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John Marchel

John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine. Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

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Inside and outside roulette bets

23 Feb 2019

By John Marchel
In roulette, bets on the number spots are known as “inside” bets. The red-black, odd-even and high-low are considered “outside” bets. If you only bet the outside spots, you have to bet at least the minimum for that table. For example, if the placard says $5 minimum that is the minimum bet you have to make on those outside spots. However, the inside numbers can have dollar bets on them providing all of your inside bets total at least $5.

You can greatly improve your odds by playing different combinations. I would encourage you to play only outside wagers. Playing only single numbers should be considered long shots, as each number only comes up once in 37 or 38 decisions.

Here is an example of how to play outside bets: Wager three chips on the red spot and two chips, all of equal value, on the middle column of 12 numbers. This combination of red covers 18 numbers, and the middle column would cover eight black numbers. Only 10 black numbers, in the first and third columns, and the 0 and 00 will result in loss.

This betting sequence will result in you having 26 ways to win and only 12 ways to lose. The outcome will look like this: if a red number shows up and it’s on the center column you will win seven units. You will have won three units on red, which pays even money, and four units for the column bet which pays 2 to 1. On the other hand, if one of the red numbers in the first or third column show up, you will win three for waging red and lose two for the column bet, still a one-unit profit. If the ball lands on the black in the center column you will win four, and lose three on the red spot, again a one-unit win.

You can also change the combination by playing black and the third column, with the three and two combination bets with the same results (three on black and two on the third column). Remember, roulette is a losing game, no matter what system you use; you can never move the odds into your favor like blackjack, video poker or live poker. Using the above betting system, you won’t win a lot or lose a lot, but you will be able to play a lot.


• In 1873, Scottish engineer Joseph Jagger hired six clerks to record the results of roulette wheels at the Monte Carlo casino. He then spent a week studying the results. He found one biased wheel and within four days won 2.5 million francs ($450,000).

• It was in 1875 that Francois Blanc, the managing director of the Monte Carlo casino, directed that the roulette ball always be spun in the opposite direction to the wheel. This new procedure was established after Joseph Jagger won a great amount by discovering that roulette wheels can sometime become biased due to little imperfections in their manufacture.

• If you add all the numbers on a roulette wheel you will come up with 666, known as the Number of the Beast. It is a concept from the Book of Revelation of the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Some scholars contend that the number is a code for the Roman Emperor Nero, a view supported by the Roman Catholic Church. Another interpretation is that 666 encodes to the letters of someone’s name or title, identifying the Antichrist.

• In the early 1990s, Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo tracked numbers and used a computer to find roulette wheels with construction flaws, such as tilts, which than favored certain numbers over others at the Casino de Madrid in Madrid, Spain. Betting the most likely numbers, he turned a 5 percent disadvantage into a near 15 percent advantage. He, along with members of his family, was able to win over one million dollars over a period of several years. A court ruled in his favor when the casino challenged the legality of his strategy.

• The roulette wheels in Belgium originally had no zero. The casinos first charged a 5% and later a 7.5% commission on all wins. In 1978 the zero was installed and the commission eliminated.

• In the 1960s and early ‘70s, Dr. Richard Jarecki won about $1.2 million at dozens of European casinos. He claimed that he was using a mathematical system designed on a powerful computer. In reality, he simply observed more than 10,000 spins of each roulette wheel to determine flaws in the wheels. Eventually the casinos realized that flaws in the wheels could be exploited, and replaced older wheels. Based on that experience, the manufacture of roulette wheels has greatly improved over time.

• Ray Smith, the owner of Harolds Club in Reno, Nevada, introduced penny roulette in 1937 to help drum up business for his new casino.

• In 1986, Billy Walters challenged the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City to a “freeze-out” game of roulette. He proposed to deposit $2 million, which the casino was required to match. Walters said he would play until either he had won the casino’s $2 million or they had won his. Management agreed and play commenced. With each spin of the wheel, Walters played bets of $2,000 on five numbers. After 18 hours of play he had won the casino’s $2 million. He then asked if the casino wanted to continue playing. Expecting to get its money back, management agreed. Walters eventually decided to quit when he had won $3.8 million.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at

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