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# No Zero Roulette

16 January 2020

QUESTION: I have an idea for roulette. What if they were to change the zeroes into just two more ordinary numbers, 37 and 38. Instead of 1 through 36 plus 0 and 00, it would have 1 through 38.
Roulette gives the house an edge through the zeroes, right? So if it had 1 through 38, would it be an even game? What about giving the house a smaller edge by keeping 0, but changing 00 to 37?

ANSWER: Double-zero roulette already has 38 numbers. It’s just that two of them are labeled 0 and 00. Changing what the numbers are called from 0 and 00 to 37 and 38 would not change the house edge at all unless you also change the payoffs on winners.

The house doesn’t derive its edge from numbers being called 0 and 00. The edge comes from paying winners at less than true odds. 6 num

A single-number bet pays winners 35-1, which woukl be true odds if there were only 36 numbers. With 0 and 00, there are 38 numbers. The house edge is the extra two numbers divided by the total of 38 numbers. That’s 0.0526, which when multiplied by 100 to convert to percent comes to 5.26 percent.

If you re-labeled 0 and 00 to 37 and 38, while still paying 35-1, you’d still be paying true odds for 36 numbers while actually having 38 numbers on the wheel, and the house edge would still be 5.26 percent.

To get to an even game on a 38-number wheel, you’d have to pay true odds of 37-1.

Looking at your other idea, a wheel with 1 through 37 plus a single 0, the house would retain its 5.26 edge if single-number wins paid 35-1. What if you increased the payback to 36-1, the true odds for 37 numbers, while having the 0 represent a 38th number?

Then the house edge would be the one extra number divided by the 38-number total. That’s 0.0263, or 2.63 percent.

There’s already a way for the house to offer an edge of about that size. The house edge is 2.7 percent with a single-zero wheel and numbers 1 through 36. A small quantity of such wheels are in play in the United States, with more in use in Europe.

QUESTION: I heard about this method for playing video keno, and was wondering what you think. The idea is that there are patterns that keep coming up over and over, just in different spots on the card. So if you choose numbers from the previous winners and but numbers that are about five or six higher, you give yourself a chance to fit the pattern.
I’ve tried it a few times. Honestly, I win some and lose some, just like I usually do. But I was wondering if there was any validity if I stuck with it.

ANSWER: Video keno numbers are drawn by a random number generator, and there is nothing in the programming that would cause such recurring patterns.

I’m curious as to how you’re supposed to determine which winning numbers should be your focus. There are 20 numbers drawn. If you’re playing a six spot, which six of those 20 numbers should be the basis of your pattern?

I don’t doubt you’ll often see six numbers that are five higher than numbers draw in the previous game, but how do you choose which six to bet and which 14 to ignore?

This system seems harmless, with no higher house edge than choosing birthdays, but no lower, either.
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John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.