A Primer on Roulette: Why Are You Playing This Game?

by Brett & Kate McKay on July 17, 2009 · 37 comments

in Gamesmanship, Manly Skills

roulette3

The other articles in this series will be instructions, guides, tips and cautions. That is not how this article will read. This will be the literary equivalent of one of the more tasteless traffic safety films. Why? Simple. Around the world, even among the wealthy elite of players in the most exclusive European casinos, people play roulette. And around the world, even among the wealthy elite of players in the most exclusive of European casinos, people lose their money playing a game that is nearly by definition un-winnable. So I am not going to teach you any tricks. I am going to explain to you how the game is played, and explain why you can’t win. And if you have any sense, you will never play.

The Rules: Look Over There!

There is no playing in roulette. The “dealer” so to speak, sets the ball spinning, and so it goes. The game is in the bet. The game is entirely deterministic.

Bets:

Inside. Inside bets are placed on a specific pocket, a cluster of pockets or range of pockets, with the theme being the position of the pockets’ final landing position. They have longer odds but better payouts. They are:

  • Straight: Bet on a single pocket.
  • Split: Bet on a pair of inside pockets.
  • Street: Bet on three pockets in a sequential line. A marker is placed at the edge of the first pocket in the line to indicate your bet.
  • Corner: Bet on a four square layout. The marker is placed at the point of intersection.
  • Six Line: A bet on two adjoining streets, market placed at the point of intersection where they begin.
  • Trio: A bet on the point between 0, 1 and 2 or 00, 2 and 3.

Outside. Outside bets are placed on categories and sets of pockets. They have better odds but worse payouts. They are:

  • 1-18: The first eighteen numbers on the wheel.
  • 19-36: The second eighteen numbers on the wheel.
  • Red or Black: Which color the wheel will show.
  • Even or Odd: A bet on an even or odd number.
  • Dozens: 1-12, 13-24, 25-36
  • Columns: All 12 numbers on each of the three vertical lines. Example: 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 35

Any bet can be eliminated by the dealer as winning at any time. If this is done, that bet will be occupied by a marker for the next roll and cannot be made. This aspect of the game varies from casino to casino.

Now you know how to bet for roulette. Now I will tell why to never, ever, ever play the game.

Why You Can’t Win: A Tragedy in Three Parts

Odds

The best odds you ever get in roulette are 1.111 to 1. That is on the Half bets, like Red or Odd. They have a resounding payout of 1 to 1. Even money. Let’s look at something with a better payout. 2-1. The dozens. What are the odds you say? 2-1. Nonsense. The odds are in fact, 2.167 to 1. While that may seem like a small difference, that small change will eat you alive in the long term. This incremental and disproportionate upward change in odds remains true as we move upwards in payout. Why? Various reasons, none of them relevant to the issue. They don’t need to rig the game; the work is done for them already.

Negative Expected Value

Every time you place a bet on something where you can use math to predict the possible outcome, you can determine the Expected Value of a $1.00 bet. Some bets have a positive value, some have a negative value. In the absence of an external control, card counting, strategy, psychological maneuvering, player to player gambling, this means that your gains will be in the negative. In roulette, your expected value for a bet of $1.00 for every bet save Trio is -$00.53. Trio is worth -$00.79. These numbers are less than thrilling.

Reset Button Rolls

You’ve just made a great bet, and gotten a huge payout. You’re bursting with adrenaline, and everything is going your way. Wrong. The next roll is exactly the same as the previous roll. Why? Because you have absolutely no control over roulette. There is no deck to count, and nothing changes over time. The odds are what they are, and they are meant to make you keep playing until you lose. What does this remind us of? A slot machine. Except everyone is better dressed. And you’re losing more money.

Now, I know what you’re saying, “People make money playing Roulette! It’s in the history books!” Let us examine that in detail.

One for the Books

The Past

Historically, and I can speak from having met at least one of these men, the great roulette payouts were produced one way. Old tables were designed and made imperfectly. As the night progressed, the wheels would show bias towards certain results. Now, one board would not show bias enough for someone to make a profit, and one man could not determine the bias of all the tables. Solution? A certain set of professional gamblers began to hire clerks, accountants and such in teams to watch casinos long enough to put together the numbers they needed to make their bets, then make a streak over the course of a week before anyone could figure out their plan. Eventually the casinos realized what was going on and invested no small amount of money in fixing this problem. Consequently, modern boards are of two kinds. Supposedly without bias or resettable.

The Present

Modern roulette wins are dependent on one of two things. Blind luck of incomprehensible proportions, or systems that are essentially dependent on a player’s reliance on the computational utility of Chaos Theory.  This is generally considered by most people who have extensive knowledge of math to be a bad idea. Now there is always the trusty Martingale system and its offspring, but that is not so much a winning strategy as a loss minimization strategy. This is also what is called a bad idea. Now, in truth, it has been proven that a team of gamblers can beat a wheel. That said, roulette odds are not, in my opinion good enough to warrant this kind of play, and as of yet, there is no confirmation of theory, only of practice.

The Moral of the Story

Roulette is the sophisticate’s slot machine. It feels like a real game, but it isn’t. There is no playing. There is no real winning. There is the luck of the draw, and there is the reality, which is horrible, soul crushing loss. While my usual lightheartedness may be lacking here, I only remove it so as to prevent you from making the mistake so many do. Roulette is different from slot machines in one fairly big way. You lose significantly more money playing it. This is a bad thing. Combined with dealer control, the game is a loser’s game from beginning to end. The only way to win when you gamble is to be in control. End of discussion. There is no way to exert any level of control in roulette. What is the logical conclusion we draw from this? There is no way to win in roulette. If there is no way to win in a game, do we play? No. We do not.

Written by Christatos Aristad. Mr. Aristad is a retired professional gambler who is writing a series of articles for AoM on the ins and outs of various  games and how to gamble in the most responsible and appropriate way possible.

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jim July 17, 2009 at 11:39 am

great article.

I was explaining what a suckers game this was to my brother while in the roulette area of a casino and was told by the pit boss shut up and leave the area.

2 Jeff S. July 17, 2009 at 11:46 am

Great article! Great analogy of calling it the fancy pants slot machine.

Roulette is a suckers game and I’ve been suckered by it. The one time I played roulette I lost all my gambling money in 20 minutes. I didn’t even get to play black jack. If you’re going to gamble stick with games that you have a bit of control over.

3 Briain July 17, 2009 at 12:26 pm

While I am by no means a Gambler I have ventured to Las Vegas twice, in my life, and had a great time. I know Roulette is a suckers bet yet I came out ahead both times, the 1st time I went on to loose it at the Blackjack table while the second time, being a little older and maybe wiser too, I went back to my room and caught my flight the next morning.

The thing is to enjoy yourself, I did.

4 Fred P. July 17, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Great post–thanks! Roulette is not a game, so you can’t play. All you can do is hand over your money. And if you want to do that, hand some money where it will do some good: there are villages around the world without medicine, clean drinking water, and sufficient food. That’s being a man!

5 E. T. Duke July 17, 2009 at 1:43 pm

I disagree, while roulette does statistically have negative odds, By incorporating chaos theory along with a strict betting strategy (such as a FTS Labouchère system) I have never failed to win at roulette. Besides manly men do play roulette. Ask James Bond, Joseph Jagger, Charles Wells, or more recently Ashley Revell. You can say what you like about the statistical odds, but I consider anyone who would bet his entire net worth on Red without trepidation a real man’s man.

As I walk along the Bois Boolong
With an independent air
You can hear the girls declare
“He must be a Millionaire.”
You can hear them sigh and wish to die,
You can see them wink the other eye
At the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo.

6 David W. July 17, 2009 at 3:03 pm

I consider anyone willing to be his entire net worth on Red with or without trepidation an irresponsible idiot.

But that’s just me…

7 Adam Snider July 17, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Yeah, I’ve got to date with David W. Betting everything you own on a single spin of the wheel is insane, especially if you’ve got a family to provide for.

8 Adam Snider July 17, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Whoops! A typo in my last comment. I’ve got to *agree* with David, not date him. And, no, that’s wasn’t a Freudian slip.

9 John July 17, 2009 at 4:03 pm

“Trio is worth -$00.79″

Do you mean $.21? I’m no gambler but I always thought expected value was how much you get back from a dollar.

10 Jason Y July 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm

“The game is entirely deterministic.”

By this, you mean no human will is factored into where the ball will land? Roulette would generally be considered nondeterministic because you cannot know where the ball will land–it is controlled by chance, if you will.

11 Jordan July 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Very interesting. I’m not a man that gambles, but I have to say that I enjoy reading Christatos’ work very much.

12 Steve July 17, 2009 at 6:43 pm

I don’t play roulette, but if you accept the idea that it can’t be enjoyed just because the odds are against you then you shouldn’t be playing any game in a Casino at all. ALL casino games have a house edge built in, with the exception of the Odds bet in Craps (though even that bet requires a prior bet which has a house edge).

For the vast majority of people, gambling is a form of entertainment. Slots, Roulette, Blackjack, Craps, Pai-Gow, whatever, if you go in expecting to make money you will be sorely disappointed. You should gamble for fun, and if you don’t enjoy it or can’t afford it you should stay away.

13 Christatos Aristad July 17, 2009 at 9:21 pm

E.T. Duke:

And I consider anyone who would bet his entire net worth on Red without trepidation not a man at all.
I feel you read my post without consuming the substance. Specifically the part where I responded to your post in advance by mentioning the systems you mentioned, and then declared my dissatisfaction with them based on the fact that the best odds in Roulette are still crap when you can win half a million dollars in one hand of no limits anything else without depending on the random whims of a ball rolling around a spinning wheel built with laser precision specifically to take your money.

In response to everyone else:

I am going to depend on my twenty year old hotel Gideon bible, with definition number 3 seeming to be the most relevant, and agree that I made a mistake on deterministic.

I did not make a mistake on the expected return being -$00.79 on Trio. The numbers on Roulette have been done to death, and they are all negative. When a return is negative, that means that all things being equal, you lose.

In response to comments about taking the fun out of it, fairly made. My intent is not to teach people how to have fun. It is to teach people to either play well and responsibly, or don’t play at all. If your intent is to simply have fun, with no care for your losses, I reserve comment as it is not my place to judge.

14 Jim July 18, 2009 at 7:03 am

If you’re betting on every ball, then yes, you’re screwed. So simply don’t. Many a night I’ve doubled or trebled my input simply by only putting down every few spins.

My easy money: Red/Black, or Odd/Even. There’s a statistical tendency to 50:50 odds. If you see a run of 4+ of one colour, or odds/evens, it’s going to have to return in the other direction. Place regular smallish bets (no more than 1/5 of what you’re willing to lose) and you’ll come out on top. There’s always a day you may lose (which will come sooner if you get too keen to bet on only 3 or less in a row), but overall, you come out on top.

Some people ignore this strategy, labelling it “gambler’s fallacy.” Each individual spin only has 50:50 odds, never more, they say, therefore expecting any other odds is idiotic. They’re correct. But in the same vein, when observing a larger sample (say 10 spins, or 100), it will also come out to approximately 50:50 odds (the larger your sample, the closer it is). A long run of one colour/odd/even has to end at some time, or a 50:50 ratio isn’t obtained, and the table isn’t balanced. Since you know the table is balanced, you know the run ends at some point. The longer it is, the increased chance (when considered the whole sample, not just that one spin) it will turn the other way.

15 Nick July 18, 2009 at 7:41 am

An interesting article, which on the whole I agree with. My only contention is the fact that I always believed that you could have moderate (with emphasis) success with systems like Labouchère because it doesn’t require you to beat the odds. I’ve tried the system myself with free money online versions (in principle surely the same) and if you’re sufficiently patient and don’t expect to make too much money but have enough in reserve it does seem to work. I agree you’re not going to make much with it, but it seems sustainable. But then again I’m sure you have more experience with these things than me.

16 Keith Brawner July 18, 2009 at 8:26 am

Jim, you are aware that 2 of the 38 numbers on the table are green, correct? So:
18/38 Red = .47368421
18/38 Black = .47368421
2/38 Green = .0526315789

So if you bet $1 on black at the rate of a $2 win, you expect to make $0 on .5 odds. Unfortunately your odds are not .5, and are instead .47. Mathematically you expect to lose a non-trivial amount (a bit over 5%, or about the same amount of money a bank would pay you for the privilege of holding your money http://www.highyieldcheckingdeals.com/) of money to the house.

Here is a site explaining why your ‘winning’ strategy loses. http://gambling-maths.co.uk/expected-value.html

As long as I am intending to spend $20 on entertainment value, I think that I would wish to take my fiancé out to dinner, see a cheap concert, split a few drinks, go miniature golfing/bowling, see a movie, or any number of activities where the entertainment value of $20 is stretched longer than 30 seconds. You could enter into a poker tournament.

17 paul July 18, 2009 at 1:20 pm

JIM:
It’s called Gamblers Fallacy for a reason… Just because the odds are fair, and there’s ALMOST a 50/50 chance for red/black or odds/evens, doesn’t mean that the ball has to bounce red after black after even a hundred spins… and most people would be wiped out waiting for it. The little ball doesn’t remember that it hasn’t landed on red, for example on the prior 1, 10 or hundred spins… Similarly flipping a coin, it is possible to flip 25 heads in a row, because on each flip, or spin, it’s a fair throw.

But, don’t forget, that in roulette, it’s not 50/50 for red/black, since 0 and 00 aren’t red or black.

What makes roulette more of a suckers game than other games, like Blackjack or craps is that the payouts have a higher margin than the probabilities would indicate. which means, the more you play, the more you lose.

18 Florent Z. July 19, 2009 at 12:00 am

I have to disagree as well. Roulette is a very winnable casino game. Odds are pretty dismal, but so are most games in the casino. It doesn’t stop people from playing and most importantly from winning big money. Chaos Theory takes so much variables to consider your head will be spinning faster than the wheel. My friend has a strategy that “typically” pays him well in roulette, I won’t say always but he wins pretty consistently.

Here’s what he does:

He breaks the wheel into quarter sections- lumping the numbers in groups
He then watches the table for hours- noting the sections that get the most hits. Sometimes he asks casinos for that week’s roulette history and the one’s that keep it surprisingly have no problem sharing. Either way he decides the section of numbers that he will play based on his research. He then places small bets ($1-$3) on all the numbers in the section. He then places a slightly bigger bet on the middle number in the section (middle as in placement on the wheel, not nummerical). So all the bets are placed. And before the spin, he places a bet for the dealer to hit that middle number. The dealer now has motivation and a stake if he keeps winning. Now he doesn’t have control to keep hitting that number all night, but he’ll get close. And what my friend has done is given him a margin of error. He slightly increases his betting amounts as he wins. But if he doesn’t win “significant” within ten spins according to him he leaves the table and heads for cocktails.

19 E. T. Duke July 19, 2009 at 1:52 am

Christatos Aristad:
In responce to your reply, I feel you read my comment with the assumption that anyone reading your original post should, by the end, accept your thesis. I may have come off overbearing and for that I apologize. The point I was trying to make was that through my personal experience, correct application of chaos theory pays off significantly more often than it fails. I also want to say that I did infact understand your dissatisfaction; I simply disagreed with it.

Also in your post you spoke of the Martingale system which I feel is far inferior to the Labouchère system due in part to the adaptability of the Labouchère and also due to how quickly you can approach the table limit in a bad run with the Martingale system.

20 k July 19, 2009 at 6:24 am

absolutely spot on article. There is no way to win at roulette except for the occasional and not long lasting, lucky streak. You will loose it all again if you keep on playing. reason is simple, the payouts are too low compared to the risk. Overall you will always lose more than you gain. Ive tried for months using free online casinos for practice. There is nothing you can do. The odds are set. Mr Aristad knows what he is talking about.

21 k July 19, 2009 at 6:34 am

addition to comment above ..
stay away from this game ! unless your aim is to waste hours of your time for no gain .. and virtually give your money to casinos. The game is exasperating and frustrating. You cannot win. Same is true for Baccarat .. in fact all casino games .. because of the odds. I cant see that Blackjack is much better. Id be interested in what games Mr. Aristad does recommend. Perhaps Texas holdem ?

22 Nathan Johansen July 19, 2009 at 8:58 am

I’d rather risk my money on the girls down on the strip than on a roulette table. You’ll never win any money, but the entertainment value is much higher. But, I’m not really a gambling man myself. Though I still enjoyed the article regardless.

23 Fingersoup July 20, 2009 at 5:23 am

So, I’m not a gambler, but I basically see any game at a casino as dumb luck… As a result, when I go to a casino, I EXPECT to lose my money. Gambling is never an investment.

Having said that, the trick I’ve seen keep people playing for a longer period of time in roulette, is as follows: Set a limit for how much you are going to spend at roulette – The amount of money you are willing to throw away. Then, Bet a colour and an even/odd at the table. disregarding 0 and 00, that means you have a 50% chance of breaking even, a 25%chance of doubling up, and a 25% chance of losing. if you lose quick, step away – it wasn’t your lucky day. Every time you double up your bet, pocket your winnings, and let your original bet ride. Once you double your cash on-hand, only then you can take the occasional inside bet… Once you’ve lost an amount equal to the amount of your limit, step away. At the worst, you’ve lost the money you committed to losing. at the best, you make money.

The fact is, is that playing roulette is about being social while throwing your money to dumb luck. If you look at it as how long you can play for, it’s fun, with an off-chance to make money.

Never, Ever go to a casino and expect to win. Always set an amount for acceptable loss before you step into the casino. Always set an amount of money you are willing to part with on a game. Once you hit your limits, you’re done… no questions asked. No “Well, maybe just one more…” to keep you going… DONE. The minute you ignore your limits is the minute you become an addict.

24 Tim July 20, 2009 at 7:56 am

Excellent aricle filled with sound advice. It is correct in it’s entirety, not in it’s parts. Yes you can win in roulette, statistically speaking. And that is the allure. On paper it works. In reality it does not. Thanks for a great article Mr. Aristad.

25 Uberhack July 20, 2009 at 11:48 am

A tv show I saw a year or so ago on Discovery Channel (I think) comes to mind. It was on gambling cheaters and their techniques and how they got busted. There was a family in Europe, I believe, who figured out the tendencies of roulette wheels due to slight, natural abnormalities in their shapes. They did well in Europe because most wheels only have one green spot. They attempted to bring the scam to the States but failed.

Anyone remember the details of that?

26 Johnny July 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Just one thing you forgot to factor in – the money you save on free drinks. I have spent nights in Vegas at a roulette wheel having great fun with my buddies losing sensible amounts of money but getting free (expensive) drinks. I’m not a big gambler obviously and you need self-control. I am a big drinkler and in certain hotels in Vegas that is a losers game!

27 David July 21, 2009 at 5:40 pm

The fun of roulette as opposed to blackjack is that it is ALL chance rather than soul-crushing amount of chance. I bet money on 7-8 numbers on the inside that seem to be hot(I know there is no statistical proof of this, but play roulette and it happens) and if I win great, if I lose, bet them again. In other games there are bad beats, tough breaks, and many other factors that will drive any man insane and make him give much effort and restlessness to attempts to make gambling a profitable proposition. A man should be able to throw his money on some numbers and either win or lose and then walk away at his leisure when he’s had his fill of courting lady luck, after all it is gambling. Nothing’s worse than going in cocky to a blackjack table, sitting on 18, and then the dealer gets nineteen after 6 cards. Roulette is complete chance, which is its appeal.

28 Chris L July 22, 2009 at 10:46 am

The only worse game in my opinion is Keno. Roullette is appealing but so bad on the wallet.

29 Christatos Aristad July 23, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Uberhack

What you are describing is not a new way of beating the wheel. As I mention in my post, it was, after the martingale system, the original way of beating the wheel. But every generation of modern wheel is built with more and more precision, and with greater attention paid to devices and techniques that enable the pit boss in charge of the wheel to “reset” the wheel, which means that at a push of a button, the wheel realigns and resets itself completely, clearing any and all discrepancy from the board. Some even keep track of roll history and adjust for trends delineated by wear on the board.The Roulette industry is swiftly catching up with the slot industry in the business of scientific precision.

The key to understanding why you should not play roulette is that aside from any mathematical system, betting structure, technique, pattern, or team play, you as a player are playing a game that is all things being equal, meaning you’re at your best, even. You can’t tip the odds in your favor in the long term. It is mathematically impossible. This means that you are a rational actor with a finite supply of money playing in a controlled and unchanging system of chance against another rational actor with an infinite supply of money. This means two things.

1. In the long term, if you continue to play, not only will you not win, you will end up in debt.

2. There is no realistic or rational way to predict a winning game under controlled or limited circumstances, meaning that unlike blackjack, where a winning system wins every time, in Roulette, a winning system has at most even odds of producing a positive outcome no matter the circumstances. This is true of any game where there is no capacity to exert non statistic control over the situation. No one can ever be good enough to beat the Law of Large Numbers.

Does this mean there are no winning systems? No. But those systems are not of a kind with a card system, or a chess strategy, or any other system of the kind. Because at their core, no mathematical justification has ever been forwarded and proven that Roulette systems should work more often than 50% of the time, and thus any exception to that rule is merely a small subset of a larger average wherein at best you come out with even money, except for the fact that Roulette has less than straight odds, and thus, while the system will work 50% of the time, losses in Roulette on a loss night will trend to exceeding the value of winnings on a win night.

The question is not can you make money. Strictly speaking, you can make money from the lottery, or slot machines. But if you choose to enter a casino and spend your hard earned money in a game of chance, I urge you to spend it elsewhere.

30 Ohso July 24, 2009 at 1:32 am

I agree to an extent. Roulette is a sucker’s game, but still fun to play nonetheless. While the odds are slightly worse than 2:1, it’s still better than a lot of other games out there in terms of increasing your bankroll.

I pulled a friend away from playing a “Spin the Wheel” game at the Mirage in Las Vegas last week and pointed him toward Roulette. “It’s the same,” he told me, pointing out that betting on the lowest payout number was an even money bet. I patiently explained the differences between the two, while if there were 40 spots on the wheel, there weren’t 20 spaces that had his number, so he had worse odds. I also told him to notice the placement of the game, prime center traffic in front of the Beatles Love entrance, and that might give him a hint of the profitability of the game for the casino. He looked uncertain, but trusted my judgment.

Later on that night, he watched me take a beating at a blackjack table at the Bellagio, then watched as I took my remaining stack to a Roulette wheel and soon returned to a positive bankroll. “It’s an even chance, essentially,” I told him as I scooped up my winnings. “I either double my winnings or not. I stick to the outside bets and hope to double up, then take my winnings to a game where I can manipulate the chances more for a big win.”

That night, we were comped a room and that show for winning five figures between the both of us. Roulette has its place, for sure, but it’s not a game to play. It’s a last ditch effort to win.

31 Sundance July 30, 2009 at 12:56 am

First, thank you for hosting a great blog and allowing comments with discussion.

Now, aren’t we talking about the ART of manliness? Not so much the science? If we go the science route – don’t walk into a casino. The house wins. You lose.

Factor into your equations the mystique of the wheel of chance – an icon that calls to mind images of the Rat Pack, James Bond, and YOU standing there playing a game that spans continents and time. You, standing there, brazen enough to call how fate itself will play it’s turn. All with the same odds as those that have come before you and will go after you.

Those that enjoy the game know the unmistakable sound of the ball dropping into play and know the feeling of excitement as it bounces to it’s final decision. And, no, the experience is not the same as slots. With roulette you have a table of players to socialize with and a man (or woman) behind the wheel sharing a common experience in the same game.

No offense intended, but if you have played less than two spins, you don’t really qualify for experience points. Please, don’t try and tell me what fun is for me or anyone else. You can tell me the math and that the wheels are laser precise, but don’t tell me that I’m a fool because I like my bag more than yours. I’m sure I can find fault in your leisure as well.

Though it’s sparked quite a discussion thread, I believe the passionate responses stem from the one-sided slant of the post. You want to tell me to not play one game in a casino over another because of statistical risk in the context of defining my manhood? I’d like to see judgment reserved for things like ensuring your children aren’t fatherless or learning how to avoid a gambling addiction. Look at how well the circumcision post was balanced, for example.

I prefer that roulette can not be rigged. If you’re looking for a game to exploit, remind me to leave you out of my golf plans. I didn’t come to cheat. I’m not there to execute a sophisticated math strategy to beat the house or make money. I came to play, drink, look at women and pretend I’m a big shot for awhile. And knowing that the house usually wins makes it that much better when I do.

32 Brett July 30, 2009 at 1:16 am

“You want to tell me to not play one game in a casino over another because of statistical risk in the context of defining my manhood?”

I’m sorry, I’m afraid I missed that context. Kindly point it out to me.

Unfortunately, people get too hung up on the name of this site. Despite the name, not every article is about defining your manliness, any more than every article in the New York Times is about New York or every article on Askmen.com has it’s origins in interviews with men.

“If you’re looking for a game to exploit, remind me to leave you out of my golf plans. I didn’t come to cheat.”

Again, you’re reading things into the article that simply aren’t there. Who advocated cheating?

This article simply points out that if you’re going to the casino to have fun then it’s even more fun to play a game where you have a better chance of winning. Winning always ups the fun more than basically putting your money into a metaphorical paper shredder. And actually I would argue that it is indeed more manly to employ strategy in a game then to play a fixed game to feel like a big shot. But as you say, to each his own.

33 Fingersoup July 30, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Card counting, using your own head, is not cheating. If you get caught doing it, you’ll be blacklisted from the casino, but it’s not illegal. Reading people in poker, as well as knowing statistics will help tip the game in your favour, but is once again not cheating, and it’s not against the law.

Casinos like people to win – just not too much… It gives the people who lose something to aspire towards. They keep people drugged to stay, and make bad decisions through free alcohol. And finally, they comp winners a room because you are more likely to gamble in their casino if you are staying there – it gives them a chance to win their money back.

I like the lack of blame in roulette. When I gamble, I don’t want to be able to point my finger at someone and say “He’s the reason I lost”. I don’t like the idea that on a bad night in a casino I could turn into a sore loser. Because Roulette is purely chance, it leaves less of a bad taste in my mouth on a bad night. You can’t change Random…

34 Sundance August 17, 2009 at 9:29 pm

“You want to tell me to not play one game in a casino over another because of statistical risk in the context of defining my manhood?”

Yeah, bit of a run-on sentence there. Sorry about that. I think you responded to what I was going for with your example about the NY Times. I assumed (incorrectly) that all the articles on this site were in the context of “manhood”.

“I didn’t come to cheat”. -

I took the article to say that since you couldn’t work an angle on the game then you shouldn’t play. To me, that’s counter-intuitive to a sportsman-like “level playing field”. I may be misunderstanding.

Yes, to each their own. I find it fitting that the previous comment says “You can’t change Random…” as if that was a bad thing, yet it is exactly why I do like roulette.

Thanks again for hosting an educational and entertaining site.

35 thatbadfeeling October 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm

A great post and comments! Reading this reminded me of why I both love and loathe my Ultimate Game of Chance.

Yes, Roulette is a House game, probably more so than any other. But it’s so alluring in other ways besides being a quick and dirty way to win (or lose) your money. Some of my fondest gambling memories have been around the Roulette wheels in Vegas. There was the time my best friend picked two numbers in a row correctly (I made the bets; he doesn’t have the stomach for Roulette) and we blew the winnings on lap dances. Since Roulette is the only game I will play while drinking, it’s also the only game I’ve had the courage to pick up a woman while playing. Years later on our honeymoon, my wife, who doesn’t like gambling, hit lucky 7 on a twenty dollar bet. The look in her eye actually scared me; I envisioned the future trips to Gamblers Anonomous. Hmmm. How cheap are fares to Vegas?

When it comes to the pure math of it, this article is spot on. Roulette should be played for the enjoyment to be had, not the winnings (hopefully they are one in the same now and then). The money I walk into a casino with is already spent, and to expect otherwise is a desperate thought!

36 prufock October 16, 2009 at 10:37 am

Good post! The people trying to justify their “systems” are hilarious!

37 Learn how to play roulette January 12, 2010 at 2:14 am

Since Roulette is the only game I will play while drinking, it’s also the only game I’ve had the courage to pick up a woman while playing. this game full of enetaiment not for any business but some of them will have used this for abusiness so the become many more problem to the people to other so the game will used .

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