Other Ways of Rigging a Wheel

Magnetic Rigging

french_rouletteWhen it comes to using magnetics, one of the schemes includes the replacement of some of the brass (non-magnetic) pocket separators with separators made of steel (a magnetic material). The steel separators are manufactured with precision, so that they appear identical to the ones made of brass. When a casino uses a roulette ball with a magnetic center, logically, it is drawn to the steel separators and gives preference to those ball pockets. Because the separators are permanently attached to the wheel, the preferred ball pockets need to be determined aforetime. In many cases casinos choose the single zero and the double zero as favored numbers. Once the steel separators have been installed, the dealer is now able to decide whether to favor the above mentioned pockets by putting the magnetic ball into or out of the play session.

During the 1940s and 1950s casino industry in Cuba developed well and astute gamblers were aware that all the roulette wheels in the capitol city of Havana were rigged. Many of these gamblers decided to go against casual players, as the ball usually settled into sections of the wheel where betting activity was low. Back then a common way to gaff a Cuban wheel was by using electromagnets behind the ball track. One simple scheme employed four electromagnets, which were placed at an equal space inside the woodwork around the back side of the ball track. As the roulette balls had a core of steel, logically they reacted to the magnetic field. With a simple press of a button, a dealer was able to activate those electromagnets and force the ball off the track towards any of the four sections. Dealers had four sectors on the wheel to select from, thus, directing the ball to the desired area was not much of an effort, especially for a skilled dealer.

Other efforts for magnetic gaffing have been tested as well, but they proved to be not that successful. There has been another scheme, which involved the placement of electromagnets in the wheelhead under pre-determined ball pockets, but it was quite difficult to maintain. The major issue featured the electric current transfer to the spinning wheelhead. Several slip-ring contacts (one for every electromagnet) and a common return line were put to use. However, it was not a reliable method, because the frequent maintenance would eventually reveal to more people than what casino management could accept, that the wheel is rigged.

Roulette wheel and winning number

The Contemporary Way

As technology developed, the methods of rigging a roulette wheel became more complex. The majority of older methods had the following relevant issue – the wires or levers needed to be run to and from the wheel, which tied the latter to the roulette table and made the rigging more exposed to players. Contemporary methods do not use buttons, levers or external wires, but instead all the mechanisms and wires are hidden entirely within the wheel.

One of the modern methods, used by some casinos, features electrically-operated blocking pins at every ball pocket. A miniscule electrical solenoid is placed behind each of the pins inside the spinning wheelhead. Every solenoid will push the respective pin out, whenever an electric current is applied. All 38 solenoids are connected to an electronic circuit board, which includes a radio receiver and digital control circuits. The board and the solenoids receive power from alkaline dry cells. The specific moment is that the batteries, the wires and the circuit board are positioned under the cone of the wheelhead and rotate along with it. With the help of a remote control, similar to a TV set remote, a digitally-coded radio signal is sent to the circuit board. This signal ensures that one or more of the solenoid connections are selected and the electrical current necessary is applied.

The remote control is usually operated not by the dealer, but by an associate of his/hers. It can be set ahead of time, before the ball falls onto the wheelhead, to block the numbered pockets where betting activity is high. When the ball falls off the track, the dealer’s associate will simply press the activating button and the blocking pins will be pushed out for as long as a few seconds, not allowing the ball to settle into the designated pockets.

This is a system, which requires no maintenance and is completely out of the players’ sight. As it is inside the wheelhead of the wheel, the latter can be rotated, leveled and moved around, as if it is not rigged.

As casinos and other establishments have been using rigged roulette wheels and other casino devices of fraud for a while, the time has come for resourceful roulette players to respond. Therefore, they have invented a number of smart ways to overcome the odds.

Roulette Ball Speed

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