Can You Actually Beat Roulette?
When I say “beaten”, I mean real winnings over extended periods of time. I don’t mean lucky wins or short-term play.
Probably the most obvious people to ask about winning roulette would be casino staff. After all, they spend a lot of time around roulette wheels. However, their job is not to study the wheel and ways to beat it, and dealers can give roulette tips no more useful than an inexperienced player. When it comes to someone like a dealer, they’ll mostly just spin the wheel. If you have your own wheel at home, the chances are you’ll have spun the wheel more times than a typical dealer. Having experience with a wheel certainly helps to understand the physics involved, but it is more keen observation that can uncover clues relating to the predictability of spins. I’ll explain more about this later.
If roulette was being “consistently” beaten, you’d expect that casino staff would at least have come across consistently winning players. In the past 15 or so years, I’ve come to meet and know many casino employees including dealers, pit bosses and even casino owners. Of course different individuals have different knowledge, but the general attitude towards the concept of beating roulette is as follows:
Dealers: Most dealers believe roulette can be beaten, but only under strict and rare conditions. For example, they may consider “wheel bias”. This is essentially when there is a physical defect of the wheel that makes certain numbers win more than others.
Sometimes, dealers have heard of other methods like electronic devices (roulette computers), but they only have a very vague understanding of the conditions under which such technology is effective. Sometimes a casino consultant has been hired by their casino, and provided a training course to help them spot professional roulette players. But rather than it be a proper course, it is more of a crash course explaining the very basics.
Overall, most dealers only have a very vague understanding of legitimate methods to beat roulette. Generally they know it’s possible, but don’t expect they’ll ever encounter a professional player. What they usually see is a constant stream of losing players at their table.
Pit bosses: these are the serious-looking people that usually oversee a group of 2-4 roulette wheels at a time. They do everything from handle any disputes, communicate with surveillance about whatever, and generally make sure all the dealers are doing their job and that everything runs smoothly.
When it comes to understanding roulette prediction, they rarely have significantly better knowledge than the dealers. Again they know roulette can be beaten under the right circumstances, but they also know for every 1,000 players you see, you’d be lucky for even one of them to have a method that is a threat to the casino’s money.
Casino owners: Many owners have very little knowledge about their own games. They tend to view the casino as a revenue source and investment at a very different level. After all, it’s not their job to be on the gaming floor – their job is more confined to a board room. But for smaller casinos where the boss takes a more “hands-on” approach, the owner again has not much more knowledge than a common dealer. More importantly, they will at least be aware of the risk of professional players. They call them “advantage players”. They know they exist. They know very well even individual professional players have taken casinos for many millions. But their perspective is at a much higher level, and professional players are seen more as an accepted hazard, not without measures to deal with them. Kind of like an annoying bee that can do harm, but aren’t difficult to squish once you know about them.
It’s also much like a retail store that may make $1M in sales each year, but $10,000 is lost each year due to theft. In other words, the retail store knows it’s almost impossible to stop 100% of theft. Technically they could stop 100%, but it would mean taking measures that would make honest customers feel uncomfortable, and this alone may lose more revenue than they save. So all the retail store can do is follow the best procedures to limit the losses from thieves. This is how a casino boss often view “advantage players”.