Sure there is European and American roulette, but that’s more about differences like wheel-number layout.
Basically if your casino has no real physical wheel, and you see only a roulette wheel animation, then it’s RNG (random number generator).
If you’re just playing for fun, it makes no difference if you choose RNG or real wheels to play on. In the end, playing for fun is the same as random bets, and gradual depletion of your bankroll because of the house edge.
But if you’re looking to play professionally, or even just with an improved chance at profit, only play on real wheels. That’s because real wheels have physical characteristics that can produce predictable spins. And when spins are even marginally predictable, you can improve your odds to be better than random.
It’s also important to understand the difference between odds and payout. Payouts are what you’re paid when you win. For example, the payout for a win on a single number is 35 to 1. But the odds of winning are 1 in 37 on the European wheel (with 37 pockets).
Diamonds are the little metal deflectors that sit just below the ball track. They are intended to “disrupt” the path of the ball, so it doesn’t roll in a predictable way. Fortunately wheel designers still have a lot to learn, because diamonds actually make spins far more predictable. This is for a few reasons I wont get into. But one primary reason is they take the momentum out of the ball, and in real-world conditions, the wheel is almost never properly “calibrated” by the casino staff.
The problem starts when wheel designers assume wheels will be properly calibrated, and that there’s no wear and tear on the wheel. Calibration means a few things, but to keep things simple, it generally means the ball hits each of the diamonds an equal amount of times (on average).
If a wheel was perfectly calibrated, without any manufacturing defects, and without any wear and tear, then diamonds would make spins less predictable. But the real world is quite different: wear and tear is unavoidable. And wheels are almost never properly calibrated. This is mostly because it doesn’t significantly affect the casino’s profit, because the vast majority of players don’t know how to exploit physical anomalies that make spins predictable. So casino staff don’t even need to do their jobs properly. After all, most players have no idea what they’re doing – even though they think they do.
Repetitive Types of Ball Bounce
Often I tell players to find wheels where the ball doesn’t bounce as much. That’s just general advice, but it’s not the whole story. Many modern casinos use notoriously bouncy ivorine balls. These are the types of balls I use in my roulette computer demos because I deliberately want to make demonstrations more challenging (and realistic).
At first glance, you might observe an ivorine ball seemingly bouncing very unpredictably all over the place. Typical semi-pro players would dismiss the wheel and look for “easier conditions”. But what they’re missing is a ball can bounce very unpredictably for 90% of spins, and very predictably for 10% of spins.
We’re not concerned with the 90% of spins. They might be as unpredictable and impossible to beat as RNG roulette. The 10% is what matters.
Remember the house edge is a small -2.7% of European wheels. So if we can get a good edge on 10% of the spins, we have a good chance of reliably beating a wheel.
Mathematically, here’s how it might look:
- 90% of spins: -2.7% edge (same as random results).
- 10% of spins: +30% edge
30% might seem a bit unrealistic, but it’s actually a very conservative estimate. In fact it’s not uncommon to get an edge of over 80% for specific spins.
The question is how do we know which spins are the 10%? This is easily possible with roulette computers, which measure the speed of the wheel and ball. But most roulette computers aren’t anywhere near precise enough to distinguish between the 90% and 10% of spins. I have many roulette computers from different developers, and besides my Uber and Hybrid computer versions, only one computer from another vendor was remotely capable of it. But it required near-perfect conditions, and for the ball deceleration rate to never change. My Uber and Hybrid computers versions don’t have this limitation because they accurately model ball variations in ball deceleration rates.
this article explains a very small part of what makes roulette spins predictable. I’ve been a professional player for well over 20 years, although I rarely play myself today. Still I will never disclose some secrets of roulette prediction, except to some of my most trusted players. This is mostly because I don’t want casinos to know. I would much prefer roulette to remain beatable for as long as possible.
I have taught many players how to beat roulette, although I disclose only what they need to know for reliable profit. Essentially I explain the “whats and hows”, but not the “whys” (the underlying reasons why the strategies work). It’s not difficult to understand the basics of what makes spins predictable. But properly understanding the underlying mechanisms is a very different matter.
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