# The Roulette Wheel (probability) question

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Anthony Moore, Feb 5, 2005.

1. ### MarkHastings Well-Known Member

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My way:

1.) Bring a few hundred \$\$ to the casino.
2.) Go to the roulette wheel and put it all on red or black.
3a.) If you win: pocket half and gamble with your winnings
3b.) If you lose, go home.

and for those who like to play it safer,

1.) Bring a few hundred \$\$ to the casino.
2.) Go to the roulette wheel and put half on red or black.
3a.) If you win: gamble with your winnings
3b.) If you lose, gmable with what you have left over.

2. ### tim55 Member

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If you are looking for someone that actually did this you found him.

First time I did this I was at the Flamingo. I thought I was a genius when I came uo with my plan of waiting for a roulette wheel to show 4 of the same color in a row. Then I would put \$20 on the other color and double my bet until I won. It worked and by the end of my trip, I was up \$2000. The only problem was waiting for the tables to show 4 in a row and running, sometimes across the casino, to make the first \$20 bet.

On my way home I thought there had to be a glitch somewhere in my thinking because that was way to easy.

Last summer I was at the Mandalay for a bachelor party and got 2 of my friends in on "My System". Again, it worked and the 3 of us where up \$1000 in no time. Then the hammer fell. We saw a table that had 5 reds in a row. So we started betting, doubling our bet after each loss. Next thing I knew and 12 reds showing, I had to put down a \$2560 bet in order to win my original \$20 bet. The big problem was the \$2500 limit on these types of bets. My 2 friends were about to kill me when I asked the pit boss if we could bet the \$2560. After calling someone upstairs he got the approval and I threw dow \$2560. We had a big crowd around the table now and my friends were coaxed into making the bet also. There was absolutely no room on the table to place a bet because everyone wanted to bet on black.

Well you probably guessed the outcome, FUCKIN RED!!! My heart sank because I hate losing money. I watched as red came up 2 more times before black showed up.

I thought this must have been longest streak of one color but the pit boss, who was very cool and compt us a night and told me that this sytem is a loser as is every system people go to Vegas with in the hope of beating the house. He said that if you win using any kind of betting system, take your winnings and never gamble again. That way you can always call yourself a winner.

3. ### Lew Crippen Well-Known Member

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Iâ€™m sure that George Kaplan would write about this more clearly, but a few points to add to the postsâ€”you need to track the money in order to understand the percentages (unless you basically understand the math, in which case the question would not have been asked).

First consider the roulette wheel. In America there are 38 slots, 18 of them red, 18 black and 2 green (0 & 00). Jason is correct if you are playing in Europe where there is only 1 green outcome (0). Assuming that you are playing in the States (as you are in Florida), the probability of losing on any one spin is 20/38 or approximately 54.05%. The probability of losing seven times in a row is:

(20/38)^7 or approximately 1.11%.

Now this seems to be a very rare occurrenceâ€”in fact you have only about one chance that it will happen in 100 plays and it should happen only 10 or 11 times on 1,000 plays and of course 111 times in 10,000 plays.

This seems attractive, but consider what will happen to your money while you are playing. For every successful play you win \$10. For every unsuccessful play (defined as losing 7 times in a row) you lose \$10+\$20+\$40+\$80+\$160+\$320+\$640 or \$1,270.

If you play 10,000 times you will win (10,000-111) * \$10 or 9,889 * \$10 or \$98,890â€”a tidy sum for sure.

However you will lose \$1,270 * 111 or \$140,970â€”a net loss of \$42,080. Still want to play? In your hypothetical proposition, where you play 100 times you should lose once costing \$1,270 and win 99 times leaving you with a net loss of \$280.

If you are playing in Europe you wonâ€™t lose quite so much as you lose only 94 times in 10,000 plays. So you win 9,906 * \$10 or \$99,060. You lose 94 * \$1,270 or \$119,380 for a net loss of \$20,320.

Of course in the limited 100 plays you will probably lose the same in either location--\$280.

If you want to spend \$280 for a nightâ€™s entertainment (assuming this is your definition of entertainment), go right ahead. Just donâ€™t do it with the expectation of making money.

4. ### george kaplan Well-Known Member

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Lew sums it up well. Basically, for every person who "wins" using this system, there are more people who will lose, and the house will come out ahead. And over time, you will lose more than you make no matter what. If you use the 7 spin limit, what you have is a high probability of winning a little bit and a low probability of losing a lot. You might "win" enough to think it's a good idea, but it only takes one big loss to make a handful of small wins seem unimportant.

As to the idea of waiting for a table to show a number of one color before betting the other - purely coincidence. As has been pointed out, the probability of an unrigged wheel coming up red is exactly the same whether the past 100 spins were all black, all red, or any other combination.

If you are gambling on games of chance to try to make money, then you're doing it for the wrong reason (IMO). If you're doing it because it's fun (even when you do end up losing), that makes a lot more sense.

5. ### StephenK Well-Known Member

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FYI,

The betting system is called Martingale (which encompasses a number of "double up after losses" systems) and, of course, will work fine as long as you have an infinite amount of money and the casino will assume an unlimited bet. I've done this at times, when I feel like it, but I will tell you, when you're pushing \$1,600 on the betting square to essentially win back \$25.00, and you know you have, at best, a 50/50 shot, it doesn't seem too logical.

BTW, there are other versions of this on a roulette wheel covering 2 out of 3, "2to1" payoff bets (such as first third & second third), that are even safer, but pay off slower (you win half your bet). The odds of 7 straight losses are .00031 or .031%. However, it's slow as shit and more boring than watching paint dry.

Steve

6. ### Cees Alons Moderator Moderator

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In fact: you cannot change your over-all expectation by playing any "system". Of course you can give away money, like tipping the croupier or burning it, but as long as you play regular roulette, your chances will always be the same. You cannot improve them, or even lower them (e.g. by playing "stupidly"). That's 36/37 in Europe and 36/38 in the Greedy-Las-Vegas US of A. Whatever you do.

What those "systems" are doing is: trading bigger chances to a lower gain for smaller chances of higher loss. But the total expectation always remains the same.

Want an honest huge gain? Most efficient method is: enter the casino with every dollar you own. Place all of it on one of the two colours. Three seconds later you either have nothing left or twice your wealth. Leave the casino. Never play again.
Have no money? Lend a million. Buy a gun and 1 bullet. Do the above. In one case you can give back the million to the lender, be almost a millionaire and also sell the gun again.

If there were no limits, a Martingale (or inverse Martingale - even more scarier for the Bank) may seem safe. But the fact is: you either win a little, or else go on losing - which you only view differently because you think you will win it back, eventually. But even if there wasn't a maximum to your bet: there's a limit in time and value. The series cannot take more than your lifetime and the stakes can never be more than all the money in the world. So the unfavourable, devastating (for you) streak does exist. Making it's chances smaller also increases the height of the bet involved. The expectation stays the same.

The Monte Carlo Casino has - since it's opening in the days of Blaisse Pascal - never had an evening they didn't close with a (significant) profit. Popular stories of the contrary notwithstanding.

Cees

7. ### Jason GT Well-Known Member

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Lew,

That explanation makes a heckuva lot of sense.

Cees:

I think I saw that in a movie once . Those crazy Europeans....

8. ### Joseph DeMartino Well-Known Member

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"The best way to double your money in a casino is to take it out of your pocket, fold it once and put it back in your pocket."

Joe

9. ### Grant B Well-Known Member

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I like to play when I am in a casino and generally I come out ahead. I limit my loses and generally stop if I go through the amount.
I watch the wheel and most of the time see some sort of pattern after a dozen or so spins. If I see complete randomness I try another wheel.
I understand that it has no memory and should be completely random but I tend to see some pattern and generally I walk away ahead which means it works for me

10. ### Cees Alons Moderator Moderator

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Joseph, .

Oh, Anthony, it's rather easy to explain why your chances will not increase or decrease by any betting system.

There are many systems, based on complicated combined bets (e.g. 2 on black, 3 on red), or on clever series (like yours) or on combinations thereof. But it essentially blurs what's going on (the casinos love that).

Whatever you do, you can split those actions into single bets. \$10 now - if you lose \$20 or else \$10: it's just one bet of \$10 and another one of \$10 or \$20. Never mind that you link them logically together by some decision of your own. THEY ARE ALL SEPARATE BETS, some at the same time, some not. To get the feeling: just imagine someone else, not you, made that second bet, and another person a third one in "your" series.

Bets, chips and roulette tables have no knowledge of other bets, chips or tables, nor of themselves at another instance of time.

And each of those bets carry the simple expectation of 36/37 (or 36/38). So the sum of all those bets (comprising your "system") carry exactly the same chance as a total. It's as simple as that.

Cees

11. ### Grant B Well-Known Member

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I should add I tend to play for a short time so when I hit a number or 2 I take the money and pay for dinner etc.
Rarely do I see people cash out

12. ### Jon_Are Well-Known Member

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I've got news for you, Grant - unless you're in a rigged game, you're always seeing "complete randomness".

Jon

13. ### Patrick Sun Moderator Moderator

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Anyone see "Las Vegas" on TV last night? They had a guy win a lot on Roulette (up to around \$4 million before they figured out what was happening). The writers tried to explain the scam by the guy putting bets on 4 "sectors" of the board AFTER the ball was in play, and the guy had an accomplice to help with triangulation, throw in an offsite PC doing the number crunching, and a cell phone to tell him which sector to bet, you get a guy winning on a roulette table. (this was glossed over rather quickly, so I may have some of the details wrong)

Of course, much was just sloppy writing, but I guess it might be possible to predict the outcome of the ball given certain factors that could be measured. Mike (the resident guru) said it'd take some heavy computing power to get the right sector for each tumble of the ball around the wheel.

14. ### chris_everett Well-Known Member

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A plot that they borrowed from an episode of Dark Angel, IIRC. They didn't address how you would compensate for the bounce in the Las Vegas ep...

15. ### Greg*go Well-Known Member

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I'd just like to add in this thread how amazed I was out the outcomes of roulette tables. If you just look around the different tables history boards, you'll see how each table crushes anyones strategies of betting black or red.

Some have 20 reds in a row, others have the entire board covered with alternating colors, while I've seen others with a combination of 0 or 00 4 times in a row.

Best line in this thread about gambling has to go to tim55

16. ### Steve Ridges Well-Known Member

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On a gambling related note, I just finished an interesting book called Bringing Down the House. It's about an MIT blackjack team that comes up with a system to win. The strategy and odds were interesting.

17. ### Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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Blackjack can be beaten with card counting, but the casino bosses spot the amateur counter in about 5 seconds. The MIT team used an elaborate scheme that involved in-place counters that played normally but signaled to spotters when a shoe was "hot". The spotters then signaled to a player who hit the table big until it went "cold", then left to hit another. They were very skilled and very elaborate and made millions, right up until the time the casinos grew suspicious. At that time, they retired, many of them taking up jobs in casinos as cheating consultants.

18. ### george kaplan Well-Known Member

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One thing that absolutely galls me is the fact that Vegas can outlaw card counting in Blackjack. Counting cards isn't cheating, anymore than know probabilities in poker. Cheating is having an ace up your sleeve, not being aware of what cards have already been played. It's completely bogus that card counting is considered cheating, or that Vegas can ban it. No one forces Vegas to offer Blackjack, but if they do, anybody should be allowed to play it honestly, no matter how smart they are about strategy.

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There was an episode of CSI that dealt with cheating at roulette. Once the ball would pass a certain point the guy at the table would tap his shoe or something and based on the timing difference, a algorithm would calculate the numbers that ball would most likely land.

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