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Using Chaos Theory to beat roulette

If you ask any scientist or mathematician on how to beat roulette, the will most probably tell you that the best way not to lose is not to play. Mathematically speaking, the probabilities in roulette are fixed. But is that really right? Is there a mathematical or scientific method you can use to predict the outcome of a roulette wheel?

In 2012, Chi Kong and Michael Small from Cornel University submitted a scientific paper titled “Predicting the Outcome of Roulette” (https://arxiv.org/abs/1204.6412). The paper claimed that you can actually predict the outcome of a roulette game by using the chaos theory. What is the chaos theory, you ask?

Chaos Theory

Chaos theory is a branch of mathematics that studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are unpredictable but highly sensitive to their initial conditions. Chaos, in reference to this theory refers to an apparent lack of order and predictability in a system that nevertheless obeys particular rules and laws.

A perfect example that describes how a small change at one particular point can greatly influence the sate of things at a later instance is the butterfly effect.

For instance, if a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil, it can set off a chain reaction of events that end up causing a Typhoon in New York. This theory was first proposed by an American mathematician called Edward Lorenz (http://geoffboeing.com/publications/nonlinear-chaos-fractals-prediction/).

Chaotic behavior exists all around us. The weather, climate, and road traffic are some of the famous examples, and then there is the roulette wheel. But can you really predict the outcome of a roulette wheel using the Chaos theory? Wouldn’t that be great?

In their paper, Chi Kong and Small claim to have modeled a motion of the ball and wheel and managed to predict the outcomes based on the wheel’s rotary speed, where the ball entered the wheel and so on. All these were done both on a simulated wheel and an actual roulette wheel. According to the scientists, if you know the starting set up, you can beat the odds.

Using Chaos Theory to beat roulette

How it works

The researchers offered a simpler method that gamblers can actually use to increase their chances of winning. The first step is to try to determine the velocity of the ball. After there, you can extrapolate where the ball could land. In their research, the two scientists were able to turn the 2.7% return of a typical roulette into 18% return, which was quite impressive.

They also indicated that if you manage to find a casino table which is somewhat crooked or a roulette wheel with bias, it can be easier to make solid predictions about where the ball could land. Finding these loopholes might be easier than you may think. The natural course of the game means that the roulette will eventually end up slightly tilted with time. A slight change in the foundation of the table could also make the table slightly angled. While this might not be easily noticeable with naked eyes, by carefully paying attention and observing, it could benefit you.

But don’t get too excited just yet. Using Chaos Theory to beat roulette is that as straightforward as it sounds. Why? Most casinos tend to check the balance of their roulette wheels and calibrate their tables constantly. Casinos that notice unrealistically higher win rates will often do everything within their power to find out if the physics of the wheel and the table are working against them.

Wait, so does it really work?

Even though the chaos theory seems to work quite impressively in research, we need to remember that this was not done in an actual casino setting, so there are a few drawbacks. First, casinos will not look favorably on you measuring their wills with cameras and computers. In fact, there have been quite a number of people taken to court by doing exactly this. Security and surveillance in casinos is also getting tighter and tighter. They actually look out for any kind of electronic tracking mechanisms.

Secondly, the chaos theory is physics based, which only applies to the physical casinos. When it comes to online gambling, physics does not apply; there is no literal ball and no lateral wheel, so any calculations involving velocity are completely useless. The wheels that spin in the online roulette are computer generated and the results arise from random number generators, more like the slot machines’ results.

So yes, using Chaos Theory to beat roulette actually works; it’s only limited by the challenges of acquiring the required parameters in a real casino setting. Ideally, if you can sneak past the surveillance cameras and the mean looking bouncers, you can attempt to spin luck your way. But then again, you will need a lot of time in practice to actually master this cheat in real casinos, and this luxury of time is what you don’t have. So quite frankly, chaos theory is not practical in real casinos.

References

1. https://arxiv.org/abs/1204.6412

2. http://geoffboeing.com/publications/nonlinear-chaos-fractals-prediction/

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