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.

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!