6. Trying to Beat the Wheel

Most strategies for beating roulette cannot overcome the house edge, which varies from 1.35 percent to as high as 7.89 percent, dependent on the wheel and the type of bet placed. However, while I can make a true statement that "most strategies cannot overcome the house edge," roulette has been beaten using a number of suprisingly different approaches.

The most common approach is what I call the pure "systems approach." Here, betting a certain pattern such as "bet red after black shows for two consecutive wins," and using some kind of betting progression is the basis of the system.

There are hundreds of these strategies and many of the strategies used in other LIVE casino games, such as craps or baccarat, were originated for roulette. These strategies are nearly always condemned by many gambling experts as worthless in overcoming the house edge. Yet, we will present evidence that using strict betting rules, combined with a number of specific money management techniques can overcome the house edge, so long as the games are kept reasonably short and certain "stop loss" measures are used.

In the next chapter I completely cover these "Systems and Strategies" so that you will have a fairly complete understanding of the kind of thinking that has gone into developing these systems.

A second approach to beating the wheel entails looking for imperfections in the wheel itself. Because no mechanical device is ever perfectly constructed, these strategies are based on finding certain numbers or groups of numbers or even sections of the wheel where the hits are way out of proportion to what probability theory would indicate. If the hits are distorted enough, then making the appropriate wagers can overcome the house edge. Thus, the game is turned in favor of the player.

The downside to this approach is the amount of time required. Usually at least several thousand roulette decisions have to be recorded to ascertain with a high degree of certainty that a wheel is biased.

Some people enjoy tracking wheels. If you are one of these people, you will be disappointed in the Maximum Advantage Roulette Strategy as it has nothing to do with finding biased roulette wheels.

The concept of finding a biased wheel applies only to physical roulette wheels. I have never heard of a biased roulette wheel in a virtual casino.

This approach is much too tedious for me. However, the concept behind wheel tracking can be used for short-term play. Here, certain numbers or groups of numbers are tracked for a very short time period. It is well known that over a period of 38 spins of a wheel not every number will show. In fact, the odds against every number showing one time in 38 spins of a double-zero wheel are astronomical. What usually occurs is that about one third of the numbers won't show at all, while some numbers will repeat two, three or even more times.

Our publication, Target Roulette, describes a strategy designed to profit from short-term imbalances in the distribution of numbers.

Short-term wheel tracking can be quite profitable if it is used as a short-term playing concept employing hit and run tactics to rack up wins.

Some players claim that they are able to observe a spinning wheel and track what section the ball will land in while bets are still being accepted.

The player who is able to do this observes the ball's speed in relation to the rotation of the wheel. The way a baseball player determines where a fly ball will land or a scientist determines where a falling satellite will reenter the earth's atmosphere are similar.

Generally, there is about a 15 to 20 second window when a player who is skilled enough to estimate the section where the ball might land can observe the spinning wheel and ball and then make his wagers. I have never tried to develop this skill and since much of my play is on the Internet, this skill would be of limited value to me. It is not a skill that is needed to use the Maximum Advantage Roulette Strategy.

There is a fourth approach that is quite controversial. Many experts doubt that this approach is valid. This approach entails observing and learning a "dealer's signature." The theory here is that many dealers develop a predictable routine after spinning the wheel and releasing the ball for thousand upon thousands of times.

These dealers have developed a mechanical approach to the process and tend to spin the ball the same way each time. Since a dealer always picks the ball up from the last number that hit and then spins it a moment later, some dealers will develop predictable "spacing" between their hits. Some players believe that we might be capable of reading these dealers just as we can determine a biased wheel.