Casinos link your movement with the roulette wheel's to catch cheats

Casinos are keeping their digital eyes on the ball, while keeping an eye on the hands of the customers, in order to stop cheats. Find out how cameras coordinate to catch people.

When the roulette wheel's spin is at its fastest, and the ball is bouncing merrily along its way, there's no telling where the ball will end up. This uncertainty is counted on by the casinos, which calculate the pay-out of any given bet by assuming that the square that the ball lands on is truly random. Once the wheel slow and the ball slow, and the ball is more likely to fall in certain areas, the betting system is screwed up. You may not always win, but you'll win more than you lose.

This is a problem for casinos, whose entire business model is based on making one hundred percent sure that people lose more than they win and then calling the people who change that percentage 'cheats.' However, since everyone who went up to the table probably knew that already, it doesn't do to change the rules once you've agreed to them. Croupiers, the people who run the various games at casinos, call for last bets when the wheel is spinning fast, and anyone who puts their chips in later than that is considered a cheat.

People who use this particular scam at roulette often work in pairs. One person makes a fuss to distract the croupier, while the other darts in and places chips on the table while everyone else is staring at the slowing wheel. A new camera system aims to change that. The camera coordinates the movement of the ball with any movement on the table. After the ball has slowed past a certain degree, any hands sneaking onto the table and adding chips will be detected and the croupier will be alerted. The camera system, if successful, will be added to other games, comparing the movement of the game to the movement of the players.

They seeeeeeee you.

Top Image: Croupiers.fr

Via New Scientist.