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Can a Dealer Influence the Roulette Wheel?

On a recent trip to Las Vegas, while playing roulette at a hotel, the dealer happened to mention to me that I should start betting one set of numbers at a specific part of the roulette wheel, as she would roll the ball in a manner that would increase the likelihood of the ball landing within that spot.

This was an interesting concept. I’d heard a bit about this sort of thing being doable and it’s known as “ball steering” but I had never actually seen it in practice, or even been offered it in an actual casino.

So when I came home, I decided to spend some time reading up on the concept of ball steering, and looking at every roulette guide out there to understand the concept, and how it works.

I was able to confirm that yes – “ball steering” is something that in theory, someone can do. It is also referred to as “section shooting”. This is something that could go either way of course. Yes a dealer could help you win – but they could just as easily help you lose.

Now don’t worry – this is not something that is going to actually happen in casinos. If you know gambling, you know that you are playing against the house anyway and are going to lose in the long run. Casinos don’t need to cheat to get your money. In the long term, they’re going to get it all anyway!

The infamous gambler, Arnold Snyder, does believe that you can beat roulette that way. But it is not something that the casual player has to worry about.

First, for a dealer to actually be able to influence the roulette wheel, they would have to look at where the bets are placed and then steer the ball in the opposite direction. The thing is that bets aren’t closed when they roll the ball in – so what that means is you could wait for them to roll the ball, steer it in a direction, and then bet on the other side where no one has really picked numbers.

Second, if a dealer is talented enough to do this, then they are going to be smart enough to realize they could work with their friends to do this so that they all come out a profit.

A dealer is not going to just randomly steer the ball in a particular direction simply because they like your face, or because you are a good tipper. That dealer who mentioned it to me for example? They were just hoping to get tips. It’s that simple. They told me it wasn’t foolproof. So if I bet a particular section of numbers and it doesn’t come up? Well, it’s not foolproof.

If it does come up? Well then in my mind they helped me win, and I’m going to tip them big.

So at the end of the day, if a dealer ever suggests this sort of thing to you at a legitimate casino, it’s nothing but a strategy to attempt to get better tips. So don’t change your bets or bet more just based on them saying this sort of thing to you as they are not going to be influencing the wheel. And don’t tip more than you would do if a number does come up.

Another thing to note is that any legitimate casino will prevent the dealer from being able to do this. They include different rules such as not letting the dealer look into the wheel when they go to spin the ball. Dealers also need to change the speed of the wheel every few spins so that there isn’t any consistency, and finally, roulette balls are often changed.

In short – don’t worry about a ball being steered either in your favour or against you. It’s just not going to happen at a legitimate casino.

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