29 Apr

# Why Looking for Roulette Patterns Doesn’t Work Anymore

Exposing the antiquated efficiency of roulette wheel bias.

For the most part, an effective strategy in any casino game remains timelessly effective, comparable to Newton’s First Law of Motion. An object in motion remains in motion unless acted on by an outside force. If the variables do not change, the efficacy of any strategy will not change. Adjust the rules or mechanisms governing a game, however, and the strategy must be altered accordingly.

Newton’s Laws apply similarly to the game of roulette. A combination of gravity and friction acts upon the momentum of the spinning wheel, eventually bringing it to a stop. In the case of roulette strategies, however, it is the modernization of manufacturing techniques that applies its force to the game’s mechanics, halting the efficacy of detecting roulette patterns.

Don’t worry, if all this scientific speech is hurting your brain, it will all make perfect sense soon enough. Today’s concept is actually quite simple. We’re going to talk about an age-old tactic known as wheel bias in roulette. In decades past, some very famous professional gamblers studied wheel bias, and what it could do for a bankroll. But roulette tables aren’t what they were all those years ago.

## What is Roulette Wheel Bias?

Bias in a roulette wheel is something that occurs naturally over a long period of time. Not because mathematical probabilities aren’t real, but because the make-up of the wheel begins to break down. Old-school wheels had wooden partitions between the numbers. Year after year, spin after spin, the ball would rub away at those partitions. In the process, it would create a bias to certain numbers and sections of the wheel.

Those who notice and exploit such a bias could make a great deal of money. That’s exactly what gambling pro Billy Walters did in 1986. Upon request, he was granted a \$2 million freeze-out at New Jersey’s Atlantic Club Casino. He and a friend then spent 38 hours betting on five numbers (7-10-20-27-36); the very numbers they had previously identified a bias towards on the roulette wheel. They won \$3.8 million in the process. Not bad for a day and a half’s work.

## Why Roulette Patterns Aren’t Effective Today

This was a supremely effective strategy for many, many years, dating back to the 1700s. Unfortunately for studious players, observing a wheel to recognize patterns is nothing more than a waste of time today. The practice was virtually expunged by the use of metal frets separating the pockets, and an invention by John Huxley known as the Starburst wheel.

Replacing the wooden frets with metal spacers came first. Metal took far, far longer to wear down. This gave casinos much more time to get their wheels replaced before bias became an issue. Then the TCS Huxley Starburst wheel took that concept to all new heights. Comprised entirely of metallic triangles, wear and tear was equally eliminated, as was the majority of ball jumping found on standard fret-based wheels.

## Don’t Be a Roulette Creeper

Back in the day, in order to recognize a biased roulette wheel, players had to spend hours upon hours recording its results. Imagine standing there, pen and paper in hand, for hours at a time? Imagine all the people who would give you strange looks?

The casino would know very well what you’re doing. In the old days, they might actually remove you for doing it. That’s why most pros worked in teams back then, moving about and alternating shifts often enough to avoid detection. But now, it’s literally pointless. The casino does all the history tracking for you.

One reason is to prove that it doesn’t work. Casinos would never provide win history if they thought it would help the players. The more important reason is to detect any patterns that might arise as soon as conceivably possible. The moment a wheel begins displaying bias, the casino knows it’s time to replace it. And being able to detect it electronically means they can catch it before a gambler does, putting an end to this once time-consuming but effective roulette strategy.