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Getting the Edge at Roulette: Part Two28 June 2007
There are three ways to get a real edge at roulette: finding biased wheels, finding dealers who have signatures, and visually tracking the ball and accurately predicting where it will land.
The first one, finding biased wheels, has been used since the early part of the 1900s when wheels weren't quite as perfect as they are today. In short, if a wheel is "off," certain numbers will come up more often than probability dictates. A wheel watcher will record thousands of spins, analyze the results, and if the wheel has been hitting a truly disproportionate group of numbers, he will bet those numbers. Some of the greatest wins in Monte Carlo and Vegas are attributed to wheel watchers.
Unfortunately, while biased wheels do exist in the modern casinos, they are much harder to find. Today's wheels are tested extensively to prevent them from becoming biased. Most of the wheels also have much more shallow pockets than wheels did in the past and the roulette ball tends to bounce much more than in the past - making it harder for a wheel to develop a bias in the first place. So while biased wheels exist, they are more on the order of Bigfoot than they are on the order of, say, a pigeon.
The dealer signature is a controversial area of advantage play at roulette, which means that some gaming writers believe it is real and some don't. In a nutshell it is said that some dealers either consciously or unconsciously spin the ball in such a way that the ball lands a certain number of pockets away from the last pocket hit. A dealer who lands the ball in such a fashion has a "signature" that can be read by an astute roulette player who will then bet the numbers in the area where the ball will most likely land after the next spin.
Of course, any slight change in how the dealer delivers the ball will end his signature and return the game to its normal randomness.
The God of Roulette
The single greatest feat of designing a method for beating roulette must be attributed to Laurance Scott, known as the "God of Roulette" in advantage-play circles, who began investigating the concept of visual tracking back in 1988. Inspired by the book The Eudaemonic Pie by Thomas A. Bass, which describes the exploits of a team of college students who set out to beat the wheel using a computer-timing device, Scott felt that a human visual tracker could accomplish the same thing. He spent the next two years developing the visual tracking techniques that he published in his landmark How to Beat Roulette system. Scott's original techniques were focused on predicting three events: Where the ball would fall from the track, the position of the wheel when the ball fell, and how far the ball would bounce when it struck the wheel.
Scouting for a tilted or biased wheel solved the fall-off problem. With even the slightest tilt, the ball favors falling off at the apex of this tilt, which is enough to render a wheel beatable. Visual patterns, called "crossover patterns," were analyzed to determine where the ball would strike the wheel when it fell, and the bounce of the ball on the old-style, deep pocket wheels was manageable. A large edge on such wheels was therefore attainable.
According to Scott, the most effective countermeasure employed by the casinos has been the introduction of the "low profile" wheel. Scott states: "The golden age of roulette prediction was when the older Huxley Mark III and Tramble deep-pocket wheels were common. The casinos have learned that the most effective way to counter roulette prediction is to randomize the bounce of the ball via low-profile technology, commonly known as shallow pockets. Predicting where the ball will strike the wheel is really not all that difficult. But, if the result is randomized by the bounce of the ball, then even 100 percent accuracy of the strike will not do you any good."
Since 1995, Scott has been intensely developing refined techniques for his Advanced Method that can work on these low-profile wheels. According to him, "Low-profile wheels can be defeated because the bounce is manageable and predictable under certain conditions. The trick is to correlate the available conditions versus the outcome of the game and spot beatable situations via statistical analysis."
Scott continued: "In the old days, you could identify a beatable wheel just by observing its behavior. A wheel that was behaving in a certain, predictable way could yield up to a 40 percent edge over the house for the visual tracker. Such wheels still exist today, but they are much harder to find than they used to be. With low-profile wheels, you need to know what characteristics correlate to the final outcome. These characteristics include several ingredients. Then, you need to have a methodology to sort out what set of characteristics correlate to a statistically significant edge."
Scott's new Advanced Method identifies what characteristics you need to look for in roulette games and how to record them. A computer software program has been created to help spot statistically significant situations where you have an edge. Once the situations are identified, the player then has to be patient and wait for the right conditions to occur, much like waiting for the count of a shoe to go positive in blackjack.
States Scott: "When you find an edge on a low-profile wheel, it tends to be in the 15 percent range and is usually very consistent. The visual player of today has no problem staying under the radar because a 15 percent edge is almost impossible for the casino to detect if the player bets correctly."
For example, while a three-number bet should win approximately one out of every 12 spins, if you can predict the outcome well enough to win one of every 10 spins, you have a 20 percent edge. Scott claims, "It is very difficult for the casino to detect if someone is winning at the rate of one out of 12 vs. one out of ten."
Almost 1.5 million casino players are roulette devotees but most will never develop the skill necessary to beat the game. As the Roman soldiers were won't to say, "Scis quod dicunt id quod circumiret, circumveniat." That's a fact!
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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