Anyone who has ever stepped foot in a real casino or indeed even logged into their Bodog Roulette account, has probably dreamed of winning a fortune in a lucky streak. The reality is that these real extreme winning streaks are fairly rare but they do happen. Mind you if you look up at the huge hotels and casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City the opposite streaks are probably much more common. There are stories throughout the ages of some massive payouts in casinos across America and one of the best tales is recanted below.
This is the incredible story of Billy Walters. The guy was actually a used car salesman as well as a known big hitter in Las Vegas who consistently won and lost substantial amounts of money. In 1986 Billy Walters hit the casinos in Atlantic City on roulette in a big way. Only this time he was doing something different … a good deal different. Just What Billy Walters did was to make a proposal never seen or even heard before in Atlantic City. He offered to place a sum believed to be $2 million with a casino in return for them increasing their maximum wagers on roulette. A traditional casino called the Golden Nugget accepted the offer and Billy flew in from Las Vegas to commence his date with destiny.
This is where Walters’ methods varied significantly he bet $2,000 per number on five numbers and certainly never once changed his bet. What initially struck the casino workers as being really strange was that Walters persisted on playing on double zero roulette instead of single zero. It is here where the odds for the house significantly increases to a whopping 5.26 per cent. Instead of fearing that they were being set up, the casino gaming staff just took Walters as another impulsive gambler who didn’t have an idea about exactly what he was doing. They knew full well about his reputation for losing big sums of money in Las Vegas, which meant that they were more than happy to accommodate him. Walters played 5 numbers– 7, 10, 20, 27 and 36. For the benefit of European readers, 7 and 20 and 10 and 27 are located next to each other on a double zero American wheel. Walters and an affiliate of his bet hour after hour and it was soon evident to all present that the casino administration was concerned.
A succession of worried telephone calls and huddled conferences revealed to everybody that the big managers at the Golden Nugget were actually far from delighted. On and on, Walters non-stop wagered the same numbers. Occasionally he would opt for a breather and his associate would hold the fort and carry on with the action. Every time that Walters struck one of his five numbers, the winnings was $70,000 less the $8,000 that he sacrificed on the other four numbers, leaving behind him with a win of $62,000. With action totalling $10,000 per spin, Walter’s actual expectation each spin was minus $526 so it was actually it’s not surprising that the casino embraced his action at the outset.
After almost forty hours of continual play, and Walters being $4 million ahead, the casino bigwigs terminated the game. They also tried to circulate stories in the local tabloids that Walters had simply gotten on a streak. The reality was that this wasn’t down to luck and the casino management realized it. At once they understood exactly why Walters had not played on the much better single zero wheels. It really wasn’t because he was a fool but simply because there was something wrong with the wheel that he had been actually playing on. Billy Walters was ruthlessly capitalizing on what is referred to as a biased wheel, and he was exploiting it fully. A biased wheel is one where the near randomness of the conclusion has been affected, for whatever reason. This can possibly be accomplished artificially by an individual however most of the time it is triggered by continuous repetitive wear and tear. The misinformation that was put out by the casino bosses was just another example of them not wanting the truth to be known. Even the best roulette wheels in the world are subject to wear and tear.
Why did the casino stand for Walters’ action for so long before calling time? Well, initially, nobody had ever been hit to that level before with biased wheel play. Secondary, Walters’ history as being a known big hitter and a losing gambler to boot provided him the perfect cover for his coup. When it eventually became apparent just what was taking place it was far too late.
As it later turned out, Walters had a crew of wheel clockers visiting the casinos in Atlantic City doing nothing else but taking down numbers. He already had the information at his disposal and all he needed to recognize was the best ways to interpret it accurately to see if a bias existed. This process of identifying real bias and not imagined patterns is an area that’s not well understood by many casino managers and definitely not back in the mid-1980s.
Further Reading : Practice your Roulette Systems online – Roulette Sim