How Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo Hustled a CasinoAs a true passioned roulette player, Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo had many times thought that the roulette wheels weren´t perfectly random. He believed that he could figure out some way to gain an edge on the casino from this. There where others that had suggested this idea before but it had never been explored before. This idea was called wheel bias. This can be explained as a belief that all roulette wheels doesn´t perform randomly. Each individual wheel is unique and that why certain numbers are more likely to hit because of that the wheel is slightly off lever, inaccurate measurements, small differences in the pocket sixes or the wheel gears doesn´t work correct. So in the early 90s, Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo started to record and analyse the roulette wheels in a Madrid Casino. He gained information from thousands of spins and put them in his computer. He even recruited his 5 children to help him gather the results. He never bet a single dime just observed the same wheel spin after spin. The answer he got from the analyse in the computer showed that some numbers where more likely to occur than the 1-36 odds that the casino gave him. With this observation he manage to turn a 5 % house edge to a 15 % edge of his own if he bet the “hot numbers” at the right time which would give him a lot of cash. He started to bet the specific roulett wheel at the Casino in Madrid and sometimes won over 600.00 € in a single day. It is said that he won over 1 million € in total at the casino in Madrid before the casino noticed his betting pattern. As soon as Garcia-Pelayo felt some heat he was on his way to the next casino and did the exact same process again. Studied and recored the wheels for thousands of spins before he placed his first bet. He became known in every casino in Spain for his wheel bias studies. When he was welcome to any casino in Spain anymore he took his method to Las Vegas. He continued his run in Vegas and became well-know by every casino around the world. He retired with an estimated profit of 1,5 Million US $.
Legal Actions Agains Gonzalo Garcia-PelayoThe Casino in Madrid tried to take legal actions agains Garcia-Pelayo but it was unsuccessful. The court ruled that the casino should fix their wheel. Another Casino in Spain sued to recover their losses but the Supreme Court ruled that all Garcia-Pelayo did was to use “ingenuity and computer techniques. That’s all”. Every court ruled in Garcia-Pelayos favor.
What the Casino did to prevent these wheel biasCasinos started to monitor the performances of their wheels. They rebalanced and realigned them regularly to keep the spin as randomly as possible. Later on John Huxley an british roulette wheel manufacturer, manufactured a new type of roulette wheel. This new wheel was called “low profile” that hade smaller pocket when it comes to depth and other design modifications that caused the ball to descend in a gradual approach to the pocket area. This is the kind of wheel we see at todays casinos. If you are playing at an online casino you would never see these things happen.
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