You can find numerous attitudes about the game of roulette among gamblers. Most roulette players do believe in hot numbers, and this post is meant to disclose the truth about that phenomenon.
A roulette wheel has 38 numbers on it, which means that the odds of a specific number coming up are easy to calculate (1/38, or 37 to 1). This, of course, assumes that each number has an equal possibility of coming up.
Modern casinos use well-calibrated roulette wheels. They change them out regularly so they don’t get worn out. And they also move the roulette tables around in the casino, so even if you do find a bias, that wheel might not be in the same place tomorrow as it was today.
You don’t need a big change in the odds of winning to get an edge over the casino. If a number comes up 1 out of 34 times instead of 1 out of 38 times, you have an edge over the casino.
If you want to be confident that a roulette wheel has a bias toward certain specific numbers, you’d need to have the results of 10,000 spins or more. Assuming 50 spins per hour, you’d need to watch a roulette wheel for 200 hours before you could be confident that your results were statistically accurate.
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You could go with fewer spins than that if you were comfortable with the idea that you might be mistaken.
But even watching 1000 spins would take 20 hours.
Since the casino changes out and moves roulette wheels from one spot to the other, you can’t be confident that “clocking” the roulette wheel will accomplish anything. But if it did, what would that do to the house edge?
My favorite strategy for betting on roulette is to bet only single numbers. I sit down at the table and look for the number that’s come up the most often lately based on what’s showing on the toteboard. If there’s a number that’s come up three times, and some of the other numbers have only come up two times, that’s my number.
Hot numbers are a separate strategy for roulette from most betting systems, although both betting systems and hot numbers have a common flaw. They both assume that past results somehow predict future results.
For example, if you’re using the Martingale system, you’re doubling your bet every time you lose until you eventually win. The assumption is that if you bet red multiple times in a row, it’s eventually bound to hit.
This works some of the time, but sporadically, you’ll hit a losing streak that will wipe out all your gains in the amount of the house edge.
The best advice for playing roulette? Use any system you like, including searching for hot numbers and raising or lowering your bets.
Just don’t ever expect a system to work in the long run, because it won’t.
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