Roulette Scams — Famous Cheaters and Their Methods


Cheating at online casinos, as well as in brick-and-mortars, is presumed to be any method of influencing the outcome of a roulette game. In many states, it is illegal, while in some, the casino has the right to ban the player. Trying many methods of cheating is never a good idea; apart from sanctions that cheating can result in, it is not pleasant being publically labeled as a fraud. Casinos have different security measures in place, and there are always consequences. Still, cheating is practiced by players and sometimes even dealers.

Cheating Methods

As one of the oldest casino games, roulette has been a target of many shady gamblers. Demystifying the mechanics of the wheel and the way the dealer throws the ball is just one of the many forms of cheating.

Some of them are illegal by default, no matter the state and its laws. Irregular gameplay is defined as interfering with or influencing the outcome of the game in any way. This is a universal definition for both online and offline casinos. Therefore, it is not recommended to test the luck and never be allowed to play again.

Illegal Roulette Cheats

Past Posting

The method is a form of sleight of hand. Past posting is placing a bet after the ball lands in a pocket, without being seen. Casino security today expect players to make such a bold move.

Bets on Roulette Table


Padding is covering some pockets of a roulette wheel with different materials. Some of them make the roulette ball slide much easier. The method has been used in the past by players and casino operators as well.


Pinching is similar to past posting in the sense that it includes a swift move of hands. The person cheating has to remove the bet from the table after the ball has landed in the pocket.

Working With the Dealer (Top Hatting)

Top hatting is an alliance between the dealer and the player. The dealer tries to double the bet on the winning number. However, nowadays, this method is almost impossible to perform with all the security in casinos.

Dealer in Roulette

Magnetic Balls

Magnets are one of the oldest methods of tricking the roulette wheel. This method deals with controlling the ball and the outcome of the game by inserting a magnet in the ball. The method does not allow complete control, but it helps predict where the ball will land.

Fixed WheelWheel Gaffing

This form of cheating is prohibited everywhere in the world since casinos check their wheels thoroughly. It implies a biased wheel with intentionally loosened parts of the construction with the purpose of the ball landing in specific pockets more frequently than others.

Electronic Devices

There are many ways to influence a roulette game with electronic devices. These devices consist of a camera and storage drive to collect information on the wheel. Entire groups of cheaters pulled it off in the ’70s. Students used the data collected to calculate the outcome of the game.

‘Legal’ Roulette Cheats

Biased Roulette Wheel

The cheat involves tracking, similar to card counting, to establish the flaws in the roulette wheel. The wheel bias is a phenomenon which implies a wheel favors specific numbers in comparison to others. The method has been used for decades, but it is a time-consuming method of using wheel flaws to your advantage.

Dealer Signature

Dealer signature is an expression for the dealer’s distinct way of throwing the ball. To exploit the dealer signature, a player would have to spend significant time observing where the dealer releases the ball compared to the position of the zero on the wheel. Spotting a pattern is a potential win in the game.

Software Bug

Software Bug

Many online casinos obtain software from different providers, and some companies are unaware of a bug once the game at online casino launches. Winning at online roulette will not last forever since casinos usually deal with these bugs quickly.

Players Cheating

Since the 19th century, many players have attempted to cheat roulette wheels. Many used illegal tactics and ended up arrested for their deeds. Nonetheless, the most famous scammers who cheated at roulette are remembered for their crimes.

Pierre Dugal was a carpenter who used his mastery and skills to enter a casino at night and shave down the pockets on a roulette wheel. His glory of wheel gaffing did not last long since his wife turned him in.

Monique Laurent, a French woman whose brother was working as a dealer in a casino, used her wit to cheat the game and take home one million dollars. Laurent’s brother placed a magnet in the ball while Monique was pressing the button. The ball landed in six pockets frequently. The casino security got curious as she was always standing next to a man who won and hardly placed any bets. The transmitter was found in her cigarette pack.

Richard Marcus and his friends used pinching to cheat in a Nevada casino. The group would replace high-value chips with low-value ones when the bet was losing. On the other hand, when the bet was winning, Marcus and his comrades would place $5,000 chips instead. Marcus now works with casinos on uncovering cheaters.

Joseph Jagger was an engineer from England who traveled to Monaco with friends. The group watched the wheels closely and found flaws which won them 2 million francs.

Charles Wells is a famous conman commonly referred to as the man who broke the bank in Monte Carlo. Although there were presumptions he used the same strategy as Jagger, there is no evidence of cheating. Nevertheless, the mystery scam won him the title of the king of cheaters and a million francs.

Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo was eventually banned from casinos in his homeland, Spain. He used tactics to observe the wheels and record the spins. He fed a computer with data and attempted to find anomalies. Garcia won over $1.5 million by cheating at roulette this way.


Nowadays, cheating at roulette is less possible than ever. Online casinos have software protected by a random number generator (RNG), while land-based ones reinforce their security measures with each technology development. Roulette is a game of chance, but any winnings exceeding the usual sums are automatically considered suspicious and investigated. Using the knowledge of the game is always a better solution than trying to beat roulette in unlawful ways.