Most people believe the roulette is the most unpredictable game in casinos. The truth is very different. In fact it is by far the most vulnerable game for casinos. Professional roulette players can achieve an edge over +200%. Keep in mind that the house edge is -2.7%.
This article discusses what some casinos do to make winning roulette more difficult.
RRS (Randomized Rotor Speed)
Most casinos allow late betting during the spin. This is because it speeds up the game, and means more players make bets. Ultimately this maximizes the casino’s revenue. The problem for casinos that allow late bets is a roulette computer or visual ballistics player can easily achieve a large edge.
First and foremost, the casino will rely on surveillance to detect consistent winners. But this requires competent and attentive staff. As with any other occupation, casino surveillance staff are prone to errors and laziness.
RRS stands for randomized rotor speeds. Basically it is a mechanism inside the wheel that changes the rotor speed after bets close. The purpose of this is to change the winning number by changing the rotor speed. Putting this into perspective, say a roulette computer player measures the rotor speed and predicts zero as the winning number. They then make their bets, and the dealer closes bets. Then the RRS mechanism changes the rotor speed. This means the prediction of zero (which is based on a different rotor) speed, will no longer be accurate.
Does it actually reduce a player’s edge? Yes. But it only has an effect on roulette computers and visual ballistics. None of the other techniques are significantly affected.
I’ve tested approximately fifty wheels using this and similar technology. Ultimately I have found that the player’s edge is halved. This is not as dramatic as you may first think. After all, if you originally achieved a 30% edge, then your edge after RRS would be 15%. It’s still a strong edge.
There are cases where RRS almost completely eliminates a roulette computer’s edge. But the rotor speed variation is so obvious that it inevitably causes normal players to not trust the wheel. And if the players don’t trust the wheel, they won’t play, and the casino loses revenue.
Considering the vast majority of players don’t use roulette computers or visual ballistics, the casino will ultimately lose money by using RRS. This is why the RRS technology is very rare on live dealer wheels. It is normally applied only on automated wheels, where the rotor deceleration rates already clearly aren’t natural.
If a casino was to use RRS, a smarter approach for them would be to activate the technology only when professional players are suspected. But even then, other players at the table are likely to notice the strange rotor behavior, and stop playing. This may save the casino a few thousand dollars from the roulette computer or visual ballistics players. But it may lose the casino many more thousands of dollars because of lost trust.
If you are one of the “normal” and losing players, start with the roulette strategy tips and advice page so you don’t waste time testing strategies that don’t work.
Usually slower rotors are most predictable and best for professional players. But some players prefer faster rotors in general, because they find play more exciting. Usually wheels in the USA spin faster. See AmericanCasinos.com if you are a player in the USA.
Just so we’re clear, the bowl is the outer and larger part of the wheel. The rotor is the inner spinning part of the wheel with the pockets.
Probably the oldest advantage play method for roulette is bias wheel analysis. This is exploiting physical flaws of wheels, which lead to certain numbers winning more than others. Casinos know one of the primary causes of bias is a defective rotor. But in reality is not just the rotor that causes bias. It is often the combination of the bowl and the rotor.
This is why modern roulette wheels have interchangeable rotors. So whenever required, the casino staff can change the rotors between different bowls. This will sometimes eliminate a bias. But they may be creating an even stronger bias. It’s a 50-50 chance between eliminating a bias on one wheel, and creating an even stronger bias on another wheel.
Furthermore, casinos use software that requires thousands of spins before a bias is discovered. But professional players can easily identify a bias wheel well before then. This means that a casino can move a rotor to another bowl, thinking a bias is eliminated. But professional teams see this as an opportunity to exploit a new bias, before the casino knows about it. Some of how this is achieved is explained on my page about biased wheel analysis.
Moving Around Wheels
A wheel that stays in the same place for a long time is easier to analyze. This is why most casinos move wheels between different areas and tables. Typically a wheel may be moved perhaps once a month. It makes little difference to the effectiveness of advantage play techniques. It is more just a hassle for professional players because they need to locate the wheel to continue using their collected data.
A greater issue is when a wheel is moved, it is re-leveled. This can change which diamonds are hit most frequently. Ironically, if the casino does their job correctly, they will re-level the wheel perfectly, then it won’t matter where the wheel has moved to. A wheel that’s perfectly level will be the same no matter where it is.
It is actually more of a problem for players if the wheel is not leveled correctly on every occasion. This is the usual case. But whether or not it significantly affects professional players depends on what causes the dominant diamonds.
Basically, dominant diamonds are caused by a combination of ball track imperfections, and a tilted wheel. A tilted wheel is simply one that is not perfectly level. Most of the time, the dominant diamonds are caused by ball track imperfections. So even if a wheel is not perfectly level, and the degree of tilt changes in different locations, the dominant diamonds will remain much the same. The overall effect is that some patterns are likely to be significantly different. However, the difference is not usually large enough to be serious. The problem is the player needs to carefully verify this, which takes time. So moving around wheels doesn’t make players lose. It is just makes play more time consuming.
Most casinos move wheels around once per month, so rarely is moving wheels a problem.