Roulette is definitely one of the most popular casino games. It entices players who enjoy the unique aspect of betting on a spinning wheel.
Plenty of people win big through roulette throughout every day. Of course, the same gamblers are relying on luck to win.
Unlike blackjack or poker, for example, roulette isn’t a game that attracts many advantage players. With that said, you may wonder if roulette pros even exist.
The following guide discusses what method can be used to beat this game. It also covers the reality of becoming a professional real money roulette player.
How Can Roulette Be Beaten?
Roulette doesn’t offer multiple ways to beat the casino. In fact, it only features one advantage play method called wheel bias. You can learn more about the latter below along with implementing it in casinos.
Step 1: Learn How Wheel Bias Works
Wheel bias refers to when roulette wheels start breaking down and favoring specific pockets. Their wear and tear causes the ball to land on certain numbers more than others.
The shaft, which supports the wheel, can also become loose or damaged. At this point, the wheel begins to slightly lean to one side.
A wheel can contain other imperfections as well. Any defect—whether major or slight—can lead to bias. Assuming you know which pockets or sections a wheel favors, then you stand a strong chance of making big profits.
Step 2: Record Spins
You normally can’t spot an imperfect wheel with your eyes alone. Instead, you need to record spins and determine if the ball is going in a certain pocket(s) more than others.
Unfortunately, this process is painstaking work. You’ll need to observe and record spins for hundreds or even thousands of rounds. The idea is to get enough data to where you can undeniably detect bias.
If you’re looking for section bias, you may be able to find it within as few as 400 to 500 rounds. Section bias refers to when the wheel favors a group of numbers that are clustered together.
Assuming you’re looking for pocket bias, you’ll need to clock around 5,000 spins for any degree of accuracy. Pocket bias is when the wheel favors one or more specific numbers.
The latter is more profitable. As you can see, though, pocket bias also requires you to work longer hours to find an edge.
Step 3: Take Advantage of a Defective Wheel
Once you know of a biased wheel, the next step is to take advantage of it. You simply need to bet on the relevant pockets or sections over and over.
How much you wager all depends upon your specific situation. But your goal should be to bet as much as your bankroll comfortably allows.
“Comfortably” is the key word here. Even when you know which pocket/section the ball lands in more often, you can still experience losing streaks. Therefore, you must ration your bankroll out over the long run so that you eventually win guaranteed profits.
Challenges to Beating Roulette
Roulette wheel bias definitely isn’t an easy advantage play method to pull off. Otherwise, you’d hear about a lot more roulette pros. You can see the biggest obstacles to winning profits below.
You’ll Look Weird Recording Spins
Casinos don’t have any specific rules against standing around and watching a game. In fact, they encourage this behavior to some degree so that you can check out the action and become interested.
However, you may eventually start feeling like a weird lurker. After all, watching every round for hours is odd behavior.
A different way to observe the wheel involves playing for low stakes. You can also jump off the table from time to time to save your bankroll. Of course, the problem with this method is that you’ll still face a house edge whenever you do bet.
Starburst Wheels Make Wheel Bias Impossible
Back in the 1980s, British casinos noticed that they were losing a considerable amount of money through roulette. So, they went to a gaming equipment manufacturer named John Huxley and asked if he could make the game tougher to beat.
John Huxley came up with the Starburst wheel, which features shallow pockets and metal frets. These two aspects make it less likely that wheels will break down and favor of certain numbers.
The company TCS John Huxley is still around today, which doesn’t bode well for advantage gamblers. This manufacturer has only further improved the Starburst wheel over the years.
No Other Legal Ways to Beat Roulette
You can see that the Starburst wheel has made beating roulette virtually impossible wherever it’s employed. If you don’t live near a casino with old-school wooden wheels, then you probably shouldn’t mess with wheel bias.
The latter isn’t the only way to beat this game, though. You can also use a roulette computer to determine where the ball will land on the wheel.
Roulette computers aren’t accurate 100% of the time. However, they measure of the ball and wheel velocity well enough to help you predict winning spins to a high degree.
Assuming you could use these computers freely in casinos, then you’d make thousands of dollars per night. Unfortunately, you can’t legally use a roulette computer.
Every gambling jurisdiction has outlawed these devices, and by using one you’re cheating the casino. If you’re caught using one, then you’ll be arrested, face a steep fine, and possibly spend time in jail.
What Kind of Gambling Profits Are Possible?
As covered so far, the prospects of beating roulette long term are grim. Even if you’re willing to put the work in, you’ll have a very difficult time finding biased wheels due to the Starburst brand.
But what if you do find a biased wheel somewhere? What kind of profits could you make in this situation? No perfect model exists for wheel bias profits. After all, each situation can differ based on exactly how many numbers a wheel favors.
Instead, the best way to view the matter is by discussing somebody who’s conquered the game in this manner. Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo is the last-known player to get rich and famous through wheel bias.
Pelayo found a faulty wheel while playing at Casino Gran Madrid in the 1990s. After recruiting his family to play at the same table, Gonzalo and family won a fortune before finally being banned.
They then started hitting other European gambling establishments and winning big. These casinos also banned them, but not before the Pelayos collectively won €1.5 million.
The exact figures on how much the family won at each stop are unclear. But it seems that they won at least €500,000 to €1 million before getting kicked out of Casino Gran Madrid. They probably won an additional €500k to €1 million in other European locations.
Taking this example into account, you could likely earn at least half a million dollars through wheel bias if you’re discreet about the matter.
Do Any Pro Casino Gamblers Make a Living With Roulette?
If any professional gamblers play roulette today, then I definitely haven’t heard about them. Pelayo is the last-known gambler to benefit from this technique.
It’s been well over two decades since the Spaniard terrorized casinos across Europe. With that said, it’s unlikely that many roulette pros—if any—exist today.
Most casinos are fully aware of wheel bias and how it works. They’ve had plenty of time to switch their old wooden wheels over to the Starburst variety.
The latter essentially makes beating roulette impossible. As long as a Starburst wheel is present, then players won’t be making any guaranteed profits.
The thought of making six or seven figures on the roulette wheel sounds exciting. Unfortunately, it’s more of a fantasy than reality today.
Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo may have been the last player to truly take advantage of wheel bias before casinos changed everything. Now, the sturdier Starburst wheels render wheel bias ineffective.
Perhaps you might find older wooden wheels somewhere in the world. In this case, you could possibly discover a biased wheel and win serious money.
Realistically, though, you probably aren’t going to find a rare faulty wheel. Your best shot to win includes playing European Roulette (2.70% house edge) or French Roulette (1.35%) and hoping for some luck.