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Predicting Roulette by Mike Emmerik

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; we are very close to perfecting a technique that does not need any fancy and illegal equipment. I would be interested in hearing of any other genuine researchers into this field. We have highly detailed equations of motion, data gathered from casino visits, and lots of other material for anyone serious about researching this area.


"The Newtonian Casino", 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", Thorp E O, 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", Shelly R, 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", Barnhart R T, 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", Lewis G, Jady Davis Games Products, Broadbeach 1991. ISBN: 0-9595715-4- X. Good statistical treatment of biased wheels.

"The Money-Spinners", Black J, 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

Roulette is rarely dicussed in the newsgroup rec.gambling.other-games ; since most roulette "systems" do not work, the subject is ridiculed there. Some gambling books and supplies can be obtained from one of the rec.gamblers, Chuck Weinstock (Conjelco). (Editor note: ...and the catalog too!) There is also the rec.gambling home page , where many other gambling related links can be found. For those who live near Atlantic City , there is a home page for that area.

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 realise the difference (where both single and double zero wheels are available in the US, the single zero wheels seem no better patronised).

Single zero roulette (usually not with European rules, i.e. en prison, except one wheel at the MGM Grand with a real French wheel, and croupiers in tuxedos) is available:

If you have any extra information for this list, please [email protected] email me.

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Last Update: 10/19/98 - No longer updated by original author. Link update July 2018.