Most Common Roulette Cheats
By Alex Smith, Last updated Feb 18, 2023
You’ll have players trying to cheat the games whenever you have casino games, and roulette is no exception. Roulette is a game in which thousands of players have tried to cheat throughout history – although it’s fair to say that most have done so unsuccessfully.
However, Roulette cheating is possible – and on this page, we’ll show you some of the most common ways players have tried to cheat the Roulette wheel in land-based casinos.
Roulette Wheel Modification
One of the most common methods that players try to cheat at the Roulette table is through Roulette modifications – although it’s worth noting that this form of cheating is almost always done to cheat their players playing, not to benefit those spinning the wheel. As a result, you can probably realize that it’s generally shady, dodgy land-based casinos that employ this tactic.
There are several ways the Roulette wheel can be modified – and the most common way is to loosen certain parts of the Roulette wheel. When done correctly, this can cause the Roulette ball to bounce less in certain areas. As a result, wheel bias is caused, which can mean that specific numbers land on the wheel more frequently than others.
However, it should be noted that Roulette wheel modifications are usually caught out quite quickly – especially if the dealer ends up being “in” on the cheat. Most land-based casinos use state-of-the-art software to detect when this type of cheating occurs automatically, and they use software with unique algorithms to catch when this type of thing happens.
However, from a player’s perspective, if you play Roulette games and can know roughly what area of the wheel the ball will land in and bounce in, you have a significant advantage over brick-and-mortar casinos. Land-based casinos frequently check their wheels and ensure that everything is legitimate and above board.
Magnetic Balls at the Roulette Table
In the past, using magnetic balls at the Roulette table was a lot easier; a brick-and-mortar casino didn’t have the CCTV technology they have today, and most casinos didn’t even realize that this was a trick that could be implemented. However, today, most casinos – regardless of whether they’re based in Las Vegas or other parts of the world – have extensive CCTV coverage. The magnetic ball cheat is rarely used in today’s online gambling world. However, we’re still going to look at how this cheat worked – and what it involved.
While fraudsters always like to put their spin on things, the magnetic ball cheat worked by simply replacing the standard Roulette ball with a special magnetic one. This allowed the cheaters to influence the ball’s behavior – for example, manipulating it to land in a certain way or a particular area on the wheel.
However, it’s interesting to note that those who have attempted this method rarely used a magnetic ball; doing so would cause the ball to stick to any metallic object. As a result, most cheaters prefer to use a ball that contains a unique coil. This coil has individual diodes, allowing the cheater to observe where the ball is expected to land when it falls onto the rotor. Some Roulette wheels have special features built in to try and prevent this from happening.
If the ball landed where the cheaters expected it to, they would “activate” the parts within the ball to move it into the correct area. This would give them a much greater chance of winning their bet.
One of the reasons that Roulette dealers had difficulty catching this trick was that it all happened so fast. It also doesn’t interfere with the casino’s electronic systems. So unless they physically saw the players switching the balls, it would be almost impossible to catch this until long after the fraudsters had escaped with their stolen gains.
Past Posting on Roulette Wheels
Past posting is a relatively unique method of cheating that is one of the most commonly seen frauds at brick-and-mortar casinos today. Past posting involves people changing their bets after the outcome has already occurred. For example, if you placed a $10 wager on the number 14 and noticed that the bet is a winning one, it would be great to put more money on that number and win even more money, wouldn’t it?
Well, those who are engaging in past posting behavior do precisely that. Using sleight of hand, they will replace one or more of their chips at the roulette table with ones of a higher denomination. This can exponentially increase the total amount of money they are paid, and casinos can lose a lot of money to this type of scam.
As a result, croupiers and dealers are well-trained to spot this type of behavior. Even if they do not notice it themselves, managers and pit bosses watch through CCTV to try and spot players doing this. While this cheating occurs today, the skill involved means that inexperienced cheaters are often quickly caught and reprimanded.
Like many of the different methods that can be used to cheat the roulette table, sector targeting is a method that is very difficult to get 100% correct. Even the best cheater in the world using sector targeting relies on an element of luck – and those who have the guts to try will understand that there are no ironclad guarantees.
The reason why sector targeting is so tricky is that it is based on theory. This theory is complex for our brains to compute – and when you add in the additional stress of playing in a live casino environment, it can get very hard, very quickly.
The theory of sector targeting revolves around a player accurately determining where the ball passes a specific point on the roulette wheel after it has circulated a couple of times. In theory, if somebody can note this down accurately, they can then predict the rough area of the ball to predict where the ball will land.
Once the cheater has managed to get a rough idea of where the ball is expected to land, they can place chips on the area of the wheel where they expect the ball to land. Unlike some of the other cheating methods on this page, sector targeting isn’t in itself illegal. It is also virtually impossible for casinos to detect. However, if they notice that a player is frequently winning and correctly guessing where the ball lands, dealers and croupiers are trained to intervene and distract the player.
One of the most common ways they will try to do this is to initiate a conversation with the player. Suppose the player is unwilling to enter this conversation or continues to ignore the dealer, one of the floor managers may remove them from the table – and, don’t forget, because casinos are privately-owned businesses. In that case, they do not need to give a reason for rejecting players from the premises.
Laser and microcomputer technology poses one of the most significant financial risks to casinos – and while some experts are sceptical about whether this method can work, fraudsters have successfully used this technology to cheat casinos out of millions of dollars in the past.
While every fraudster approaches this method slightly differently, the general premise is that fraudsters believe they can use a highly technical device with a laser that estimates the speed of the ball on the roulette wheel – and it then uses an algorithm to determine the number that the ball will land on.
This information is then fed back automatically to the fraudster – usually via their mobile phone or a hidden earpiece – and the fraudster will then use this information to place a bet on where the software believes the ball will land.
Using laser technology like this to play roulette is entirely illegal, and in situations where the fraudster has been caught, they have usually been arrested and even jailed. The fraudster must be incredibly discreet and careful to pull this off successfully. Suppose the dealer spots them using the laser. In that case, they will be caught immediately – this is why laser fraudsters usually rely on a busy casino environment, for example, at the weekend, when the dealer has less chance of noticing.
By far, the easiest way of cheating at the roulette table is to form a friendship with the dealer and, over time, convince them to work with you to cheat. This poses a significant danger to casinos and is why dealers are closely monitored.
Since casinos first started, there have been hundreds of tales of dealers working with players to cheat the casino. This can happen in several forms. For example, dealers may be much more lenient with letting players place chips on the table – sometimes, even when the wheel has already stopped spinning – while other dealers are more blatant and simply pay the players a lot more money than they should.
Some cheating dealers have even gone so far as to pay out bets that did not win to benefit the person they are colluding with at the table. This is probably the most successful form of the cheat, as it’s tough to prove that the dealer deliberately paid out a losing bet. Even if the casino catches them doing so, they can claim ignorance – sure, they may lose their job, but from a criminal point of view, they are unlikely to face charges unless it is a recurring event.
Why Cheating at Roulette is a Bad Idea – and Why You Can’t at Online Casinos
Cheating at land-based casinos does not happen much – although it’s more common than cheating at online casinos. When you play at land-based casinos, you are playing physical games. As we have noted, this means players and dealers can manipulate the games, which poses significant risks to the casinos.
However, when you play at online casinos, the games are electronic. This means there is no physical roulette wheel in play, making it virtually impossible to cheat online. Some fraudsters will claim that it’s possible to cheat at online roulette by determining a pattern of which numbers have already landed – and which should appear in the future – but provided you are playing with a reputable casino software provider, this is impossible to do.
All online roulette games go through rigorous testing to receive certification. Casinos cannot offer the games to players before this certification is awarded. The testing houses run millions of simulated games through the roulette wheel to check for abnormalities. They also get access to the code so they can check for vulnerabilities.
It’s virtually unheard of to hear of any player successfully cheating an online casino by playing roulette. The only instances where it can be possible is when there is a glitch or vulnerability of the software that, for some reason, has not been picked up during the certification of the game. The casino would quickly catch on if you could successfully cheat a roulette game online. They use sophisticated, state-of-the-art technology to monitor the gameplay of all players, and abnormal levels of winning would soon flag up.
Roulette cheating may look possible at an online casino – but don’t forget, these casino games are tested frequently, too – so the online casino would quickly notice any cheating in question.