Cheaters and Roulette

Cheaters and Roulette

Roulette gaming aficionados have long pondered the merits of 'Roulette Cheating Systems.' One tech expert and Roulette boffin  - Mark Howe -  says that his new cheating device really works and that it can actually make scientific calculations to increase the edge for a player to 20% or more. Howe claims that his Roulette cheating device allowed him to win ‘substantial amounts of money’ until he was banned from British casinos in the 1990’s. There is much dispute, however, as to whether or not the device actually works to increase the player’s odds for winning predictions at each spin of the Roulette wheel. Furthermore, there is question as to whether or not use of such a device is legal.

How the Device Works

A digital piece of equipment referred to as a ‘clicker’ records the timing of the speed with which the deceleration of both the wheel and the ball occurs. The information is transferred to a ‘remote’ computer which then calculates the number that the ball is most likely to fall into, based on an algorithm. The number is then delivered to the player via computer transmission to an audio device worn in the ear. The clicker can be disguised in a pen, piece of jewelry, shoe, inside a watch, and similar items. The remote computer is small enough to be disguised, as well, inside of a purse, cigarette lighter, cellular phone, mp3 player and such. Howe asserts that his software, or the ‘device’ that he sells for £1,000 will provide the same results on all Roulette wheels, whether they are biased or level. The Guardian, a government gambling watchdog group was provided with a successful demonstration of Howe’s device. Following extensive research on hundreds of these devices a government lab showed results that indicate the device will provide gamblers with quite a considerable edge when they play Roulette using the device. That research was generated by the suspicion of a group using them at the Ritz in London circa 2004, winning £1.3 million.

What the Experts Have to Say

Some say that the device works on biased Roulette wheels where the ball is dropping in the same zone repetitively, or when a ‘manageable scatter’ is occurring. A manageable scatter is when the ball strikes a number, but then typically falls into a neighboring number. Others claim that the device will work on level wheels just the same as a biases wheel. A former croupier turned gaming inspector, Keith Taylor, says that officials will not ban the devices because in doing so, it would be an ‘admission’ that Roulette wheels can indeed, be biased in the first place. That is a fact that casinos and regulators would rather not contend with if it can be avoided. Taylor received notification from the Gaming Commission that they do now ‘agree’ that roulette wheels can develop bias and that the ‘cheating’ device could be used effectively to predict with some accuracy the number, or area in which the ball will come to rest. The Gambling Commission’s director Phill Brear admitted that the software devices can work for the purpose of prediction and thereby increase a gamblers odds significantly. Brear suggested that although the device may very well work, and will not be policed by the Commission, there could be prosecution for use with a new Gambling Act of Cheating.

The Gaming Commission’s Disposition on Legality of the Device

According to Phill Brear the casinos will be required to police for themselves. The Gambling Commission of the UK went so far as to advise casinos that they should refuse to pay-out to gamblers that are caught using the devices. This will force gamers to take legal action to obtain their ‘winnings’ - action that many cheaters say will not stop them from using the device to beat the Roulette wheel. Recently a Spain court ruled against the casino that attempted to ban a father and son who claimed that they won millions of dollars predicting where the ball would fall. The devices are illegal in many, if not most, locations around the globe, but the UK Gambling Commission essentially passed the ‘policing’ off to the casinos themselves – and to withhold pay-outs rather than ‘prosecute’. 

Mark Griffiths, sole professor of gambling in Europe, asserts that the use of these predictive devices is simply not cheating, and therefore should not be illegal. Griffiths stated that this predictive device used for Roulette is not unlike card counting in Blackjack. It is the use of science and knowledge in an effort to acquire an advantage and not cheating. In all reality gamers must be cognizant of the fact that an edge over the house at 20% or higher compared to the typical 2.7% edge that the house holds over the gambler is significant. Significant or not, there will be loss with the wins, and a great many people have won a lot of money when deciding to play roulette, with or without a prediction device – but they have risked, and lost, just as great if not greater amounts of money, as well. In the long-run, gambling is a gamble, even with a device like this one; there is still investment and risk involved with every spin.