Roulette is a game steeped in history, intrigue, and a fair share of myths.
These myths, born out of superstitions and misunderstandings, have been passed down from generation to generation, creating a tapestry of lore that continues to colour the game even today.
On this page, we’re going to debunk the top eight roulette myths, shedding light on the realities of the game and hopefully equipping you with a better understanding of this iconic casino pastime.
Dealers Can Control The Ball
Among the many myths that have long been associated with roulette, the belief that dealers have the power to control where the ball lands is perhaps one of the most enduring.
It’s a belief that stems from the human tendency to attribute patterns and intent where there are none. The truth, however, is far less mystical.
In reality, dealers have no control over the outcome of each spin. The ball’s final resting place is determined by a combination of the wheel’s speed, the ball’s velocity, and the laws of physics.
Despite the skill and precision required to spin the wheel and launch the ball, these factors are simply too random and unpredictable to be manipulated reliably.
While some experienced croupiers may be able to influence the sector of the wheel the ball lands in, predicting the exact pocket is virtually impossible.
So, this myth is officially debunked: dealers cannot control the ball in roulette.
Casinos Use Tables With Magnets
Another myth that has been circulating in the roulette world is the idea that casinos rig their roulette tables with magnets to influence the outcome of the game. This belief likely originates from players’ frustration with losing streaks or unexpected outcomes, leading them to suspect foul play.
However, the reality of roulette tables is far less nefarious. Both online and land-based casinos operate under strict regulations and standards to ensure fair gameplay.
This includes the use of unbiased, meticulously crafted roulette wheels. The use of magnets or any other form of tampering would not only be unethical, but it would also be illegal.
Moreover, any reputable casino would have nothing to gain and everything to lose from cheating. The nature of roulette, with its built-in house edge, already guarantees a profit for the house over the long run. Thus, this myth is also debunked: casinos do not use magnets in their roulette tables.
You Have a 50/50 Chance of Winning
The belief that roulette offers a 50/50 chance of winning is a myth that likely arises from an oversimplification of the game’s odds.
Yes, red or black, odd or even, and high or low bets do cover nearly half of the possible outcomes on the wheel. However, the presence of the zero (and the double zero in American roulette) tilts the odds slightly in favour of the house.
In European roulette, where there’s only one zero, the odds of winning an even money bet (red/black, odd/even, high/low) are actually 48.65%.
In American roulette, with its additional double zero, those odds fall to 47.37%. So, while these bets do have the closest to a 50/50 chance of any in the game, they’re still not truly even money bets.
Therefore, this myth, too, is debunked: you do not have a 50/50 chance of winning at roulette.
You Can Keep Doubling Your Bet Until You Win
This myth is based on the infamous Martingale betting system, which suggests that doubling your bet after each loss will eventually result in a win that recovers all previous losses.
On the surface, this strategy appears to make sense. However, it falls apart under closer scrutiny.
The main problem with the Martingale system is that it assumes that you have an infinite bankroll and that there are no betting limits.
In reality, every player has a finite bankroll, and all roulette tables have maximum bet limits.
This means that after a string of losses, you could either run out of money or hit the table limit before you have the chance to recover your losses.
Furthermore, due to the house edge, the odds are always against you in roulette.
This means that while you could get lucky and recoup your losses with this strategy, in the long run, you’re likely to lose more than you win.
Thus, this myth is debunked: you cannot keep doubling your bet until you win.
Electronic Roulette Cheats
With the rise of online and electronic roulette, a new myth has emerged: that these digital versions of the game are rigged or cheat players. This myth is likely fuelled by scepticism towards technology and misunderstandings about how these games work.
In reality, electronic and online roulette games use a Random Number Generator (RNG) to determine the outcome of each spin. These RNGs are rigorously tested and certified by independent bodies to ensure their fairness and randomness. Furthermore, online casinos are regulated by authoritative bodies, which require them to adhere to strict standards of fairness and transparency.
So, just like with physical roulette tables, the outcome of each spin in electronic and online roulette is entirely random and unbiased.
Therefore, this myth is also debunked: electronic roulette does not cheat.
Hot & Cold Numbers Can Help You Win
Some roulette players believe that certain numbers are “hot” (likely to come up) or “cold” (unlikely to come up) based on recent outcomes.
This belief, however, is a classic example of the gambler’s fallacy, which is the mistaken belief that past results can predict future outcomes in a game of chance.
In roulette, each spin is an independent event, meaning that the outcome of one spin has no bearing on the outcome of any future spins.
Therefore, there’s no such thing as hot or cold numbers in roulette. All numbers have an equal chance of coming up on any given spin, regardless of how often or how rarely they’ve appeared in the past. Thus, this myth is debunked: hot and cold numbers cannot help you win at roulette.
Betting On More Numbers Helps
It’s a common belief that betting on more numbers will increase your chances of winning. While it’s true that placing bets on more numbers will increase the likelihood of hitting a winning number, it doesn’t necessarily increase your chances of winning overall.
Remember, each bet you place is subject to the house edge, which means that over the long run, the casino always has an advantage. Betting on more numbers will indeed give you a higher chance of hitting a winning number, but it also increases the total amount you’re betting. Therefore, this strategy could lead to quicker losses. Thus, this myth is also debunked: betting on more numbers does not necessarily help you win at roulette.
Roulette Is The Devil’s Game
This myth has more to do with numerology than with roulette strategy. The legend goes that roulette is known as the “Devil’s Game” because the numbers on the wheel add up to 666, which is the “Number of the Beast” associated with the devil.
While it’s true that the numbers on a roulette wheel do add up to 666, this is more of a coincidence than anything else. Roulette was created in the 18th century by French mathematician Blaise Pascal, who was actually trying to invent a perpetual motion machine.
The game has nothing to do with the devil or any other supernatural entities. Therefore, this final myth is also debunked: roulette is not the Devil’s Game.
The Bottom Line
Overall, while roulette is a game steeped in myth and superstition, the reality of the game is based on randomness and chance.
Understanding these myths and the truths behind them can help you approach the game with a clearer mind and a more informed strategy.
No matter how you choose to play, remember to have fun and gamble responsibly.