Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spin Control at Roulette - Possible or Not So Possible?

Ball Control - or Should I Say, Lack of!
 Ever since I started in the gaming industry over 30 years ago, I have heard many claims from the more experienced dealers that spinning certain sections, or even hitting within 5 numbers of a target number is possible. However no-one has ever actually been able to demonstrate this ability to me. You see it is always 'a friend' or someone who 'used to work here' that possesses this uncanny knack. So let's examine this a little further. Let me state up front that I for one don't believe that any dealer can control the ball to the degree required to hit a specific number or section. If it were really possible to do this, then the game of roulette as we know it simply could not exist, since it would be so open to abuse. And that for me is a very simple proof showing that spin control is all in the dealers head.
I started in the casino business at a major London casino, and the standard spin was very slow, only about 4 or 5 times around the wheel, and also with the wheel just turning at a fairly leisurely speed. The idea was to get as many spins in a day as possible. We never reversed the spin either and it made not a whit of difference in anyone's ability to predict the number, but it did increase the pc for the game since there were a lot more spins per hour. And as far as the casino is concerned, that is really what any of the games is all about, spins or in the case of blackjack, hands per hour. I was surprised when I started work at another casino and discovered the dealers whacking the ball around at a hundred miles an hour as if that somehow made the next number more 'random'! The fact is the ball has so many variables before it lands - hitting the diamonds and then bouncing around in and out of the numbers, that any skill that the dealer may think he has is to no avail. In a modern wheel the dividers between the numbers are very shallow and the ball very easily jumps around. If dealers really could spin sections or numbers, a lot more attention would be paid by management and those that could actually perform this feat would no longer be working in the gaming business. Case in point. A friend of mine was a keen amateur magician, he was trained on blackjack, then one slow day he demonstrated to us all the card tricks he could perform, fake shuffles, bringing cards to the top of the deck etc... That was the end of his blackjack days, back to roulette for him!

Check out our novel Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos And Cruise Ships

Please let me know what you think of this discussion.


  1. Lost count of how many people have told me they can hit a section with regularity but they all had one thing in common... They were still working for a living... 'nuff said? Neil Glander

  2. Very true! Excellent comment from Neil, I think that says it in a nutshell.