Roulette is synonymous with gambling systems. Roulette has always been the favorite game of system players. This is partially because it allows so many betting options that all kinds of exotic combinations become possible and partially because the game proceeds at a slow enough pace to permit system players to make any abstruse calculations their system may require before putting down the next bet. In fact, what little popularity the game does enjoy in this country is due in part to the activities of system players.
No less a mathematical authority than Albert Einstein has said, "No one can possibly win a roulette unless he steals money form the table while the croupier isn't looking." However, just in case you have a friend who thinks he knows better, I'll try to show you why these systems don't work before you mortgage your house to finance your friend's scheme.
The theory behind this strategy is that, with extensive wear, wheels develop imperfections that favor certain numbers over others. If one records all the numbers rolled on a particular wheel over a period of time and studies the results, he may be able to pinpoint what numbers that wheel favors and exploit this information in his betting as long as the same wheel remains in play.
At one time this theory worked, and a number of gamblers did succeed in making substantial profits by clocking roulette wheels. Today, the casinos are wise to this danger and have realized that a little money spent on maintenance can save a lot of money in lost bets. The wheels are examined frequently and changed regularly. You will not find a biased wheel in operation in any major gambling casino in the United States.
This system is probably as old as the game of roulette itself, but it still surfaces with depressing regularity. Each time it does, it is touted as a revolutionary "new" method guaranteed to beat the tables. Just a couple of year ago, a system seller out of Texas was pitching it through the mail for twenty-five dollars. As soon as the episode fades from the memories of all the customers who got burned, some new system pitchman (or the same gay under a new alias) will start peddling it again.
The system is based on the fact that the third column on the roulette layout contains eight red numbers and only four black numbers. For some reason, this has struck some misguided individuals as some kind of mathematical flaw in the layout that can be exploited by the player. The way they try to do that is to bet one unit on the third column and tow units on black every spin. The fact that they have the eighteen black numbers going for them and, on the column bet, have twice as many reds working for them as blacks is somehow supposed to mean that they have pulled a fast one on the casinos. You can put this one through a trail run very easily. Get hold of a bunch of pennies and go through the process of betting three pennies, as explained above for thirty-eight consecutive spins. Assume that each of the thirty-eight numbers come up one time. You can use the drawings of the roulette layout and wheel in this text to work this out. If you have the perseverance to follow this through, you will find that you end up with six pennies less than you stared with. Since you put a total of 114 pennies into action (3X38), this means a loss of 6/114, which comes to 5.26 percent.