Richard Muller, a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley recently commented in a question posted in Quora that asked “What do physicists know that lets them win at casinos?” Muller explained how to increase the odds of winning, and then said that a colleague of his once built a device to increase his odds of winning at roulette.
As Muller explains:
“It worked as follows: to encourage people to bet at roulette, it has been traditional to allow bets to be made after the wheel is spun and the ball is flung, but only before it begins to drop. In that second or two, there is enough information to allow a measurement and computation that will, for example, double your odds of winning.
If the computation simply rules out half of the wheel as unlikely, then the odds jump up highly in your favour. Whereas before, your odds of winning might be 98:100 (so you lose), if you exclude half of the numbers, your odds become 196:100; you win big!
You don’t have to predict the number where it will fall. You only have to increase your odds by 3 percent to go from losing on average to winning on average.”
Muller said that the device works by adding a switch on the player’s toes. The player taps one switch each time the ball completes a full spin, the other switch each time the wheel spun. This switch is connected to a pocket computer that calculates the odds and taps him in the leg, informing him where to place his bet.
Previously, a team was able to demonstrate that it is possible to turn the odds in your favor by knowing the rate at which the wheel and ball are spinning. Eventually, the ball starts bouncing about and moves in a random way; however, measuring things before this point gives one an edge. And now we finally know how one is able to keep measure of such things.
Muller did not mention the name of his friend, but it coincides with the story of J. Doyne Farmer’s casino scam that got him banned in Vegas casinos.