Roulette? Feeling Lucky?

Why is it that I have witnessed this multiple times… I’ll be there playing…someone will walk up and place $25/$50/$100 + on one number …WIN and walk away…


Because there is a what, 40/42 chance the ball will stop on one of the numbers, and once it does, a 1/40 chance that it will be any one of the numbers. That means that (green slots notwithstanding) if you just toss down on some number, 1 out of 40 times you are going to hit on average. How many bets have you seen? You would expect that 1 of each 40 would hit over time…that is pretty frequent compared to a lot of other goings on at a casino, enough that you would notice it happening and might even think there was something magical like a pattern of luck going on.

Note this also means that on average, 39 times out of 40, the better is wrong. You never notice those though, right? No one jumps and squeals for joy when that happens I bet!

Schlub losing $100 = not memorable

Schlub winning $4000 = memorable

Classic example of observational bias.

I see the same damn thing! :smiley:

The last time I went to a casino, I started with $200 playing roulette in $1 chips. I was down to my last $80 when I knew I had to bet it all on the 1 - 12 bet. Eighty dollars in $1 chips looks like a lot when you stack it up in one place so they called the pit boss over. He approved bet. The dealer spun and it came up 11. I won something like $240. I just walked away and people were impressed. I must be good at Roulette or so they thought. Not really. My ride was leaving and I planned on either losing it all or winning and that was the quickest way I could think to do it.

That’s spooky! I see observational bias everywhere TOO!

They have a tiny computer that tells them. No joke.

You either walk away from the table when you’re winning or keep playing until you’ve lost.

this is the correct answer…
i am very familiar with how the game is played and such…kinda wish I could win once…if i had ever, i probably wouldnt have posted tho! haha

I did that once, a few years ago. Walked in to the casino with my wife (teaching her how to play roulette), got some chips plunked them down on 9 (roulette), and won. Everyone at the table looked up at me with WTF expressions :stuck_out_tongue:

Said to my wife: “And that’s how you play roulette”

It’s actually 1 in 37 (except those heathen single-zero wheels where it’s 1 in 36) but, yeah.

I did that too, only sans wife. It was spooky and I was sort of scared (I had to watch a round to even figure out how to put my money down) so I probably couldn’t have placed another bet even if I knew how :slight_smile:

I love roulette, but I don’t look at it as a way to make money as much as an opportunity to have some fun in exchange for $200 over the course of 2-3 hours…or 15 minutes.

Yep, I fall for this every time. Walk into an area packed with slot machines and players and all you hear is bells & whistles every 30 seconds with someone winning. “Holy crap, everyone around here is winning non-stop on these machines!”
Nope. It’s just that I’m not hearing a loud “Waa-waaaaaaaaa!” everytime someone loses. (which, if they did, would non-stop drown out the winning bells)

I had a pitt boss tell me I was doing better than anyone she had seen that day at mini-baccarat. I had played for an hour and was up a few hundred.

All I was doing was betting minimum on banker, all the time. Happens sometimes.

1 in 38 (or 37), or 37:1 (36:1).

As to heathen, the single-zero wheel gives the house nearly a 3% edge. I remember reading something snarky by Stephen Fry to the effect that only American would think a house edge that built Monte Carlo wasn’t big enough.

Well, somebody’s got to pay for all those lights on the Strip.

And you’re right about the odds; I was typing in a hurry. I’ve wondered from time to time wen the difference arose. Wiki has the earliest description of a roulette wheel mentioning two zeroes in France.

Actually, our national game is craps and if you stick to the Pass/Come bets the house edge is 1.41% and the Don’ts where it is 1.36% If you take odds, the edge is shaved a bit more. The rest of the bets aren’t so good with Sevens topping the list at a breathtaking 16.67%