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The Unbeatable Roulette System

30 October 2022

QUESTION: I've read about a gambler named Joseph Jagger who is said to have won big in Monte Carlo with an infallible roulette system for identifying winning numbers. Do you know what the system was? Could anybody use it?

ANSWER: In the early 1880s, there were six roulette wheels at Casino Monte Carlo. Jagger is said to have hired six clerks, one to monitor each wheel and report every winning number.

Once several days worth of data were collected, Jagger crunched numbers. He discovered a bias in one wheel, with several numbers occurring more often than would be expected by chance. Jagger took a seat at that table, betting only on those numbers.

Along the way, he's said to have broken the bank. At that time, the casino opened each day with a bank of 100,000 francs. If a player won enough so the bank couldn't cover the payoffs, he was said to have broken the bank. Play was suspended at that table until additional cash was brought up from the vault.

There are several possible causes for numbers coming up more often than normal. The wheel could be out of balance. Small grooves from repeated use could be worn in the wood. Frets between some numbers could be tighter or looser than others.

It takes analysis of thousands of spins to be confident a pattern of frequent numbers is more than just a normal short-term fluke. Seeing a number come up five times within 18 spins posted on a light-up board at the table is nowhere near enough to identify an actual wheel imbalance.

Charting long enough to detect an imbalance is painstaking work, and it rarely pays off. Modern casinos are well aware a wheel imbalance would endanger profits. Maintenance is a high priority.
I wouldn't go so far as to say biases don't exist on modern wheels, but they are rare and will remain rare as long as casinos take the necessary precautions.


QUESTION: Why isn't five-card draw played in casino poker rooms? Video poker is almost all five-card draw, but not live games.

ANSWER: One reason is there are more rounds of betting in popular stud poker games such as Texas Hold'em and Omaha. In five-card draw, you have an ante, then a round of betting after the cards are dealt, and one more round of betting after the draw. In Hold’em, you have the blinds, a round of betting after players are dealt their two face-down cards, betting after the three-card flop, betting after the one-card turn, and betting after the final card river.

Hold’em has more rounds of betting, more chances to build a bigger pot. And since the house makes its money from raking a percentage of the pot, that makes Hold’em a preferred game.

Another reason is poker pros have always regarded stud poker as requiring more skill than draw, and good players want games that maximize their skill advantage. That's the same reason you don't see wild cards in poker rooms. Good players don't want randomizing factors.

Video poker is different. There are no other players. You don't need to try to read anyone else's hands or analyze their play patterns.

Big wins don't come from multiple bets building a pot. They come from drawing hands high on the pay table. For that, draw poker works better than stud poker.

If there was a big demand in live poker rooms for draw poker, casinos would meet that demand. If video poker players demanded stud poker, casinos would meet that demand, too. The demand affects the supply.
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.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

The Craps Answer Book

> More Books By John Grochowski

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.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski