The roulette wheel is known as one of the most random of gambling games. It’s a game of pure chance with players having no control whatsoever on how the ball will land and the only strategy that can be applied to roulette in general comes down to betting. But is this really true? Can the casino or at least the croupier actually control the wheel by spinning it a certain way or, worse, through a rigged wheel?
There are certainly plenty of stories out there that suggest that roulette can be rigged. The problem is that these stories are always based on hearsay. Of someone writing a blog post or even just commenting on a website that they once spoke to someone who knew someone who was chatting one day with a roulette croupier who apparently told them that he can hit the same numbers time and time again.
Is it possible that this is true, though? We can’t prove it, that’s for sure, but let’s take a look at a few of the claims and the likeliness of them being true.
Moving the Ball with Magnets
Though unlikely, this isn’t perhaps entirely impossible. The idea that a croupier may move the ball with magnets to make sure that it lands in the right place may seem compelling, but we quickly run into a couple of problems here. First, even with a magnet running on the bottom of the table, it’s unlikely to hit with any accuracy if it was to look natural at all. A manipulated ball would be very obvious. Second, it would be incredibly difficult for the croupier to pull this off each time with no one noticing. Especially if the ball needs to land on specific numbers.
Using a Rigged Wheel
There’s just no way that a wheel can be rigged to land on a specific number or even a specific quadrant. Not just because presumably, the casino would want the ball to land on specific numbers each time, the precision required for such a feat is beyond possibility. It’s simply completely unreliable.
The Croupier Controls the Spin
The most likely option by a million miles. But still not overly so. The idea that the croupier has gotten so good at spinning the wheel that it will always land where he wants it to is unlikely but at least theoretically possible. Not so much in terms of landing the ball at exactly the right pocket, but of landing in it near a certain cluster of numbers – say of landing within 4 or 5 pockets of his target.
Again, though, this is highly unlikely. It would take starting the wheel at exactly the right place and spinning it with such precision that the croupier would need to spin it at exactly the right speed by exerting exactly the right pressure. Also, considering that each round will have drastically different bets, trying to work out how to spin it in exactly the right way from exactly the right point to hit exactly the right numbers so that the casino will definitely win is just… way more trouble than it would be worth if it was even possible.
So, is roulette really as random as it seems? It’s extremely unlikely that it isn’t.