Can Roulette Be Rigged?

Due to the absence of gaming control board inspections at some gaming establishments, it is reasonable to believe that roulette wheels in these establishments can be rigged.

Since the game’s invention, there have been numerous ways to rig roulette wheels, some of which are still in use today. These include ball tripping, rigging the wheel mechanically, using small block pins, and spacing the pockets.

Roulette Wheel

What is Roulette?

Roulette is a game in which a small ball spins around a wheel and players wager on which number it will land on when it stops. So, to play the game, follow these steps:

  1. Players place bets to start the game of roulette.
  2. The dealer throws the ball into the spinning roulette wheel. Players can continue to place bets.
  3. Then, the dealer/croupier of the roulette table says, “No more bets,” as the ball is spinning.
  4. The roulette ball lands on a particular number. So, winners who placed bets on the number, section, or color will receive payouts according to their odds of winning.

How a Roulette Game Can Be Rigged

In this section, we will discuss the different ways casinos can rig a roulette wheel. Although legit casinos have banned these activities, unregulated casinos may use the following methods to rig a roulette game.

Ball Tripping

Controlling where the ball will likely come to rest on the wheel head is a standard method of rigging a roulette wheel. Dishonest casinos use a technique known as ball tripping to accomplish this. It causes the roulette ball to dislodge from the track, allowing it to settle into a specific section of the wheel head. This can be accomplished in numerous ways and is a common practice among disreputable casinos.

One such way is using magnets. It is one of the oldest methods of beating the roulette wheel. During this process, four magnets are placed around the wheel, and a trigger, attached to the dealer’s hand, is pulled to fix the ball position in the desired location.

However, most reputable casinos have now installed plastic security shields around their roulette wheels, thereby thwarting any attempts at ball tripping.

Rigging the Wheel Mechanically

Controlling the trip pin positioned in the ball track is another way to rig the roulette wheel. In this scenario, the dealer will only need to use a lever tucked under the roulette table’s edge to remove the ball from the track. The lever, attached to a cable, is connected to a spring-loaded pin.

The dealer must only trip the pin once during each rotation around the track to change how the ball spins. As a result, the ball will land on a specific area of the wheel head that favors the dealer.

Also, some wheels have brakes that can reduce the wheel head’s rotation speed. A skilled dealer can synchronize the speed of the wheel head and the ball so that the wheel head is in the proper position whenever the ball makes contact with the trip pin.

Using Small Block Pins

Some casinos have developed a more elaborate scheme. They rig the wheels using little blocking pins, placing one at the front wall of each pocket. On the croupier’s side of the wheel, there are two levers, both of which are hidden. The red pocket pins are controlled by one lever, while the black pocket pins are controlled by the other.

When a dealer moves one of the levers, the pins extend, preventing the ball from falling into that specific set (red or black) of pockets. Players may have difficulty detecting them because they jut out only during wheel head rotation.

This scheme is fail-safe because it is more complex than a single trip pin. So, dealers usually use it against players who like to bet on a particular color.

Spacing the Pockets

By adjusting the distance between the pocket separators, casinos can set such wheels to favor a specific set of pockets. Hence, it will make one set of pockets wider and another set narrower. Moreover, alternate pocket separators are attached to the center hub of these wheels. So, the dealer can control the width of different pockets by turning that hub either way. The outcome is very similar to that of blocking pins.


Casinos have been successful in the dishonest techniques we’ve discussed and have realized substantial profits at the player’s expense. However, it is important to note that if they are caught rigging these roulette tables, they will probably lose their licenses and face the threat of legal action.