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Get the Edge at Roulette: How to Predict Where the Ball Will Land!

by Christopher Pawlicki, Frank Scoblete

Customer Reviews

Well researched book with honest advice, March 10, 2002
Reviewer: Wolfram Arnold (San Mateo, CA United States)

Pawlicki's style stands out for its scientific approach and honesty. Yet it is entertaining thanks to anecdotes and historical primers sprinkled throughout the text. He is faithful to the scientific principle of theory and verification. He delves in a fair bit of statistics to develop expectation values for winnings and confidence levels for a given strategy. With all theory, his text is not a theoretical one, he gives very practical advice. He's not trying to play psychological games with the reader, but is honest in explaining the skill level required for the various strategies he presents. As any well researched, scientific text, he cites relevant literature and gives references.

The author understands the kinematics of the game of roulette, although readers with a college-level background of mechanics may notice the author's imprecise use of terminology. That does not deter from the author's argument though.

The book starts off with a review of the historical origins of roulette and goes quickly into the wheel layout and betting baize. He teaches how to find your way around the wheel and how to cover sectors with a minimum number of chips, "sector slicing." He picks up this topic again later in connection with dealer signatures and presents an easy-to-learn but powerful way to cover quickly every quadrant of the wheel.

His discussion on "mathematical" playing systems and why they fail is elucidating yet not really novel as the fact that the house enjoys a negative edge when the player bets on random outcomes is common knowledge.

The guts of Pawlicki's book center on "physical" aspects of the game--a variety of factors that can produce non-random outcomes or give a predictive edge to the player. The power of its message lies not in any single technique but in a toolbox of strategies that each can apply to different conditions, such as wheel watching, biased wheel play, or dealer signatures. He carefully gauges each technique by the skill level required to apply it, by the edge it provides to the player and by the assumptions underlying it. A little bit of player and casino psychology will come handy in the heat of the battle.

This book has something for everyone: the aspiring professional player, the occasional system player or the recreational player.

My first reading on roulette was a chapter in Jerry Patterson's "Casino Gambling." While interesting and a useful overview of strategies in various casino games, Patterson frequently baits the reader with information that is consistent but incomplete and then refers to his (probably expensive) gambling classes. In this, Patterson's book remains ultimately dissatisfying. If your interest is in roulette, buy Pawlicki's book. You get much more information and without the rhetoric.

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