The Roulette Ball: Its Significance and How It Can Affect a Roulette Game

Roulette ball, or as coined by roulette players, the “pill” is mostly molded out of acetal, nylon, or phenolic materials. In the past, manufacturers would use ivory. The variance of materials being used to make roulette balls may have something to do with its “liveliness,” or the way it bounces from pocket to pocket.

The issue of material being used to make the balls shouldn’t be of a great concern for a player, especially for a novice roulette player. However, it is worth noting that its component does have a direct effect to a specific roulette game. Basically, the livelier a roulette ball is, which means it bounces more erratically, the harder it is for the player to project which pocket it will settle.

The pocket number 17 in a roulette wheel

A very bouncy ball often repels visual trackers. These are players who, by use of devices or techniques, can project as to where the ball will land. They either work alone or with an accomplice. Casino establishments would often use these kinds of balls to deter such attempts.

On the other hand, a lively ball brings out what is called a truly unbiased result. This is because the pill will have to pass through multiple pockets before it settles into one.

Despite its advantages, having a too lively roulette ball does have its drawbacks. For one, if the ball is too bouncy, there’s a possibility for it to jump overboard and out of the roulette wheel. It can go on the table or worse, down to the floor. The situation, although it looks normal, can halter the game progression and may affect the mood of impatient players. This spells badly for the casino.

Yet another undesirable scenario is for the lively ball to get caught by a loose fret. Frets are the divisions between the numbers found on the wheel. Having defective frets are unavoidable. Which is why, casinos often replace roulette wheels as often as possible. If such defects aren’t noticed, then this can be an opportunity to be exploited by some players.

Breaking the Streak of Luck

Casinos sometimes implement “necessary” measures to ensure that their tables don’t get cleaned up. Should they notice that a particular player has been consistently winning in consecutive turns, they might switch up the ball being used. Like changing dice in craps or using a new deck of cards in blackjack, switching the ball in a roulette ball is said to break the player’s streak of luck.

If one has to look closer, the size of the ball affects the way it bounces and thus, a projection system set by a player will be compromised.

In the past, players were able to manage to switch the balls themselves, but this time, for their own advantage. These balls usually have iron or steel cores which makes it a perfect pair for their electromagnetic devises. Such schemes were used by fraudsters who like to take control as to where the ball will land. To prevent such scenarios, casinos implement ball switching as often as possible.

Spin Duration

In most land-based casinos, dealers often do 20-25 spins (called long spins) to prolong the betting activity. This is the time when players put their bets on the roulette betting layout. However, this situation seems perfect for visual trackers and players who use computer projection programs.

To prevent such occurrences, dealers might vary their speed of the spin from short spins (4-5 revolutions) to mid spins (10-15 revolutions) and up to long spins. They can do so easily by controlling how they launch the ball or simply by switching them up. Heavy balls tend to spin around the roulette wheel slow, contrary to a lightweight ball, which goes around faster.

More Fun Facts and Interesting Stories About Roulette

Roulette is probably one of the coolest games that you’ll ever come across with when you play in a casino, online or offline. It has that lasting appeal to both first-time players and seasoned gamblers. The game itself has been around for ages and thus it shouldn’t come as a big surprise if you could hear interesting stories or fun facts about it.

Below is a list detailing more roulette facts and trivias that you might not have known yet or have missed out. Sound off in the comments if you want something to be added. Otherwise, enjoy!

  1. The ball (which is called a “pill”) used in a live online casino roulette game or in a land-based casino is made of white or ivory delrin material. The pill comes in various sizes depending on the wheel where it is used. The smallest is 3/8 inch in diameter and is paired to a 12-inch wheel. The biggest is ¾ inch diameter which is being used in roulette wheels measuring 27 in. to 32 inches.

    The pocket number 17 in a roulette wheel
  2. The transparent object used by croupiers to mark the winning number on the roulette betting layout is called the “dolly.” It typically measures around 70mm tall and 30mm in diameter. It is made of clear acrylic. Meanwhile, that stick dealers use to rake the chips is called a telescopic chip rake. This comes in various materials like plastic or metal but the latter brings out a more luxurious feel.
  3. The “pockets” on the wheel where the ball lands into are separated via what is called “frets.” Most frets are designed to be extra springy so that the ball bounces off more erratically. However, this setting lends more advantage to those who can easily spot a “loose fret” because it’s easier for them to predict the next winning pocket number.

    Close up image of a roulette wheel
  4. Speaking of winning pockets, there is a belief among roulette players that when a black number comes up, a red one is highly likely to result in the next spin. Such is not always the case. The truth is, the chance to hit the same color 10 times in a row is only 1 in 1024. There is only 1 incident in the history of roulette gaming where this amazing feat took place and it was in a casino in Bristol, England. The record: Red comes up 36 times in a row.
  5. More roulette winning records: the longest time where a single number hits consecutively is said to have happened at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. The winning number came up 7 times in a row. The chances for it to occur? 1 in 3 billion. The lucky number? 19.
  6. With real money involved, it’s no wonder that plenty of people would devise illegal ways to beat the house. One of the famous roulette personalities to ever do it successfully is Francis Farrugia. He used what is called a “top-hatting” technique to win millions in roulette games over the course of 20 years before he was apprehended. This illegal method involves a cheat placing his bet after the ball has already landed.
  7. Roulette is probably the only game in a casino where players are shunned, discouraged, or prohibited to bring their drinks at the table. It is not known as to when or where this unwritten rule originated. But casino establishments do closely observe this etiquette that they tell their staff who brings complimentary drinks to revert their paths away from roulette tables. However, it’s a different story when playing in online roulette casinos because you can drink or eat whatever you want while in a game.

Famous Roulette Players You Might Have Never Heard Of

Roulette can be a very difficult game to win. With no knowledge whatsoever as to where the ball will land next, it would be safe to assume that this casino game relies on pure luck. These famous roulette players, however, get enormously lucky and went on to prove the saying that when it rains, it pours.

The following names below are known throughout history for winning big at the roulette table. Their hot winning streaks were too much to handle that some rules of the game have to be changed or else casinos have to close shop.

Joseph Jagger

Jagger is one of the first people to have taken advantage of the roulette wheel’s imperfections. A mechanic by trade, the roulette enthusiast, along with 6 accomplices, took to the famous Monte Carlo casino and looked for tables that have roulette wheel bias. For the uninitiated, wheel biases occur due to some wheel defects. Specific numbers would often show up more than they should if a wheel has defects. Jagger used this information to win as much as £60,000 in just three days. The amount has an equivalent of £3 million today.

Charles Devile Wells

Yet another wheel bias player, Wells followed the steps of Jagger and in 1891, reportedly swept clean every table in the same casino within just 11 hours of playing. Even more impressive is the fact that he did the run twice that year, winning big amount of prizes each time.

Roulette historians would sometimes argue that Wells’ success can’t solely be attributed to his knack of finding wheel biases. Aside from luck, the man’s enormous wins was also brought by his use of the Martingale system, a betting system where player doubles his bet after every loss.

Carol Jarecki

Little is heard about the Jareckis hitting it big at roulette casino. Carol was famous as a professional chess player, but even her calculating mind wasn’t strong enough to stave off the call for excitement that only a roulette game can bring. Together with her husband, the couple hit off Monte Carlo and San Remo where they also reportedly exploited the imperfections found on roulette wheels.

As of the amount of their winnings, it wasn’t indicated. It would be safe to assume though that the figures were quite significant since they made it to the list.

Benno Winkel

If roulette is the “King of the Casino,” then Winkel is the “Roulette King.” He is said to have won 1.5 million Deutsch Marks and the German-born player reportedly made that huge bankroll in a span of months during his stay at Hamburg. There’s no verifiable information as to how Winkel did it, but sources are saying that he just got lucky, mad lucky at that.

Chris Boyd

UK’s own roulette popstar, Boyd was known for his indomitable goal to win big at roulette. For three years, the 40-year-old computer programmer worked his butt off to save a considerable chunk of money which amounts to £220,000. He intended to play his entire savings on roulette and that’s what he did in 1991 when he found Binion’s Horseshoe Club, the only casino which allowed him to bet that high. With just one spin, Boyd doubled his money. His winning number – red 7.

Ashley Revell

Like a song that is played twice, the Boyd roulette magic happened yet again with this London lad. Not much is known about this young man but in 2004, he flew to Vegas with his entire family and properties which he liquidated and amounted to £135,000.

His life was suddenly put into the limelight when a television program followed his incredible all-out gambling adventure. The place was Plaza Hotel. He made an outside bet, a Black, which has a 1:1 payout. It was all set when Revell suddenly changed his mind and went for a Red. The ball drop into red 7 (the same as Wells). He walked away with £270,000 and tipped the croupier with £600.

Who are the other roulette players you want us to add in this list? Sound it off in the comments below.

5 of the Craziest Bets ever made in a Casino Game

These people right here are those who take betting to the next level, so outrageous that it deserves to be called the craziest bets ever made in a casino game.

  1. The two suitcases of William Lee Bergstrom

In the mid 1980s, Williams Lee Bergstrom walked into the Horseshoe Casino carrying two suitcases. One was filled to the brim with $777,000 while the other was empty. He headed over to a craps table and bet all he got on the Don’t Pass Line – he won. Just as what he expected, the empty suitcase came in handy to hold his huge winnings.

  1. The winning hot streak of Archie Karas
Casino chips

Archie Karas is just but one of those people who made a staggering fortune playing in Las Vegas – and he did it with only $50 on his pocket to start with! Impossible as it may seem, Karas’ winning hot streak is still considered to be the greatest in the history of gambling.

A professional poker player, Karas recently suffered loss in a previous Los Angeles poker game. With only half a Benjamin left, he went to Sin City and ran into a friend who loaned him $10,000. Before the night was through, Karas paid the whole amount plus interest, and still left with a hefty wad of cash to keep on playing. That was just the start of his lucky streak. For three years of playing high-rolling poker and some other table games on the side, his $50 blown up to $40 million.

  1. A grandma’s beginner’s luck

There’s more to craps than just simply being called a dice game. For novice players, craps can be very intimidating. Being played in fast-paced manner, one could easily get lost in the many (oftentimes, complicated) betting options. Unless you’re someone who knows the ins and outs of the game, playing craps can be an easy way to lose money. However, this grandma right here just flung the rules to those who care and just went over to the table, throw dice for hours and win every single one of it.

Patricia Demauro deserves to be inducted in the craps hall of legends (if there’s one) for having won 154 consecutive dice throws at an Atlantic City hotel casino. Although it was never revealed how much she had won, one could only imagine the money she made that night.

  1. The legend of number 17
The pocket number 17 in a roulette wheel

We previously mentioned this lucky roulette wheel number in this article. And while we weren’t able to delve deeper into the number’s significance, this time, we will. The popularity of James Bond betting straight on #17 started off with Sean Connery. The actor is a confessed gambler. In one of his sunny Italian holiday getaways, he played at a casino roulette game where he wagered for the aforementioned number. In the first two spins, ball missed the pocket. He stood by it and in the third turn, 17 finally came in. He left his bet there and it won yet another two spins. The third time, he was already at odds of 5,000 to 1 that his number will come up, but he pushed through. He won.

He left the table with £10,000. Years forward, Connery played as the famous spy in “Diamonds Are Forever.” In one of the scenes, the MI9 agent was playing roulette. The number the character bet on? 17.

  1. Revell bets his house

If Connery’s tale impressed you, you better get ready for yet another mindblowing case of casino roulette big win. The name is Ashley Revell and in 2004, he left London with virtually all of his properties amounting to £135,000 to play at a roulette game in Vegas.

A television program even followed his high-risk journey to the gambling capital. Videos of him playing that one life-changing roulette spin can be found online. But for those who missed it, Revell put all he had on black. In a sudden change of heart, the man pushed his chips to red – probably the single best decision he has ever made in his life. The ball pocketed on 7, and it was red. He went home with double the money he brought in.


Little Known Interesting Roulette Game Facts to Impress Your Friends With

Roulette, among other casino games, is probably one that heavily relies on the player’s luck. It’s a love and hate relationship with the game because anything can just happen once the wheel stops. It could either be in your favor or not at all. The exhilaration this game brings earns its well-deserved nickname as the queen of casinos, both online and land-based.

A picture of a casino roulette wheel and table.

Basically, the object of roulette is for the players to predict what number the ball will land once the wheel is turned. The face of the wheel itself has different variations across continents. The European version of the game, which is also often found in Asian casinos, has only one zero, for a total of 37 spots. The American variant, on the other hand, has a single zero and a double zero, making up for 38 pockets in all.

The history of playing roulette can be traced back as early as the 17th century, and was believed to be introduced by the French mathematician and scientist Blaise Pascal. Other interesting little known facts about the game are as follows:

  1. Roulette had Albert Einstein scratching his head

The brightest thinker in the history of mankind was said to be intrigued by the game that he decided to formulate strategies on how to beat it. After numerous attempts, Einstein thrown in the towel and just admitted that solving the mystery of roulette was impossible.

“The only way to beat the Roulette is if you steal the money from the dealer while he is not looking,” the famous theoretical physicist was often quoted as saying.

  1. The cases of two players who broke the bank

While still in the topic of beating the game, there were actually two separate occasions when players were able to break the wheel, but not in a way that contradicts Einstein’s aforementioned statement. The truth of the matter is, roulette follows certain laws of physics. Although it seems to be at random, to where the ball lands in a pocket is greatly determined by a lot of factors like the speed of the spinning wheel, the way the ball bounces, the nicks on the wheel, as well as the degree of its tilt. Yes, there are instances where the wheel is poorly balanced or seated. Such mishaps can be taken advantage of by roulette connoisseurs like Joseph Jagger, in 1873. A mechanic by trade, the man who happens to have a keen eye on how things work, reportedly paid a number of people to spot for him defective roulette wheels in casinos. He then used the information to help him win big money.

Charles Devile Wells was said to have followed the latter’s footsteps and managed to broke Monte-Carlo Casino. His great feat inspired the song “The Man who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo.”

  1. The number 17

    The pocket number 17 in a roulette wheel

MI6’s own James Bond is quite a gambler himself. As part of his clandestine work, Agent 007 can sometimes be found in roulette tables, placing his bets on his favorite number believed to be 17. Such influence brought forth the aptly-called James Bond betting system. It is a flat betting system where a player wagers the same amount for every round.

  1. “The Devil’s Wheel”

The numbers on the roulette wheels, starting from 1-36, interestingly add up to 666, which is said to be the “Number of the Beast.” Legend has it that Francois Blanc (the operator of Monte Carlo Casino) bargained with the devil to obtain the secrets of the game.

  1. Should I go for the European roulette or the American-style table?

    Example layout of an American roulette table

This is one of the most common questions asked by new players, and veterans of the game would outright say to look for European tables as it offer better odds to players than its American counterpart which, as mentioned above, has extra 00 number. The house edge on an American roulette is 5.26% while the other kind of table has 2.7%.

Do you like our list? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or share it to your circle. We wish you the best of luck!