Why wouldn’t you want to learn how to become a professional roulette player?
Seems like it would be the easiest thing in the world, right?
If that were the case, though, casinos probably wouldn’t be so eager for you to play roulette.
This post provides a definitive answer to the following question:
Can you be a professional roulette player?
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Why the Casino Is the Ultimate Professional Roulette Player
You can be a professional roulette player if you’re the one offering the game to players — in other words, if you own a casino.
The math behind the game is set up in such a way that the house wins in the long run.
They do this by offering payouts that are lower than the odds of winning.
Here’s an example:
When you make a single-number bet in roulette and win, the house pays you 35 to 1 on your money.
If you’ve placed a $100 bet, you win $3500 when your number hits.
But the odds of winning that bet are 37 to 1.
For every 38 spins, on average, you’ll win once. And that one time you win, you’ll get 35 times your money. You’ll have lost 37 of those times.
Everyone can see that 37 – 35 = 2.
That represents the house’s mathematical edge, and you can overcome it as a player in the short run but not in the long run.
If you’re taking the other side, though — if you’re the casino — you will win in the long run.
Am I suggesting you start your own casino?
If you want a surefire way to become a professional roulette player, yes. I don’t advise breaking the law, though.
What about Your Psychic Powers? Can You Play Your Hunches?
I have a friend who’s a professional psychic. I think he honestly believes that he’s been gifted with supernatural powers.
I think he’s deluding himself and his clients.
I don’t believe that people are able to predict the future — at least not when it comes to random events.
And let’s face it, when it comes to roulette, every spin of the wheel is a random event.
Not only is it a random event, but it’s an independent random event.
That means that what happened on the previous spin has no effect on the outcome of the next spin.
You wouldn’t have to be 100% accurate to be a professional roulette player, by the way.
Let’s say that you were just psychic enough to guess red or black correctly more than 55% of the time.
For every 100 spins of the wheel, you’d win 55 units and lose 45 units, meaning you’d have a profit of 10 units for every 100 spins you made.
That amounts to a 10% edge over the casino.
If you’re playing at a table where you can bet $500 per spin, you’re looking at winning an average of $50 per spin.
If you’re at a table where there are 30 spins per hour, you’d be winning an average of $1500 per hour.
My psychic friend makes $100+ per hour, but that pales in comparison to what he could win at roulette if he were only right some of the time.
You can read about the Amazing Randi’s offer to pay $1 million to anyone who can demonstrate psychic powers here.
How about Roulette Betting Systems?
The classic betting system for roulette is the Martingale system, but it’s only one of dozens (if not hundreds) of ways to try to get an edge in an unbeatable game.
These roulette betting systems all work in similar ways. You raise or lower the sizes of your bets based on what happened on the previous spin.
For example, with the Martingale system, you double the size of your bet after each loss. When you eventually win, you recoup all your previous losses and then some.
The problem with these systems is that they don’t have any effect on the probability. Think of a roulette bet as a negative number. If you add a series of negative numbers together, you’re still going to wind up with a negative number.
Doubling or quadrupling the size of those numbers doesn’t turn those numbers positive.
Roulette Dealer Signatures
Here’s the premise behind dealer signatures in roulette:
Croupiers make the same moves repeatedly at the roulette wheel — they spin the wheel at the same rate, they spin the ball at the same rate, and they release the ball at the same time.
If you’re paying attention, you can estimate where the ball is going to land based on these factors.
That’s the idea, anyway.
Here’s another one where you don’t have to be right all the time for this to be a winning strategy. Even if you can just increase your probability of winning to 55%, you can win a fortune playing roulette.
And you can win it fast.
But how practical does this even sound?
Sure, it sounds great in theory, but the practical application is probably non-existent — at least without cheating.
I don’t see casinos stressing out about dealer signatures at the roulette table the way I see them worrying about card counters.
Still, if it’s something you want to try, good luck.
I still don’t think you can earn a living at it.
Since roulette wheels are mechanical, the parts might be defective or less than true.
Over time, they certainly deteriorate, which also interferes with their ability to provide a completely random outcome.
Once a wheel develops some kind of bias, via manufacturer error or being worn out from usage, if you know about the bias, you can predict that some numbers are going to come up more often than other numbers.
I’ve read about roulette players who have managed to find and exploit biases. These accounts seem reliable enough, too.
They all have one thing in common, though:
They all happened a long time ago.
Modern casinos change equipment out on a regular basis. Modern equipment manufacturers pay more attention to detail than they did in the past.
I’m not saying that it’s impossible to find a biased roulette wheel.
I am saying it’s harder than it used to be.
Also, getting an edge means finding a wheel with a certain minimum amount of bias.
Being relatively sure of that means you’d need to “clock” the wheel for hours — if not days — just to be sure that your results are statistically significant.
You could waste enormous amounts of time trying to find a biased roulette wheel only to never find one.
You could also spend all that time finding a biased wheel only to see it get moved to another location, Casinos move equipment around on a regular basis, and you can’t watch the roulette table 24 hours a day to make sure it’s in the same spot.
Cheating at Roulette
You could become a professional roulette cheater and possibly make a living… at least, until you got caught.
How do people cheat at a game like roulette?
I don’t recommend following any of these tactics, but I will share the ones I know about here:
The most common way of cheating is called “past posting.” That’s when you change the size of your bet after seeing the result of the spin of the wheel.
Of course, casinos know about this technique. In fact, they have specific procedures in place to prevent it.
Here’s an example of how past posting might work:
You bet $5 on a single number, and you use $1 chips (5 of them) to place this bet. The instant that you see that your number is going to win, you swap out the top $1 chip for a $5 chip.
Instead of winning 35 to 1 on a $5 bet and getting $175, you get paid off 35 to 1 on an $8 bet. That’s $280 in winnings — $100 more than you were due.
But the dealer is watching for this.
The casino also has a camera in the ceiling called “the eye in the sky.”
Don’t cheat in a casino. It’s a crime, and you’ll get caught.
Even good cheaters get caught.
And you’re probably not good at cheating, anyway.
Other Ways to Earn a Living as a Gambler
I’m 100% convinced that you cannot be a professional roulette player.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t be a professional gambler.
You just need to find a better game to play — one where you can tilt the odds in your favor.
The first game I’d suggest learning to play is Texas holdem. It’s the most popular poker game in the USA right now, and it’s not going anywhere.
If you’re better at the game than your opponents, and if you have the bankroll to play at high levels, you can play poker professionally. Texas holdem is the best game to start with because there’s so much action to be had.
Other gambling games where you can get an edge include blackjack and sports betting.
So can you become a professional roulette player?
Of course not.
There’s no legitimate way to beat the game.
You can win money at roulette in the short run, but if you need consistent money to live on, you should choose another game.
I recommend blackjack or poker, but you might also enjoy betting on sports.