Invented in France, in the 18th century, roulette is probably the most popular of all the games available in both online and traditional casinos. It is also considered to be one of the most difficult. This is due to the fact that it is practically impossible to cheat. However, due to its high stakes and the fact that it relies heavily on mathematical concepts, it has become a controversial scientific topic, over the years.
Various scientists, gamblers and gambling enthusiasts have researched the inner workings of this game in an attempt to devise methods that can be used to minimize, or even eliminate the risk of losing.
1. “Biases in casino betting: The hot hand and the Gambler’s fallacy”
One of the most well papers as far as academic roulette writing goes, the article analyses the way in which two concepts impact the way a roulette game unfolds. Its authors, Rachel Croson and James Sundali present the way in which the concepts influence the gambling beliefs of most individuals, as well as statistical reasons that prove their unreliability.
The first one is “the gambler’s fallacy” refers to the illusion that after a few outcomes a repeated value, the laws of probability dictate that the next result has a high chance to be different from the last ones. The second one, the “hot hand” is an illusion that opposes the first in the sense that a gambler who witnesses several identical outcomes is likely to believe that the next result has a high chance of being the same as the former ones.
The paper uses empirical data to study the motives and correlation between these two illusions of chance. This is an important fact, as the participants of the study were making real decisions that had to be financially backed up. In essence, the use of empirical data means that the authors of the study were able to objectively analyze the way in which various thought processes occurred in the mind of gamblers during a real game of roulette.
In terms of study method, the authors have gathered data from an unnamed casino in Reno, Nevada. This data come in the form of logs and videotapes of 18 hours of gambling done on a single roulette table.
2. “Predicting the outcome of roulette”
Written by Michael Small an Chi Kong Tse, this piece of academic roulette writing published in 2012 analyses the way in which knowing the initial position of the ball, its velocity and its acceleration can be used in order to predict the outcome with a high degree of certainty.
The study has been done on a European roulette wheel, but its theories and principles can be adapted to work on the American ones as well.
In the study, the authors present the mathematical equations that can be used in order to predict where the ball will stop, with a high level of accuracy.
As far as the situational conditions are concerned, the paper shows takes into account possibilities such as: the table being perfectly leveled; the roulette table being inclined (in this situation the angle of the table receives a great deal of attention), the ball leaving the rim or reaching the deflectors. The calculations for each of these cases are presented as a step-by-step guide.
The authors of the paper also discuss the ways in which their method can be exploited in real life, as well as potentially effective ways in which this can be avoided.
3. “The Mathematics of Gambling” Series of Academic Papers
In his series of studies, Edward O. Thorp uses information regarding the patterns in which a roulette ball revolves while it spins around the wheel, its velocity and its starting position in order to calculate the outcome of a roulette game.
Throughout its four segments, the author presents empirical data collected by him and his colleagues across an extended period of time, from different casinos. The study also factors in the size of the roulette wheel and the way in which the motion of the ball dictates its travel time.
At the end of his study, Thorp includes reliable countermeasures that could be used against his method, as well as considerations regarding how errors of different magnitudes could affect the calculations and the overall result.
The scientific world has always tried to provide solutions to seemingly impossible problems and, in this case at least, has managed to provide several ways in which the unknown could be taken out of a game of roulette. Unfortunately, as with most scientific methods, some are difficult to implement in a real-life situation due to their complex nature.PlayRoulette.org » Blog »