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How to identify a biased roulette wheel

Modern technology has almost taken the concept of biased wheel out of the game of roulette. But technology cannot account for structural damages that may occur with time in a roulette wheel. For instance, colored plastic is glued to the pocket and when the glue becomes loose, the plastic may get raised. This causes the ball to bounce less when hitting such a pocket and this “deadening” causes the ball to come to rest in specific areas on the wheel. No technology can resolve this issue.

13 Apr 1995, Nice, France --- The new tables at Casino Ruhl. --- Image by © David Lefranc/Kipa/Corbis

A biased wheel is where one or more specific numbers tend to win because of the anomalies in the wheel. There is no need to tell you that the rounds played on a biased wheel tend to favor some players (without them coming to know). Roulette is a game of chance and a biased wheel takes the concept of randomness away from the game – something no casino player would like.

One of the ways someone can identify a biased wheel is through clocking. Clocking is a technique where a player sits and notes down on a piece of paper the winning number at the end of every spin. Does the casino allow this? Well, if the player continues to bet as they jot down the winning numbers, the casino shouldn’t interfere. But there are casinos that don’t like this practice and may ask a player to stop noting the numbers after a while. In any case, the modern casinos have boards where they display the winning numbers, one by one. The latest number occupies the place on top of the list while the first displayed winning number is removed. One can keep an eye on the numbers this way.

Casinos don’t like clocking because they feel that a player can find a pattern this way. And no casino wants to give undue advantage to a player because there is large money at stake. The casinos engage in various activities to stop clocking – by making an 1/8 turn on the wheel week-on-week or by using the same wheel on different tables and so on. For the player, it is all about getting a close look at the wheel to identify scratches, discolorations and wear patterns and so on.


There is a simple formula to identify a biased roulette wheel otherwise. If a player finds that a certain winning number occurs 10 or more times in 200 spins and its adjacent numbers occur more than 5.3 times on an average in 200 spins, the chances are that the wheel is biased. However, this is not true in all the cases because randomness does play a role here. But yes, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on such a wheel because a player can make the most out of its biasness (if it is there).

If you think you cannot play roulette in the Arab world there is good news for you. The GPWA approved online gambling portals like allow you to engage in casino gaming safely. The taboo associated with gambling is still there but when you can play securely at, there is no issue at all.

The concept of biased wheel has been largely taken care of thanks to the technology in place. Random audits also ensure that any biased wheel is identified and removed. Thus, the number of players complaining about biased wheels has come down drastically and this is what makes roulette more fun these days. And in any case, there is no concept of biased wheels in online roulette. But biased wheels continue to exist and any player needs to keep their eyes open.

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