Gaffed Roulette Wheels: Casino Cheating Devices

Uncover the truth about gaffed roulette wheels, cheating devices, and modern casino rigging. Protect yourself from scams with our insights.
Gaffed roulette wheels

Gaffed roulette wheels have been notorious in illegal gambling establishments worldwide, designed to cheat any game and give the house complete control over the outcome. These devices come in various shapes and sizes, and have been used to manipulate any game on the casino floor.

Early versions of gaffed roulette wheels

Early gaffed wheels took advantage of “Drop In” style wheels that fit into a large hole cut into the table. This allowed for a ring of electromagnets to be hidden inside the wheel, influencing a special ball containing a steel core. Once the ball passed a number the house wanted to avoid, the magnets could be flashed on and off, stopping the ball in its tracks. These “juice tables” were so well built that players and dealers could spend years playing without ever suspecting there was a large electronic device hidden inside.

Kickoff wheels and dead balls

Another variation that didn’t need batteries was the ingenious “kickoff wheel.” This type of gaff was used in conjunction with a “dead ball” that bounced a lot less than ordinary roulette balls, tending to drop straight into the nearest slot once it fell (or was pushed) out of the ball track. The secret was a couple of invisible holes in the ball track, under the rim on the player’s side and impossible to see from that position.

Modern gaffed roulette wheels

Unlike the dealer in The Sting, most staff were never required to activate these devices but simply played on the level until excused and replaced with a crooked dealer. Early gaffed wheels had switches in the leg or far side of the table, but modern versions were activated by a remote-control garage door opener!

Rarity of gaffed roulette wheels in modern establishments

It’s very unusual to find a modern gambling establishment foolish enough to have a gaffed game on the premises. However, in the past, some establishments used gaffed tables or wheels to keep their clientele, who were either changing constantly or had no other place to exercise their gambling needs.

Gaffed roulette wheels are a rare occurrence in casinos, but they do exist. Some casinos have been caught manipulating the ball track, changing materials in the wheel, or switching the ball to make it easier to predict. Maintenance staff have even been known to use pliers to narrow pockets on certain numbers or adjust slots to make reds more likely than blacks.

In one instance, an Asian casino was caught dropping a wire frame into popular numbers on a wheel to manipulate the game. While the wire frame was visible to the naked eye, it became invisible when the wheel was spun.

Despite their rarity, gaffed wheels are always poised for a comeback like an ageing rock band. However, it’s important to note that unusual outcomes don’t necessarily mean impossible ones. Players continue to come and play, even when the odds are against them.

In the end, it’s up to the players to decide whether or not to take the risk. Gaffed wheels may be rare, but they do exist, and players should always be aware of the potential risks involved.