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Predicting Roulette

Roulette Wheelby Mike Emmerik1)EDITOR NOTE:  Mike Emmerik provided the Blackjack Review Network some excellent information on the Australian casinos back in the 1990s.  Here is an article he wrote regarding Roulette during that time.  It is still worth reading today as it provides some good references for future study and research.  The references to casinos with single-zero roulette was no longer accurate and has been removed.  A few edits have also been made to the original article. If you are interested in future study, be sure to check out the roulette articles at BlackjackForumOnline.com.

Roulette is a casino game that in principle is predictable, since bets are (usually) allowed after the ball has been launched, and hence (if you are a reductionist) the final resting place for the ball is predetermined. (Barring unusual events like stopping the Wheel, or something falling into the wheel).

No betting progression system will beat roulette. There are also systems based on Biased Wheels, which have some technical merit, but in practice the amount of time needed to find a biased wheel is prohibitive, and you never know for sure whether you have really found a biased wheel, or have merely experienced a statistical glitch. Two references below discuss biased wheels.

I became interested in the possibilities of predicting roulette after reading The Newtonian Casino (formerly The Eudaemonic Pie) by Thomas A. Bass. In this very interesting and readable book, the author hints at the possibilities offered by the rigid mechanics of roulette. A small team of us have spent 2 years researching this area.

Roulette Table

Bibliography

The Newtonian Casino, Thomas A. Bass, T A, Penguin, London, 1990. (First published as “The Eudaemonic Pie”, Houghton Miffin, 1985). ISBN: 0-14-014593-1. Inspiring, and very readable. The classic book on the subject.

The Mathematics of Gambling, Edward O. Thorp, Gambling Times, New Jersey 1984. ISBN: 0-89746- 019-7. Contains information on many gambling topics, including blackjack . The people in Newtonian Casino were influenced by this book. Short on details, but some valuable information from one who has owned a real wheel.

A Roulette Wheel Study, Ron Shelly, self published, Atlantic City, 1988. I bought this from the Gambler’s Book Club in Las Vegas for about US$50. This handbound book is written from the perspective of a person in the casino industry (Ron is a consultant). Very interesting work. Contains detailed diagrams of wheels, how to service them, systems, scams, history, and the law. The author gives his address as P.O. Box 90971, Austin, Texas 78709.

Beating the Wheel, Russell T. Barnhart, Lyle Stuart, New York 1992. ISBN: 0-8184-0553-8. Mostly about biased wheels, a subject of little interest to me. Some great stories, and a few pointers to other works.

Roulette for Profit, Geoffrey Lewis, Jady Davis Games Products, Broadbeach 1991. ISBN: 0-9595715-4- X. Good statistical treatment of biased wheels.

The Money-Spinners, Jacques Black, Faber and Faber, London 1993. ISBN: 0-571-17037-4. Some great stories about the great roulette scams and successful players, such as Darnborough and Jaggers. Entertaining, but no technical details or information. Also contains a small section on blackjack.


Other sources of information

In the 1990s, roulette was rarely discussed in the newsgroup rec.gambling.other-games; since most roulette “systems” do not work, and the subject is ridiculed there. Some gambling books and supplies could be obtained from one of the rec.gamblers, Chuck Weinstock (Conjelco) and other sources.  There was also the rec.gambling home page, where many other gambling related links could be found.

EDITOR NOTE:  Today, the Internet is your open library to everything.

Single Zero Roulette wheels

No matter what system you use (prediction, biased wheels, or (shudder) betting progressions), you are always better off with single zero roulette wheels. The double zero wheel often used in the US (house edge of 5.26%) is the primary reason for the lack of popularity of roulette in the US, and the single zero wheel (house edge 2.70%) is the main reason for the popularity of roulette elsewhere in the world. You would think that US casinos would figure out this simple fact, but there is evidence that US gamblers don’t realize the difference (where both single and double zero wheels are available in the US, the single zero wheels seem no better patronized).

Single zero roulette (usually not with European rules, i.e. en prison2)In roulette, the en prison rule is an opportunity to recover one’s stakes after a spin of zero, provided one’s bet was even-odds (i.e. high–low, even–odd, red–black).  For more information check out Wikipedia.) may not be at your favorite casino but may be worth the effort to find out. 

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1 EDITOR NOTE:  Mike Emmerik provided the Blackjack Review Network some excellent information on the Australian casinos back in the 1990s.  Here is an article he wrote regarding roulette during that time.  It is still worth reading today as it provides some good references for future study and research.  The references to casinos with single-zero roulette was no longer accurate and has been removed.  A few edits have also been made to the original article. If you are interested in future study, be sure to check out the roulette articles at BlackjackForumOnline.com.
2 In roulette, the en prison rule is an opportunity to recover one’s stakes after a spin of zero, provided one’s bet was even-odds (i.e. high–low, even–odd, red–black).  For more information check out Wikipedia.


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