Since the advent of roulette, players have been trying to come up with the perfect way to trick the tricky mechanism and make a big score. Gamblers develop whole strategies of behavior in the game, create mechanisms for calculating combinations or predict results, and some even resort to obviously illegal methods.
The first rolls were made of wood. The material deformed over time, resulting in a slight offset of the axis. The wheel tilted slightly to the side, which resulted in some numbers falling out more often than others. The first to notice this feature was British engineer William Jaggers. He also came to the conclusion that the result of the game may be affected by the imperfect shape of metal cylinders and even defects in the paintwork.
The ingenious engineer developed a simple way to trick roulette. He hired a team of 6 guys who watched the game in several casinos and recorded all the results within a few weeks. Jaggers then analyzed the statistics and made up the hottest numbers to fall out. Now all we had to do was bet on the right numbers and take off the cream. With the help of his system, William Jaggers managed in a few days in 1900 to win the casino Monte Carlo over 1.5 million francs.
The feat of an ordinary engineer in 1947 was repeated by mathematician Albert Hibbs and physician Roy Welford. Friends have long monitored the movement of the wheel in different casinos in Nevada, to identify defects in the mechanism. Based on the results, they developed a predictive model similar to the Jaggers method and won about $12,000. Gambling house owners only learned about the tricky method after Hibbs and Welford interviewed Life magazine and told how they managed to trick roulette in a casino.
The story of friends adventurers forced manufacturers to be more careful about machining parts of the mechanism and use technology to fix even the smallest defects. But even gamblers have adopted the achievements of modern science. The American mathematician Edward Thorpe, who is fond of probability theory, not only made his own system of predicting winning numbers, but also together with his colleague Claude Shannon developed a mini-computer. This miracle technique analyzed the speed of the roulette and the trajectory of the ball. Based on the data obtained, the machine hidden in the player’s shoe, predicted the winning numbers.
In the days of supercomputers machines are quite able to cope with the construction of mathematical models of the movement of the running ball on the roulette wheel, but the use of any technical devices in the casino is prohibited.
Several times, stories of getting easy money at roulette tables were the basis of feature films. The fate of lucky scammers are devoted to the painting “The man who broke the bank in Monte Carlo” and “roulette Kings”. The techniques of dishonest play are also shown in “Casablanca” and “Complaint”.
Dexterity of the hands
“The bets are placed, there are no more bets” – this is the phrase the dealer at the table asks the players to be patient before the announcement of the drawing results. But often these words become a signal for cheaters to start active actions. A common way to cheat roulette is to place bets in the prize sectors when you can already see which cell the ball has stopped. Unclean customers simply try to discreetly place a chip on the winning value or remove the bet from the losing number. Sometimes gemblers replace cheap chips with more expensive ones to get more money.
Richard Marcus is the most famous trickster in this business. The cheater pretended to be drunk and threw a few coins on the table after the betting was over to distract the croupier, and then quickly replaced the cheap chips with more expensive ones. Marcus was caught in 1999 and banned from visiting a casino in Nevada forever. After the revelation, Richard even wrote a book about his adventures, which claimed that he earned his skill thousands of dollars.
In 2019, repeating Marcus’ feat is not easy. CCTV systems in the casino record every movement of the player. Artificial intelligence independently detects fraudsters and instantly reports them to security. Dealers are also always on alert and during the announcement of the results make sure that players keep their hands on a special line drawn on the playing field to prevent cheating with chips.
Collusion with croupier
Fraudsters who want to make a big score on roulette, sometimes collude with casino employees. They look for a professional croupier and promise him a percentage of the winnings if certain conditions are met. Dealers can influence the outcome of the game in different ways: use heavy or light balls, run the roulette wheel at a certain speed, replace the material of the cells. Fraudsters agree on bets in advance, and the casino employee tries to make sure that they are winning in most cases.
To win big money at roulette, crooks are trying to negotiate with the croupier.
Sometimes the tricksters put their man in a gambling house. This happened in a casino in Belarus in 2014. Vasiliy V. from Brest showed the management all the necessary documents and got a job. Around the same time, the casino began to visit new customers, who played only roulette and only in shifts of the new croupier. At first they lost almost 99 out of 100 cases, but a month later their luck turned to them. In 2 weeks, gamblers beat the casino for a large sum. The owners, of course, became suspicious, but the players behaved usually, just bet on black more often than on red.
The deception was revealed after Vasily was fired “for family reasons”. The girl-dealer took his place at the table and scratched the cell with her nails during the next game. The staff got into a rush, because it’s very difficult to damage the wheel cover. During the inspection, it turned out that the previous dealer glued the black cells with transparent duct tape. The soft material reduced the inertia of the ball, so it stopped more often in prepared sectors. We failed to catch the Belarusian swindlers, because after Vasiliy was fired “regular customers” also stopped visiting the gambling house, and the documents of the fake croupier turned out to be false.