Can You Really Use Tech To Beat The House?


In a word: yes! Not to condone or encourage behaviour that could land you in trouble, but there have been many examples of tech being used in casinos to turn the odds against the house. While some have succeeded in their exploits, others have been dealt harsh punishment by the law. Still, the ingenuity behind the tech has to be recognised, right?

Earlier this year, University of Oxford Professor Doyne Farmer broke his long kept silence about how he had developed a small mobile ‘computer’ that could be concealed inside a jacket and used to record the fall patterns of the ball on a roulette wheel. As this was the 1970s, Farmer was way ahead of his time with his device, which he used as a graduate in a string of Nevada casinos.

Why the sudden revelation? Because Farmer’s device was recently modified using modern computer and smartphone technology as part of a research project by Michael Tse from Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Michael Small from the University of Western Australia in Perth. When they published their findings, that the device did tip the odds in the favour of the gambler, in the academic journal Chaos, Farmer revealed the origin of the device to New Scientist.

Tse and Small have had great success using the theory and device. It is quite simple to predict where the ball will fall when it rolls around the wheel rim. The predictability is complicated when the ball begins to bounce chaotically. However, using their small counting device, Tse and Small were able to predict where the ball would start to bounce chaotically and therefore in which half of the wheel it would land in 13 out of 22 trials.

Incredible as it may seem, in three of the trials Tse and Small actually predicted the exact pocket the ball fell into. Altogether, the research showed that the theory and device had turned the odds from 2.7% in favour of the house to 18% in the gambler’s favour. “Where can I get one?” you may be thinking, but first consider the possible consequences!

In 2005 three poker cheats using micro-cameras and hidden earpieces were arrested after cheating numerous London casinos out of approximately £250,000. The troublesome trio used high-tech surveillance while playing three-card poker to transmit footage of the other player’s hands to an associate outside who then gave them betting instructions via their earpieces. It was the first time an arrest of that kind had been made in Britain. The trio weren’t happy to achieve a criminal record.

Perhaps it’s best to leave using tech to cheat casinos to university research projects! Professor Doyne Farmer can sit back and reminisce about his wild graduate days beating casino after casino with his innovative device throughout the 1970s. Surely there’s a Hollywood film in the pipeline?

Sebastian highly recommends that you don’t try and “beat the house” as you may end up with more than you bargained for. Visit for online roulette in the UK and remember to play responsibly!

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