Assuming you play roulette on a European wheel, there are 37 numbers available and only one of them wins per spin. So as you can imagine, players don’t see the same number winning multiple times in a row very often. However, logic was seemingly disbanded at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas when the same number won seven consecutive times. But was reality truly suspended at the Rio, or was something playing tricks on people’s minds?
You need a Picture to believe It
Poker pro Jeff Romano wasn’t prowling the Rio in search of statistical anomalies or looking to play roulette. Instead, he was in town for the 2012 WSOP and just happened to be strolling through the Rio’s casino floor when he saw something incredible….
On an electronic board that was being used to track winning numbers in roulette games, Romano saw that the number 19 had won an unheard of seven times in a row! As the board showed, the win streak set by 19 was eventually stopped when a 15 appeared; however, the number 19 won on the next spin.
Seeing as how the odds of this happening are so rare in roulette games, the poker player decided that he’d better take a picture of this for proof. Shortly after taking the snapshot, he tweeted the picture to all of his followers; some of these people then re-tweeted the photo and mainstream news outlets eventually got a hold of it. From here, the unusual occurrence ignited something of a media frenzy and had everybody thinking that they should bet on 19 more when they play roulette.
Too Good to be True
The same number winning seven consecutive times in roulette games is extremely rare. In fact, the odds of this happening are only 1 in 3 billion. Assuming somebody had the urge to bet $5 on 19 all seven times while letting their winnings ride, they would’ve won over $321 billion on this occasion; furthermore, they’d instantly be the world’s wealthiest person. Of course, this fun little scenario is only assuming that the incredible occurrence did happen…..which it didn’t.
Shortly after news outlets began running stories on the number 19 winning seven straight times, Caesars Entertainment (the Rio’s parent company) came out and said this didn’t really happen. Instead, they said the miracle run experienced by 19 was merely an electronic board malfunction. Caesars spokesmen explained this further by saying that their board merely displays winning numbers so people can see the results of roulette games better. But due to occasional machine malfunctions, the wrong winners are shown at times, which is what happened with the number 19.
Now that we’ve debunked the myth that you should obsessively bet 19 when you play roulette, it’s worth discussing what happened afterward. In Romano’s case, people began tweeting him to find out why he sent the picture before actually watching the roulette games. Romano explained that he saw people “jumping up and down” and “going crazy” when he passed by the wheel. When coupled with the electronic display that claimed 19 had won seven times in a row, Romano just assumed this was the case.
Romano wasn’t the only one who had to do a little backtracking since some major internet news hubs had released the story. Most of the same places then went back and updated readers on the electronic board display malfunction. So in the end, the rare 3 billion to 1 occurrence merely turned out to be a machine playing tricks on Romano.
The reality is that you’ll probably never see something this rare occur when you play roulette. However, that’s not to say that you can’t see or experience some pretty crazy things while playing. In fact, some people have gotten rich off of roulette games while only using basic strategy. That said, you might consider playing online roulette or visiting a land-based casino more often so you can try your luck at the game.