The Gambling Guru Talks Roulette

I’ve never played roulette at a land based casino. But I’ve been playing quite a bit online. My losses have been heavy due to uncanny runs of red. Is red the favored color for some reason at online casinos?

The Guru replies:

Everyday as I walk past the roulette marquis in land based casinos I see long runs (what you might term uncanny) of red or black.  It is not unusual to see runs of 8 to 12 in a row of one color or the other. This is statistically improbable, but the roulette wheels have never read the math books. Why don’t you switch over and bet red and watch the blacks run for a change?

Theo writes:

My question concerns certain phenomenon I have witnessed at certain casinos on the U.S. East Coast roulette wheels. I would like to know what might cause the ball to “hover” above certain slots long after it has lost its rotational momentum until it finds a slot which allows it to descend. At this point it apparently “slides” down into the Slot Online slot as opposed to dropping in the manner one is accustomed to seeing at this game. I would also like to know what might cause the ball, after hovering in said manner, to simply “float” above the slots without descending. The croupiers use the term floater to describe the situation. I noticed once upon witnessing this phenomenon that the ball actually appeared to be vibrating, and it was well below the level of the seam of the wheel, floating above the slots. Any answers?

The Guru replies:

I have to admit, you have got me on this one. I’ve never witnessed such a phenomenon. If I did I would be very suspicious and would not play at that casino any more if I could help it.

I have witnessed what is referred to as a “floater” which is caused by the properties of centrifugal force acting upon the ball. This occasionally auses the ball to “float” just above the deflectors. In some extremely rare cases it might even momentarily drop down between the deflectors and the slots. But even then the ball always hits a slot or a deflector or usually both and jumps around. I would say that it would be an extremely rare event for a ball to just slide into a slot the way you described. I guess it is not impossible, but it certainly shouldn’t be happening on a regular basis.