it’s difficult to comprehend, but roulette’s entire house edge rests on two green slots floating in a sea of red and black. Without zero and double-zero the game is an even contest. With the extra slots it gains a punishing house edge. Don’t ever forget that.
There is a great temptation to focus on the winning potential of a particular system and ignore the possibility that the ball will fall into the green. It’s a nice fantasy, but casinos were built on money earned from zero and double-zero.
Covering the numbers won’t help. The mathematics of the payouts and probabilities remain inflexible. If you play roulette, then you simply must be prepared to lose. The only alterriative is playing a biased wheel. Bias is not common, but in the next section we’ll explain how it works.
Bias and other methods of beating the wheel
Roulette’s randomness requires a perfectly balanced wheel. Anything less creates a bias toward certain numbers. Roulette wheels are built with extreme precision and are frequently checked for balance and wear, but biased wheels occasionally re main undetected. Unfortunately they don’t have a big sign announcing a player edge, so you must hunt them down or (more likely) stumble across them.
Hitting a particular number two or three – times in a row is not in itself an indication of bias. A number must consistently hit more than once in six trials (thirty-eight minus the house edge) over an extended period, usually at least 1,000 spins.
The process of recording spin results is called clocking a wheel, and it’s usually done in shifts by a team of professional gamblers. It’s a twenty-four-hour operation because any breaks during or after clocking allow the casino time to move the wheel to another table. If the team finds a biased wheel, another group moves in and bets millions to earn millions.