Roulette -- How "Random" is Random?

October 27, 2014

You have probably always wondered what the chances are of, say, getting the same number on two consecutive spins of the roulette wheel. What may be the reason you're thinking that way is that you may have certain favorite numbers that you like to play. You are like a lot of customers in that regard, if that is the case. Since there really is no proper strategy attached to actually choosing the numbers that you will play in the roulette, you might as well play some "lucky" number that is attached to something you know, like a birthday for example.

So it would be not all that unusual for you to play this number spin after spin after spin. So what you are concerned about is the chance that this number will come up on any given span, and if it does, what the chances might be of it coming up in the next few spins.

When you are talking about a game of online roulette, it is governed by something called the random number generator (RNG), which mechanically produces a random result for every event that takes place in a given casino game. In roulette the concept is pretty much the same, whether it is online or in a land-based casino. A roulette wheel is a random device, which means that ideally there would be no "bias" that would give one number any more of a chance of coming up or being "spun" than any other number.

If every number has the same chance of being the result, that means they all have a one in 38 chance of being spun and that will be the same percentage on each and every spin of that wheel. So if you were playing "17" and that number slot was where the ball wound up, you wouldn't be necessarily wrong if you assumed that 17 had the same percentage of being spun on the NEXT round. If you are talking about a combination of one number after another in consecutive spins, it is really the same mathematical chance that the same number will be spun than two different numbers. Each of the combinations has a chance of one out of 1444, which is the product of multiplying 38 x 38.

So the next time you're playing a game of roulette, wherever you are, understand that once the wheel stops on a certain number, that number is no more "dead" to any of the other numbers. If you're superstitious, and you are wedded to one number, that will certainly be welcome news for you.

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