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The 'bias wheel' Roulette System
I also like to call this one the 'wonky wheel' strategy, which has been around since the 1800's. But does longevity automatically give a strategy merit?
This strategy is based on the possibility that there are irregularities in the part of the wheel that the ball spins on. If the wheel has a tilt, then the point at which the ball drops from the rim will be biased towards the high point. Other factors like warping of the wheel may introduce similar biases. But does this bias help the player determine the outcome of the spin?
Probably not. If a 'wonky' or biased wheel actually does exist, then there may be a bias as to where the ball drops in relation to the stationary part of the table. The important thing to realize though is that the part of the wheel that contains the numbers is spinning. Therefore, even if there was a bias towards where a ball landed, there would be no way of telling which number the ball would land at because this part of the wheel is constantly in motion.
In addition, even if we assume for one crazy minute that we could predict where a ball would first drop, the wheel is spinning so fast, with so many metal bars separating the numbers to ricochet the ball into a completely different part of the wheel.
If the wheel was stationary, then maybe this strategy would have a chance of working. Of course, the casinos know this, which is why they spin the wheel.
So, its unlikely that strategies based on flaws on the part of the wheel that the ball spins on are unlikely to be successful. So what about flaws in the spinning part of the wheel? Can identifying the flaws in this part of the wheel give you a winning edge?
Firstly, lets examine the types of flaws that can be found on this part of the wheel. There can be chipped red or black paint on certain numbers, uneven wearing down of the metal bars between the numbers, warpage or cracks on the underside of the wheel, a rotational imbalance, and general wear and tear on the wheel.
Specifically, warpage could cause the ball to favor a certain side of the wheel - a certain series of numbers. Chipped paint on a number can cause the ball to bounce out faster because the groove now lacks some of the porous quality that paint gives it. As for variations in the metal slots between numbers, even a slightly taller bar may stop the ball from going further. Likewise a slightly smaller one will catch the ball less often.
If you were to accept that wear and warpage can affect the chances of individual numbers (not just blocks of numbers), then it follows that chances of red/black even/odd or high/low may also be affected, depending on the integrated effect over all numbers. Therefore, you could establish if there was a bias on these 50:50 bets.
This all sounds quite promising, but how do you go about identifying such a wheel? Are your eyes good enough to determine which metal bars are higher than others, or which numbers have chipped paint? If you could tell the difference with your naked eye, chances are the casino would notice this too, and make the necessary repairs.
Or could you identify these wheels by observing the numbers on a particular wheel to look for numbers with a higher frequency? How long would you need to observe a wheel before you could reliably identify a bias? I would think that you would need to monitor a wheel for weeks, if not months of continuous play before you even had a remote chance of picking up an irregularity. You also run the risk of the casino swapping the wheel with another table mid-way through your observations.
So - it is theoretically possible (though not guaranteed) for a roulette wheel to be beaten, but thoroughly impractical to tackle the problem.