Restoration revealed 1920s roulette table was rigged


Originally published at:


Somehow this does not surprise me.

But why bother? The US already rigs roulette tables by having two zeroes, thus nearly doubling the house odds. A house advantage of around 5% already gives an enormous rate of return due to the frequency which which the wheel is spun. In Europe a rational gambler may play roulette (you’re going to lose in the long run but you may consider the rate at which you lose to be an adequate expense for the entertainment value) but not in the US, where on average your money will only last half as long.
Rigging a US roulette table shows a contempt for punters that should have resulted in a boycott.


Place your bets.


I come for the arguments with assholes, but I definitely stay for stories like this. Thanks for curating great things, @beschizza


I’d be curious to know how hard it was to control in practice, and it would be fun to play with this table. I bet it turns into a tricky game of skill for the croupier (with the possibility of being hurt by the dupe or your employers if things go sideways).


This was really cool to see. Thanks for sharing this, @beschizza.


Not being a roulette player what are “house friendly” numbers? Can’t people place bets on any number they like? Or are there “bankrupt” positions (to steal Wheel of Fortune parlance)?


see @Enkita’s comment - the zero is always a win for the house



Really the only game you stand a chance on is 21. There are rules that the house has to follow and you are not playing against anyone else or a machine.


Well, not always. You can bet on a zero (or double-zero). However:

Many people bet on a group of numbers, rather than a number itself. So, if the number 13 comes up, anyone who bets on 13 will win, as well as anyone who bets on “1-18”, “2nd 12,” “Black,” “Odd”, and the bottom of the three “2-1” spaces. (IIRC, you can also bet edges and corners, so you could bet 10-11-13-14 or 13-16 and win on those if 13 comes up, too, but that’s just me remembering an old roulette video game I used to play).

0 and 00 don’t have any way of winning them on a group bet. So, you can win by betting on them directly, but everyone who bets red, black, even, odd, any of the three 2-1 rows, etc. (which is pretty much everybody) will lose if the ball ends up in 0 or 00.

I don’t see how the tiny pins will reliably deflect the ball towards 0 or 00, as the wheel is spinning along with the ball rolling; however, it could be used to deflect the ball after the bets are placed.

If someone has a big bet on 13, for example, I can certainly see this being used (with a certain amount of skill and practice) to make sure that the ball does not land on 13.


For one, it’s the Mob. Also, why not? Gambling was already an illegal enterprise so it’s not like anyone was going to be running to the cops.


I have a little experience of modern gambling estabishments, the profit metric preferred by the company I worked for was £/player hour. Seeing as how this was a Mob table, I doubt the folks operating it had any qualms about taking any measures necessary to improve that metric. Hell, you had a good enough night, you might have got “randomly” mugged on the way home too.


I’ve played roulette once. Turned $20 into $100.

I’ve quit while I’m ahead.


According to Harry Anderson that and craps are your best chances at a profit. But if the house has the slightest suspicion you are counting cards then it is “We reserve the right to refuse service”.


I’m thinking the employer would have been quite supportive:


No, you don’t.

waits patiently to see if bait is taken



Sorry this isn’t the argument thread this is abuse, you want 2 more down the title list.


Yes, it is.