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The Physics of Roulette?

April 7, 2024

Just like the roll of the dice, the turning of the roulette wheel is all about odds and guesses. But what if you could predict the outcomes? If you were able to predict factors such as motion, wind resistance, and other environmental aspects, could you win at roulette using physics? Is it possible to predict the outcome of the round as soon as the ball is thrown? For answers to questions like this, it is best to turn to the actual physicists.

Why does a knowledge of physics help when playing roulette?

Using science when playing roulette requires knowing at least the basics of some very in-depth physics rules. Both quantum physics and rules of motion need to be applied in order to be able to make a prediction on the roulette table. These can, in theory, be applied to predict the destination of a thrown roulette ball before it lands on the wheel using the following physics notions.

Einstein’s quantum physics 

One of the founders of quantum physics, Albert Einstein, proposed that the field is deterministic. This essentially means that fully accurate predictions can always be made for any situation with the right knowledge. A large part of quantum physics is theoretical, however. John Bell, contrary to Einstein, made experiments that resulted in fundamental elements of randomness that would always affect the outcome. 

Newton’s mechanistic rules of motion

Newton’s mechanistic rules of motion predate the discovery of quantum physics. Newton’s rules lay out the behaviour of objects in motion. A ball being thrown in the air will have a certain weight, speed, trajectory, and resistance impacting its movement and affecting where it will eventually fall. Measuring and applying all of these factors should, therefore, be able to create accurate predictions of where the ball will fall. This would therefore mean that each roulette round could be predicted if the calculations could be made quickly enough.

Using quantum physics when playing roulette

Einstein’s understanding of quantum physics states that all aspects of life and the universe can be fit into a prediction model. This suggests that there must be some kind of measurement and formula for accurately predicting outcomes on the roulette tables. Newton’s laws of motion already allow for a formula to be created using velocity and resistance. It then comes down to how it would be possible to calculate the measurements in real time and before the ball has landed. In the case of roulette, it would be best to calculate it before the croupier has called all bets off.

Applying rules of motion when playing roulette

Simply put, without computers it is not possible to read the measurements needed to predict a game of roulette accurately. The application of the formula is robust enough; it simply comes down to being able to get the measurements in time. In theory, predictions could be made given enough time to get all of the necessary environmental data and apply Newton’s laws of motion. This is not possible in a traditional casino setting, however, as using computers for this kind of activity is banned across establishments. There is still something intriguing about the fact that it is theoretically possible to predict every outcome at the roulette tables….but practically impossible, which makes the game even more intriguing.