Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Can Roulette Dealers Control Where the Ball Will Land?...to Some Extent?

Can the dealer control where the ball lands?
If I was asked that question two years ago, I would have answered a firm "no."

But that all changed when I was training the staff of a Midwest Native American casino in 2016. I got into a conversation with the casino's table games director who asked me if I was going to include roulette-dealer-ball-control in my table-games-protection segment.

I told him no because there was no validity in roulette dealers controlling where the ball lands.

The astute table games director begged to differ.

He took me over to one of the wheels in his training room and asked me to pick a number. I felt like I was participating in another ages-old boring card trick, but not to be rude I said, "0".

He yanked the ball and I watched it spin around the cylinder with disinterest.

It bounded a few times and then dropped into the pocket for number 35, just three numbers away from his target 0.

"Not bad," I said, just to be polite.

"The objective is to hit a six-number quadrant of the wheel," he explained...to a still dubious audience.

"Let me see you do that again?" I quipped.

"Okay, pick the number."

"Go for 31."

He spun and hit number 6, just two numbers away from 31.

Still not impressed, I said, "Come on, this wheel must be biased, and you've been practicing."

He laughed and motioned me to follow him to another wheel in his training room. "You're right, I've been practicing...but you're wrong, that wheel is not biased. None of the wheels in here are."

There were four wheels in the training room. At this one, the second, he missed the six-number quadrant, but then hit it three of the next five spins. On the third wheel, he hit the number straight-up...and it was 13! Two more spins on that wheel and he hit the quadrant once more. On the fourth wheel he hit the six-number quadrant two of four times.

"Convinced?" he chirped after the multi-wheel ball-control demonstration.

Not wanting to give in, I said, "Well, maybe it's your lucky day. And I'll think about including it in tomorrow's training class.

I thought about it all night, and I have to admit I was intrigued. I did not include it in that next day's presentation but I did the following day. And I had the table games director help me out. He spun the ball six times and hit the six-number quadrant twice, still a profitable outcome if betting equally on all six numbers.

After the demonstration he explained the three anti-roulette-ball-control measures that casinos should take, and I now include them in all my game protection seminars in casinos that offer the ball version of roulette.

They are:

1) Do not let dealers look into the wheel when they set and spin the ball. If they cannot set up the same way with the same starting point every spin, they will have a much tougher time hitting their target.

2) Have the dealers change the speed of the rotor before spinning, and even change the speed of their spins. I'm not saying every spin but certainly a few times during each individual tour at the wheel.

3) Change the roulette balls. Roulette balls come in different sizes and each size has a different feel in the dealer's hand. Therefore, by changing the balls you are making the dealer who is looking to control the spin less comfortable.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this lesson as much as I did when I received it...and don't get this mixed up with dice control! I will never believe dice control works with legitimate throws of the dice...unless, of course, I run into another sharp table games director who shows me differently LOL.

And by the way, that table games director who taught me roulette-ball control is now the head of casino operations at the same casino.