How Scientists Beat The House At Roulette With Chaos Theory

George | September 28, 2018

There is a common belief amongst professional gamblers that the best strategy when it comes to winning at the game of roulette is not to play. However, that didn’t stop a group of chaos theorist scientists from trying to beat it anyway as back in 2012, the American Institute of Physics’ published a journal, called Chaos, on the game of roulette.

At first glance, a roulette table looks like a series of random numbers with little white ball hopping round the wheel. With almost no impact on the game whatsoever, you may wonder why people often decide to play this game at casinos and on casino betting sites.

The main appeal of the table game is that it is primarily a social game. Whilst other casino games require you to win as much money as possible from your opponents, there are no ‘sides’ in roulette and everyone can make the same bet if they want to. If you’re playing this with your friends, it is an extremely fun game to play.

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To put it simply, chaos theory is the mathematical study of unpredictability. The theory suggests that within the randomness of a chaotic system that there is, in fact, underlying patterns.

The scientists used this theory in an attempt to ‘beat the house’ at roulette. This method wouldn’t be viable if you played casino games apps, but it would work if you are physically visiting as casino.

The research paper from the American Institute of Physics’ suggested that the anticipated return on a random roulette bet was -2.7%. However, by strategically betting in accordance with their predictions, they could get a return of around 18%. This was tested by the institution by using a simulation of a roulette wheel, and using an actual roulette wheel.

As you would expect, casinos frown on gamblers that use precise measurements and computer simulations in order to gain an advantage over the house, so the researchers developed a method of predicting the outcome of roulette games which could be deployed without notice.

The main thing that the researchers suggested looking out for was the time it took for the ball to pass a fixed point in order to get a rough approximation of the velocity of the ball. Although this does produce “noisy” results, they do produce results which are feasible for making predictions.

They also suggested that in order to improve your odds even further, you should look for a wheel where the ball only drops from one side of the rim – also known as a crooked table.

Although the research paper from the institution showed that you might end up making a better return on your roulette bet by using the methods featured, it is worth mentioning that the majority of methods featured could not be deployed under normal gambling conditions.

It is also worth mentioning that the model used did not take into account minor changes such as the friction of the surface, the level of the wheel, or the manner in which the croupier plays the ball. This might not seem like a huge deal, but considering that the smallest thing has a huge impact on chaos theory, these factors will have a massive impact on the advantage which the gambler has.

The researchers did also note that, due to the nature of chaos theory, if the casinos ended up making minor adjustments then it would significantly reduce the advantage of the gambler who is trying to ‘beat the house’. As a result, it is probably best for all professional gamblers to stick to the games where maths and skill reign supreme over chance.