Roulette is a game of chance that has been popular for over two hundred years. The rules are rather simple. The croupier will spin the wheel and throw the ball on the outer edge of the wheel. Both ball and the wheel would rotate in the opposite direction. After the ball loses momentum, it will fall on one out of 37 or 38 pockets. European roulette will have 36 numbers and a 0, while American will have an additional 00 symbol.
Players will have the option of betting on the specific number, color, if the number is odd or even, and they might even choose at which dozen the ball would end.
So, what’s the catch? People have been trying to predict the outcome of a roulette game since the beginning.
Over the past two centuries, many methods have been invented and studies conducted regarding the famous roulette wheel. But the trick is that these betting strategies are not as profitable as some would like us to believe.
Besides, there have been many cases of people “tricking” the casino and winning incredible amounts of money. In one of the earliest examples, players would find a rigged wheel and wager against the largest bet. Other betting methods are certainly flawed because, in a real-life scenario, the player won’t have an infinite amount of money for the methods to work. Plus there are betting limits that might interfere with the eventual win.
Exploring Physics Behind Roulette
Since roulette is a game of chance, there is no way of predicting the outcome or the exact number where the ball would land. Or is there?
The only reasonable way to try to predict the outcome of the game is based on real physics. We will need to abandon all of the so-called tactics and methods and focus on the Newtonian laws of motion. There were several cases in the last fifty or sixty years where people used some kind of computers or simply noticing the biased wheel. One of the most recent is the case of a player from Spain who won over a million euros, by analyzing the pattern or the numbers that are more likely to win. Using several thousand games from the same casino, he managed to find more favorable numbers, increasing his chances from standard 1 in 36. He managed to both win and keep his money because the court deemed the roulette table flawed.
Laws of Motion
It is quite possible to recreate any game of roulette with 100% certainty. There are many factors that contribute to the outcome of the game, like humidity, starting position of the wheel, the weight of the ball, friction, and many many others.
Recently a group of scientists tried to apply chaos theory to a game of roulette. If we assume that we have the spin and rotation of the ball, along with the angular velocity of the wheel, we will be able to implement certain equations that will make the whole process seem a bit less random.
If we look at the European roulette, it has a house edge of 2.7% (because of that 0 pocket). Following the research, scientists managed to raise their chances from -2.7% to 18%, which makes quite the difference compared to the original random bets.
The results were significantly increased when the camera was mounted at the top of the table. By getting real results, along with several experiments, it would be quite easy to determine the end result.
Unfortunately, there is no casino on earth where you’d be allowed to bring your own equipment and do a bit of research before playing.
Most of the functioning methods of determining the outcome of roulette are based on a single table and advanced physics. Most modern casinos have a way of tracking devices that might help you with your problem.
Even if you’re able to do all the physics in your head, without the help of the computer, you would still be tied to a single table. If the casino put an eye on you, they could always just close the table and ask you politely to go to the next one where you’d have to start all over again.
In real life scenarios, casinos won’t accept any bets after the wheel starts spinning, let alone when the ball has been released. While there were systems that worked in the past, most of them are not plausible today because of modern technology, better and improved roulette wheels, and anti-cheating rules.
One of the dealers admitted that while it might have been possible for a croupier to hit a certain section of the wheel before, tables today are too perfect for the dealer to be able to control anything. Furthermore, the pockets are too shallow for the ball to land in the place you thought it might go.
In the end, it all comes back to that Einstein’s saying: “No one can possibly win at roulette unless he steals money from the table when the croupier isn’t looking.”