This article explains the common myths of roulette computers.
Myth 1: They Are Illegal.
Actually they are LEGAL in about 60% of jurisdictions. Every jurisdiction is different. Gaming law is usually state law, not national. So it can even be legal in one state, but not another – within the same country.
How can this be legal? After all, wouldn’t casinos push to make them illegal if they stand to lose money?
Many casinos have indeed lobbied to make roulette computers illegal. But the push is not as urgent or dramatic as you may think.
Basically every casino is aware of the existence of roulette computers, but they don’t fully understand them. Nor do they need to. To make roulette computers ineffective, casino staff need only close bets before the wheel is spun. It sounds like an easy solution, but this would lose the casino even more money, so they don’t do it. I’ll explain more about this later on. For now I’ll focus on the legalities.
Most gaming laws define cheating as anything that:
- Wins money from deception, or
- Influences game outcomes.
Roulette computers do neither. They merely predict spins.
It’s quite easy to check your jurisdictions gaming laws. See a list of gaming authorities.
One example of deception is placing a winning bet on the table after the ball has landed. Cheating players have one fortunes with this particular approach. It requires distracting and deceiving the dealer. Although roulette computers are hidden, the advantage they achieve has nothing to do with deception.
An example of influencing game outcomes is tampering with the wheel or ball. For example, some players have previously used discrete air blowers to influence spins. Again, roulette computers do not influence spins. They merely predict spins.
Myth 2: Casinos Will Eventually Close Betting Before Spinning The Wheel
Roulette computers can’t work if bets are closed before the wheel is spun. However, casinos know that doing this for all players ultimately loses the casino money.
This is because many players prefer betting after the ball is released. The reasons for this are varied. For example, some players believe dealers can influence the winning number, and deliberately avoid the player’s bets. This is not realistically possible, and is discussed in detail in another article here.
Additionally, by allowing players to make bets while the wheel spins, the game is sped up, and more bets are placed on the table. And since the vast majority of players do not use a roulette computer, the casino maximizes their revenue by allowing late bets. This is why almost every casino allows late betting (bets after the wheel is spun).
Casinos know that if they suspect a player of using a roulette computer, they need only close bets earlier until the player either loses or leaves. Then normal procedures can resume.
Does this mean game-over for computer players? No. A well-organised roulette computer team can easily earn large sums without ever being detected. The procedures and techniques to avoid detection are beyond the scope of this article. It’s something only disclosed to our players. It’s not difficult to earn a few thousand dollars, then leave before the casino suspects anything. A roulette computer player may only make ten or so bets before leaving with a profit.
Online casinos are a bit different. They tend to adopt a more cautious approach to the threat of roulette computers. This is why most live online roulette casinos don’t allow betting after the wheel is spun. After all, online casinos cannot physically see you, and are at a disadvantage when detecting roulette computer players.
Myth 3: The Computer Must Be Visible, or Near The Wheel.
I’m not sure why, but many people seem to believe a roulette computer must sit on or near a wheel to work. But actually they are never visible to casino staff.
Roulette computers are easy to hide. They can be hidden just about anywhere, and are never in open view of the casino staff. Usually they are hidden in a pocket.
Most roulette computers use a hidden cable with a small button on the end. The button is usually pressed by your toe as the wheel and ball complete revolutions. The time between these clicks is what establishes the wheel and ball speeds.
The button can be hidden in many different places. For example, the player can hide various hidden buttons throughout their body and clothing. If they are sitting, it might be on their knee. Or it could be on the end of the jacket sleeve.
Our most sophisticated computers don’t need hidden buttons at all. They use a hidden auto-aiming camera which transmits encrypted video through the Internet to a server. The server then analyses a video to determine wheel and ball speeds. Predicted numbers are then transmitted back to the players in the casino to bet. The player with the hidden camera could be 30 feet away from the wheel, playing on a slot machine like book of ra deluxe, never suspected of being part of an elaborate roulette computer team.
Myth 4: Casinos Can Search You And Find The Computer
If you are using a roulette computer where it is legal, casinos do not have the legal right to search or detain you. This would require the presence of law enforcement officers such as the police.
If you are playing where it is legal, it is unlikely you will ever be searched. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen though. As far as I’m aware, in the fifteen years that I’ve been operating roulette computer teams, I’ve only ever known of three teams to be caught.
The first was a lone player in an Australian casino, who won approximately $200,000 over a few months. What got him caught was staff noticing him tapping his foot. I suspect he became complacent, which is likely to happen after months of winning. He should have been using a toe switch, with the correct shoes to hide movement of his toe. Roulette computer application is illegal in Australia, so he was going to be charged. But the charges were eventually dropped, reportedly because he was a tourist, and prosecution would be “messy”.
Secondly, a group of players won £1.3 million in the London Ritz casino. The winnings were achieved over a three-day period. Casino surveillance staff suspected the players were using a roulette computer. The police were called to review footage, and the three players were detained (with no charges). Various electronic gadgets were confiscated. However, the players were not charged because they did not break any laws. Since then, the local laws were changed to make roulette computers illegal. But later the computers became legal again because of gambling deregulation. The police stated that casinos would be required to “police themselves”.
Only one of my players has ever been caught. He was applying the computer illegally in an Asian casino. He too was not charged, and was fortunately released only with a warning.
Anyway back to my original point. A typical computer is never visible to casino staff. The only way casinos will know for sure you’re using a roulette computer is if they physically search you, and your physical equipment is obvious. It would then be difficult to explain why you have a peculiar looking custom electronic device.
This is why the majority of our roulette computers are made from modified mobile phones. After all, they are the perfect disguise. You can even make phone calls on them.
Our most sophisticated roulette computer is a perfectly normal-looking mobile phone, with no additional equipment such as wireless earpieces. Furthermore, the phone can be completely encrypted, and even wiped remotely. This means that if you are physically searched, and the phone is carefully inspected by the manufacturer, absolutely nothing can be found to incriminate you.
However, although we could easily use roulette computers illegally (and never be caught), we don’t. Firstly, I personally earn enough without needing to break laws. And secondly, there are plenty of legal places to play.
Myth 5: If You Are Caught, You’ll Be Taken Out Back and Bashed.
This could happen if you are caught in an illegal underground Romanian casino run by the mob. But I have never heard of it happening. As far as I know, it has only ever happened in the movies.
The reality is if you are suspected of using a computer, all the casino does is instruct the dealer to close bets earlier. Then when you leave, normal procedures resume. This means the casino continues to allow late bets, which maximize their revenue.
Myth 6: If They Really Worked, Casinos Would Be Out Of Business
Roulette computers may be the quickest and most profitable way to beat casinos. However, there are many other legitimately effective techniques, which beat a variety of other games – not just roulette.
The most common term for such techniques is “advantage play”. Casinos are of course aware of how their games are vulnerable to professional players. This is why most casinos employ consultants, which advise their staff on how to detect and deal with professional players.
The simple fact remains that casinos know some advantage players may slip through the cracks, and remain undetected. So it is the job of the surveillance staff to detect such players before they do too much damage. Therefore it’s not so simple for players to walk up to any wheel and win millions. The chances are you will be detected before winning millions. And then the casino need only close bets earlier, until you leave.
This is why I’ve said many times beating wheels is not the problem. The real problem is avoiding detection. Some players have indeed won millions in short spaces of time. But this is rare. Most roulette computer players earn between $1,000 to $10,000 per session. And this is done right under the nose’s of casino staff. Consider the amount of money moving around the table. It’s not so hard to blend in. Also consider that a roulette computer player may only make ten or so bets before leaving with a profit. Then you can understand why it is not at all difficult to earn significant profit, without ever being detected.
Casinos of course know about roulette computers. But most staff only have a vague idea of how they work, and what the technology can do. Usually, everything they have learnt is from casinos consultants who are paid to educate staff. But the consultants themselves usually only have vague understanding. More specifically, they are only aware of older technology, and the basics.
One particular casino consultant said it best: “The players know more about beating the games than us. This is because they are the ones spending the most time and effort to beat the games. As long as this is the case, advantage play will be alive and well for some time.”
It doesn’t mean casinos won’t continue to protect their games. After all, no casino tolerates a consistent winner, regardless of how you win. The first and the best line of defense for any casino is vigilance surveillance, then neutralizing any threat as quickly as possible. In the case of roulette computers, it means closing bets earlier until the player leaves.
It isn’t so simple to make roulette impossible to beat with a roulette computer. It’s actually far more difficult to develop a truly unpredictable wheel, than it is to achieve sufficient accuracy with a computer. In a separate article, I will discuss the various technology casinos and wheel manufacturers have used in attempt to neutralize the roulette computer threat. Essentially their best technology, while very rare, does least reduce the effectiveness of roulette computers (usually halves the edge, which is still ok for computer players). But the downside is it ultimately loses the casino revenue, because players feel the spins are being manipulated, don’t trust the wheel, and inevitably don’t play. This is why such technology is not widely used by casinos (it ends up costing the casino even more).