Important: everything written here is simply my own view. If you’d like to share your thoughts about hitting roulette sections on purpose, please leave a comment.
Alright, in short…
Roulette dealers have no control over where the roulette ball will land. However, from time to time, experienced dealers may be able to hit a specific section of the roulette wheel, although the wheel would have to move slowly. This would also be cheating.
As someone who’s been working in casinos for a while, I’ve seen it a few times.
But probably not the way you’d imagine. And certainly not in the sense that the dealer was trying to cheat.
As explained above, hitting a specific number, such as 25, is basically impossible, even if the dealer practiced for years.
On the other hand, a senior dealer may aim at a specific section of the wheel, and spin the ball so it lands on that section.
But… what if it’s just luck? Is it really possible for roulette dealers to do this?
A dealer may hit certain numbers unintentionally
If you play regularly (that is, at the live tables), you may have noticed that when a roulette dealer goes on break and is replaced by a new one, the spin changes.
And previous hot numbers no longer come in, and cold numbers suddenly reappear.
Now, there are three possible ways to explain this:
- Pure luck. Any roulette player will notice unusual combinations or patterns of numbers sooner or later. The longer you play, the more you’ll see weird coincidences, and assume there is some kind of law behind them. But the truth is that most of the time these are, indeed, coincidences.
- Dealer’s signature. Some dealers are told to change the way they launch the ball as frequently as possible, ideally at every spin. This is because in some cases spinning the ball the same way over and over again will result in what’s called the dealer’s signature: a spin that’s unique and perhaps even predictable. Most of the time, this is completely unintentional — the dealer has no idea this is happening.
- Section shooting. In this case, the new dealer is trying to hit a specific section of the wheel on purpose (maybe just out of boredom). Now, some people, including casino players, believe this is physically impossible. As a dealer, I believe it’s very rare, but possible.
Roulette section spinning: possible or not?
I’m aware there are many arguments as to why the whole concept of section spinning, or dealer’s signature, is nonsense.
Here are the three most common arguments/questions, and my answers to them. Again, this is simply my own view.
1. If this is possible, why don’t dealers do it with a friend?
Meaning: if section shooting was indeed doable, wouldn’t it make sense for all experienced dealers to tell their friends, and invite them to the casino?
And have them bet on a few numbers on the layout, then spin the ball so it lands on such numbers, and cash in?
The answer to this is easy: this would be cheating and both the dealer and their friend would be prosecuted.
The dealer would also lose their jobs and probably be banned from all other casinos as well.
This would happen regardless of the amount won by the player.
Lowering the house edge on purpose, manipulating the games, stealing chips, etc. — that’s gross misconduct, whether it’s for $5 or $50,000.
Someone who’s sensible, then, understands no amount of money would ever be worth the risk. And even if they thought it would be worth it, it wouldn’t be a nice thing to do.
2. Why isn’t section shooting possible every single time?
Let’s say no one is playing at the roulette table, and the croupier is bored and tries to spin the ball so it lands on the zero section.
They slow down the wheel, then spin the ball ten times. They hit the zero section eight times.
Of course, this could be luck. But for the sake of this example, let’s also assume that it was, indeed, the dealer’s signature.
The question, then, would be: why only eight times and not ten?
And if a dealer spun the ball ten thousand times, and hit the zero section, say, only seven thousand times — would that prove that the whole idea of section spinning is a misconception?
Actually, no. It would simply mean that the dealer is able to hit a certain section from time to time — enough times to lower (or increase) the house edge.
For instance, if a dealer could prove they’re able to hit the zero section (or any section of eighteen or nineteen numbers), consistently, 70 percent of the time or more, that would be enough.
This is because normally, in the long run, it would be only about 50 percent of the time.
3. The roulette ball bounces on the diamonds anyway
For those who don’t know, the diamonds are the metallic parts located on the outer part of the wheel.
Here’s what they look like:
So, even assuming the dealer is able to hit a certain section of numbers on purpose, what happens if the ball bounces on these diamonds?
Now, this is a very good argument.
My answer would be that 1) the ball doesn’t always hit the metallic parts, and 2) even when it does, the trajectory may not be altered — or not to the degree where the ball jumps to the opposite section anyway.
Especially if the wheel is spinning slowly.
And here’s, I hope, proof that section spinning is possible…
What if the roulette wheel didn’t move?
The roulette wheel and the roulette ball always move in the opposite direction.
But let’s imagine, for a second, that the wheel does not move at all.
And that the dealer spins the ball slowly, so that it only completes, say, five revolutions instead of twenty.
I think everyone would agree that if this was the case, hitting a section or even a specific number would definitely be possible if the dealer practiced for hours.
Will you ever see this in an actual casino? Nope.
But hopefully it shows that unless we’re talking about an online casino, where all games are generated by a program, no game will ever be 100 percent random.
99.99 percent, maybe. But not 100 percent.
Whether it’s the way the roulette ball is spun, the blackjack shuffle, or any other procedure that doesn’t involve a machine or a computer.
The thing is, some players grossly overestimate the predictability of a certain procedure, and that’s why they lose.
For instance, they may believe a certain strategy (or even a cheating technique) would give them a 10 percent advantage against the casino, while in reality the house still has a tiny edge that guarantees the player will eventually lose.
As a dealer, I believe some croupiers are able to hit numbers or sections of the wheel, sporadically, and only if the wheel rotates slowly. Probably too slowly to even count as a legit spin.
And unless section shooting is done just for fun, when no one is actually playing at the table — then it qualifies as cheating.
Remember, in casinos there are cameras everywhere, and even if the dealer was able to hit a specific number consistently, management would notice immediately.
Thanks for reading! If you disagree with anything I’ve written, or if you’d like to share your own thoughts about this topic, please hit the button and leave a comment 👇