Electronic Roulette strategy
Air-ball roulette systems, often produced in the East-European country of Slovenia, came to the gambling venues in the late nineties. Known brands in the industry are Interblock/Elektroncek, Alfastreet, Gold club, Spintec, Igt and Novomatic. For those, unfamiliar with the game: The setup typically consists of an electric rotor powered roulette wheel covered by a glass dome. The ball is launched by being blown out of the pocket by a puff of air. A number of player consoles are strategically placed around the wheel and punters would place their bets using touch-screens until ‘no more bets’ is called. All wins or losses are calculated electronically. The interval of independent spins is typically set between 60 and 90 seconds, assuring a steady game flow. The automated game links to the casino’s central monitoring system for the state to accurately tax the winnings.
How do they work?
To answer the question what they really are, it might be helpful to scrutinize some of the patents related to this subject. Through the eyes of the gambler, these machines may look like a regular roulette with the difference that the dealer is absent. One would think that the mechanical number distribution would be completely random and determined by the laws of physics. However, this understandable assumption cannot always stand hold. I discovered the following, when taking a closer look at an online patent from the latest generation automated roulette machines, USPatent US 4 A1:
Before the wheel is spun, or after the wheel has begun to spin, a random number generator selects a random outcome of a roulette game event outcome.
For the true roulette lover, this quote might be quite shocking. I started having serious doubts about the fairness of my local air-ball machine when noticing a great difference in patterns while observing the automated roulette machine, versus actively wagering s for real money. It even gets more unsettling, just let sink in the following quote:
The deceleration should be smooth so as to avoid the appearance of control over the wheel which a player might consider as a fraudulent control.
On my local rapid roulette, I clocked various values, ranging from 12 pockets per second to 17 pockets per second (p/ps) at first ball rotation. After ‘no more bets’ is called, there are another 10 ball rotations when ball and wheel speed are decelerating until the final drop. Unnatural variance of p/ps is not visible to the eye but does take place in order to line up with the pocket or sector selected by the RNG, in advance. It is important to know that air-ball machines, even the same model and manufacturer, could have different game setups and software versions, hence the values presented herein are not representative for other electronic roulette models.
The roulette game depicted in this patent is different from a conventional roulette wheel: In example, the track and the alphanumeric remain stable (do not rotate) during actual play of a game event. To outline all differences is beyond the scope of this article. However, an important paragraph from this patent is worth noting:
Published US Patent Application Documents Nos. 8; 7; 0; and 6 describe roulette table systems having terminal wagering systems and this technology can be used in combination with the present novel technology.
This last statement underlines that present technology as described in this patent is downwards compatible with older air-ball roulette machines that are set up with the conventional roulette wheels.
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