Roulette Questions and Answers

Questions from our readers

Why are you giving out all this information for free?

During the years we have seen many players, friends and relatives lose large amounts of money on roulette. We despise the tactics casinos and commercial roulette strategy sellers use against players.

The only way to reduce the vulnerability of the player is to provide in information which addresses the risk at hand when gambling. When it comes to gambling information it is either biased (an author or seller wants to make a profit, so information is left out to seduce you into purchasing a strategy), or the information is too complicated for the general player who doesn’t have an understanding of statistics or probability theory. The new John Solitude’s Roulette Faction and Fiction Guide tries to provide the best of both: a beginners introduction in probabilitytheory and statistics, gambling psychology, playing strategy and general facts you need to know.

We do not charge for this extensive guide because it is our goal to ensure the distribution amongst players would be as high as possible.

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Is flat betting better of worse than using progressions?

First let us address the term ‘flat betting’ and ‘progressions’ for people who do not know this gambling ‘talk’. Flat betting simply means you will not lower or increase the stake no matter what the outcome of a spin. Progression playing style is exactly the opposite: you will lower or increase the stake depending on the outcome of each spin.

This is a question which has more to do with the betting temperament of the player, than one or the other would be ‘better’. If you flat bet, you increase the amount of trials you can buy with your bankroll: increasing the amount of trials in which you play the same chances over and over mathematically increases the probability you will get your bet right finally. However, at some occasions getting the bet ‘right’ would still mean you are losing money because the stake wasn’t increased to regain the capital you have invested on the previous (loosing) trials.

A (positive) progression is used to make sure on a success you gain capital: you will increase the stake after each miss, but the downside is this decreases the amounts of trials you can buy because you’ll have to slightly or aggressively increase the stake after each mistrial to regain the capital you have invested on previous mistrials. You can either run into table limits (sometimes called the ‘spread’ of the table) or quickly run out of bankroll if you do not get winner.

There are also ‘negative’ progressions: you decrease the stake after a loss, and increase the stake or keep it level after a win.

Flat betting is a WRONG choice if you decide to only use it to make your stay in the casino as long as possible: in the chapter ‘The house-edge’ of the new guide, you’ll find that the more spins you play, the longer you are exposed to the house edge. This is the downside to flat betting: you’ll generally play more spins because on some occasions a winning bet would still mean you have lost capital on the total of all the bets you placed.

Progressions on the other hand are a WRONG choice if you expect that you will certainly have a profit if only you would play the same chances long enough, increasing the stake after each mistrial. Mathematically positive progressions do make more sense than flatbetting because it is BETTER to try and gain capital in as less spins as possible (accepting the risk on some occasions this will NOT work out), than try and gain capital by playing hundreds of spins for hours on end.

The more spins are played, the higher the risk of getting “grinded” down by ‘the house-edge’.

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What about this ‘house-edge’?

The house-edge is the mathematical advantage the casino has on EACH game in the casino. On each spin of the roulette wheel, the risk you take as a player is slightly (French roulette) or severely higher (American roulette) than the reward for getting the bet right.

The house-edge increases the probability the casino will win in the long run.

No matter what playing style you use, in roulette the house-edge remains the same on each spin. In some card games (especially Blackjack if you know basic strategy and know how to count cards) the house-edge can be influenced by the strategy of the player.

To find a detailed explication of the house-edge please refer to the chapter ‘The House Edge’ in our new guide John Solitude’s Roulette Fact and Fiction.

If you do not read our full guide it is sufficient to be warned that American roulette is amongst the games with the highest house-edge, together with slots (depending on the way they were set up) and Keno. The game with the lowest house-edge is the banker bet on Baccarat.

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Why do you advise to play automated mechanical roulette (sometimes called ‘rapid’ roulette – this is NOT videogame roulette) instead of dealer operated roulette?

One of the latest developments in the gaming industry is the introduction of fully automated roulette tables. The launch of the ball is automated by increasing the speed of the wheel so central gravity takes over and the ball flies out of the pocket for another spin, or the ball drops below the table to be relaunched using airpressure. These are commonly referred to as ‘slingshot’ wheels. Each player has it’s own betting terminal and the payout is fully automated. You can find examples of automated tables over here.

The major advantage for the player is he doesn’t have to tip the dealer after a straight hit on one of the inside bets. Many casino’s have installed a policy in which the player is expected to tip the dealer on (each) straight hit of the inside bets: in our new guide John Solitude’s Roulette Fact and Fiction you’ll read that

a) in most venues the tips deposited in the dealers box are not divided fair and square amongst the dealers themselves (this is information which we derived directly from an ex- dealer)

b) the ritual of tipping (especially) roulette dealers is actually a covert way to mathematically increase the house-edge even further (which is a fact and can be shown statistically)

c) the tips allow the casino’s to cut on basic wages

In a multimillion dollar industry we should expect the staff lower in the chain (in this case the dealers) can either receive the tips in full (which is not the case in most venues) or alternatively these people are paid decent wages and the player is not expected to tip on each straight hit. The fact is the far majority of players will pay the wage of the dealer simply by playing. Especially in American roulette, which has amongst the highest house-edges in the casino, it is simply outrageous to install a tipping policy.

Another benefit of fully automated mechanical tables is a player has his own betting terminal, making it less hard to reach the lay-out. A player can automatically repeat, increase or lower the stake which allows a better way of handling your money management.

In most venues the stakes are also lower than dealer operated roulette: for the same bankroll you can buy more trials.

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Can I trust internet (videogame roulette) casinos?

We do not trust internet casinos for several reasons:

Most servers of internet casinos are located in off-shore countries where there are little or insufficient government regulations and inspections on gambling, when compared to European countries or the U.S.A. It is very easy to ‘rig’ a random number generator depending on the bets that are placed. The player is completely dependent on the fair play of the organiser, but at the same time it would be very easy for the organizer to manipulate the games they offer. If the game is manipulated, all probability calculations are invalid.

As a matter of fact some casino exploitations even offer ‘free play’ roulette sessions with manipulated probability odds, only to seduce the player in playing for cash. If it is possible to manipulate the game in ‘free play’ mode it’s surely possible to rig the game when playing for cash. Proving the game was fixed would be very hard because one would need to collect a large amount of trials to distinguish between having bad luck or being scammed. Even if one could prove the ‘fix’, the gambling regulations of the country in which the server is placed could be insufficient to take successful legal action.

Video feed roulette is mostly interrupted to switch between a shot of the dealer launching the ball and a camera shot to show the final outcome. It wouldn’t be very hard to play a prerecorded video feed of the second camera angle on some occasions. When playing video feed roulette it is not possible to only observe without playing: one is expected to play whenever logged in to the video feed or one gets thrown out of the room. The latter makes analysis by the player to see if the game is ‘fair’ impossible.

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Are you sure you are going to end up with a profit if you play roulette?

No, at very best we can mathematically calculate how high or low the probability percentage is for winning or loosing a certain betting combination (be it a single spin, or several spins). Check our brand new guide John Solitude’s Roulette Fact and Fiction in the download section to learn about probability theory and standard deviation.

When we go out playing we know we will not either loose nor win a fortune.

You should never forget that ‘winning’ a fortune in gambling, especially when it comes to roulette can NEVER be done unless you are also prepared to risk a fortune. There are always two sides to the coin and in roulette the coin is slightly thinner when it comes to your chances in the long run.

If one tells you he ‘won’ a fortune, your first question should be ‘how much did you risk’ and be very aware one could have lost that fortune as well.

Never believe wild stories deliberately spread by internet scammers (who want to sell you something) unless you were present at such a ‘win a fortune’ event in person.

If the seller insists, invite him to ‘win a fortune’ while you are present, gambling with his own money of course. This should not pose a problem because if he’s right he wouldn’t mind giving a demonstration in a real casino environment.

People reading our guide will also find it is mathematically impossible in the short (let’s say a single session of a couple of hundred spins) nor medium run (arbitrary let’s say a couple of thousand spins) to distinguish sufficiently between luck and having an edge. One can only determine how much the result is more or less probable to have appeared naturally. However a low probability percentage does not equal to never, and a high probability percentage does not equal to always. As such it may appear that a certain playing strategy (be it mathematical, bias strategy or visual prediction systems) has an edge, while it’s only having good luck that a fatal combination of outcomes did not appear while you were playing.

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Can we expect similar results as described in your guide?

No, each roulette session is a completely unique event.

Simply because a certain combination of outcomes never appeared in a certain amount of spins, we could not state it could not happen if you had a larger sample space.

Your success or loss will depend on the amount of betting opportunities, the amount of times a combination appears of which the probability is low (but never low enough to state it could never happen within the amount of trials you will be playing) and how kind the standard deviation is towards you. The player has no influence over standard deviation, he can only calculate it to estimate what is more or less likely to happen.

Remember the wise Murphy: ‘If it can happen, it will happen': in roulette not one number is ever removed out of the game, so even the most remote combinations WILL happen occasionally. We can state the probability for observing certain combinations is very low, but we can not state they would never happen in the trials you would be playing.

A statistician can calculate how large or small the probability is that a certain combination of outcomes would appear, but he can never calculate when exactly a streak with a (very) low probability will show it’s ugly head.

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Is luck a factor when playing roulette?

Yes, undoubtedly and let never no one convince you otherwise.

Although with probability theory and statistics we can mathematically analyze how low or high your risk is when you play a certain bet for x amount of spins, we can mathematically never exclude the probability that a combination of which the probability is very low could not happen all together. Even the most successful gamblers of all times (the M.I.T.-students) who used advanced money management coupled with complicated probability and statistical analysis had to cope with loosing sessions in which they lost serious amounts of money. They even had the benefit they played what is called ‘a random dependent event’ (Blackjack) while roulette is a random independent event, which makes it much harder to eliminate the probability of all possible outcomes.

It is luck which will determine if you would encounter such a low probability event or not when you are at the table. Many scammers will only state otherwise because if they would state luck is a factor, you would not be inclined to buy whatever product it is they are offering.

It it however possible to push your ‘luck’ as far as possible by using self disciplined predetermined money management and figuring out the probability odds for each of the bets you’ll be taking. Study the spread of the table, the probability percentages, determine the risk you want to take and stick to it. Be self disciplined at all times; in most occasions it’s better to accept reasonable loss rather than to chase loss using financial resources you could not afford to miss if things turn sour.

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Can I become a millionaire by playing roulette?

No, unless you are already a millionaire who is willing to take huge risk. The money you make (or loose) will always be in relation to the money you are prepared to risk. Read the previous answers and the guide for a more detailed answer.

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What about ‘dealers signature’ or deliberate influence by the dealer?

‘Dealers signature’ is the myth roulette dealers would (subconsciously) get in a certain rhythm of throwing the ball around at a certain dealer related velocity (speed). If this would be the case, according to the myth it would be possible for the player to analyze where the next throw is more or less likely to land.

In the far majority of the casino’s dealer shifts are far not long enough to statistically seriously investigate such a statement. Even the slightest millisecond of difference in velocity applied to the launch or the slightest difference in wheel rotation will result in a totally different outcome.

When it comes to deliberately influencing the run of the ball: during our research we offered any dealer a reward of a 1000 euros if he would be able to deliberately influence the outcome of a game on a wheel with a low profile (which are used in the far majority of the casinos). This test would be taken in the presence of a qualified statistician and of course we would not settle for a small sample space, but would ask the contender to only focus on throwing the ball around all day long, so we would have a sufficient amount of trials.
And, of course the candidate should express his INTENT (which section he would be targeting) before throwing the ball.

Our source, the ex-dealer, stated already it is impossible for a dealer to deliberately influence the outcomes on a modern wheel. The candidate dealers who were willing to take the test to prove there ‘skills’ soon backed of when we introduced them to our statistician.

We even found out dealers may deliberately spread the rumor they would be able to influence the outcomes, simply because they know if players believe this they are more likely to tip (because you would think by tipping it’s possible to get the dealer on your side).

Read ‘the story of the blind man’ and the chapter ‘the dealer is not your friend’ in our new guide John Solitude’s Roulette Fact and Fiction for more dealer related issues.

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What about roulette bias?

Roulette bias is still one of the most persistent stories around. Wheel bias means that due to construction errors in the roulette wheel or bad maintenance, some sectors or numbers would simply turn up at a higher rate than expected by probability theory.

It is a fact today’s wheels are constructed with space age precision technology and each wheel has passed serious statistical tests before it even ends up in a casino. Even in the casino, the wheels are statistically monitored in real time or on a regular sample basis. Finding a biased wheel is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Serious statistical analysis to determine bias involves spending countless days in the casino and collecting a very large amount of spins. Despite what some sellers may state to sell you some kind of product (see the scams & fraud section on this website) it is statistically impossible to determine bias in the short run: one would simply be not able to distinguish between coincidence and bias. Each statistician will agree with this statement.

Although a professional wheel is quite expensive to purchase, it’s only a matter of good business economics for casinos to regularly maintain their wheels and replace them whenever necessary: that’s why there are a wide range of second hand wheels available. These wheels were removed from the casino and simply replaced by new ones, before they became unreliable.

Unfortunately many of these wheels end up with roulette strategy sellers, who use these wheels as proof that bias does exist. Sure, but that’s why a wheel is within a home environment and no longer in the casino.

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Do you have any commercial systems you can recommend or sell yourself?

No, we do not recommend any commercial roulettesystems or strategys, nor do we sell them. Please read our guide in full. Be very careful before you spend your (hard earned) money on some scammer whose only goal it is to rip you out of your money and who will not inform you of the risk that is always at hand. Before purchasing a system or strategy please consult our scams and fraud page on this website.

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