Gaining an Advantage in Roulette

You can beat the game without a computer:

On a perfect [roulette] wheel, the ball would always fall in a random way. But over time, wheels develop flaws, which turn into patterns. A wheel that’s even marginally tilted could develop what Barnett called a ‘drop zone.’ When the tilt forces the ball to climb a slope, the ball decelerates and falls from the outer rim at the same spot on almost every spin. A similar thing can happen on equipment worn from repeated use, or if a croupier’s hand lotion has left residue, or for a dizzying number of other reasons. A drop zone is the Achilles’ heel of roulette. That morsel of predictability is enough for software to overcome the random skidding and bouncing that happens after the drop.”

Posted on April 14, 2023 at 7:02 AM40 Comments


Clive Robinson April 14, 2023 7:58 AM

@ ALL,

The same unbalanced,”wear and slop” applies to many systems even software not just mechanical systems.

For most people the closest evidence they will see frequently is those little “balance adjust” weights hammered in on the rim of a wheel where the tyre is held.

From a security perspective unbalance causes vibrations or even resonances that are conducted, radiated, or both. These can and frequently do carry “information” impressed / modulated upon them out of the confines of a system.

We tend to call them “side channels”, and they almost always exist for two fundemental “laws of nature” reasons,

1, Work is inefficient.
2, Work is a dynamic process.

If it was not then “entropy” could not be fundemental to the functioning of the universe as we currently understand it.

The big problems with side channels are,

1, Realising an instance exists.
2, Stoppering it’s channel capacity.

These form the fundementals of TEMPEST and EmSec.

Unfortunately in ICTsec the issue of,

“Secure in theory, but not in practice”

Arises, a prime example being the AES algorithm, secure in theory but riddled with time, power, and work side channels in practical implementations. Especially bad where in the design and implementation of systems “Efficiency -v- Security” favoured “efficiency” in some way.

In many cases trying to solve side channels is like air bubbles under wallpaper when you hang it (put it up). If you push down in one place the bubble just moves or breaks into smaller more numerous bubbles. You actually have to use a technique of sweeping or brushing the air out to the sides to resolve it.

In EmSec you effectively do the same with energy ensuring it gets securely swept into a disapative load where the information bandwidth is very low.

U Santa Cruz Grad Student Group April 14, 2023 11:35 AM

We are pleased to see that the spirit of the Eudaemons still lives.

P.S. Claude and Edward send their best !

JPA April 14, 2023 11:53 AM

@Clive “In many cases trying to solve side channels is like air bubbles under wallpaper when you hang it (put it up).”

That has to be the best analogy I’ve heard in a long time.

Mexaly April 14, 2023 12:15 PM

With a little practice, you can control a flipping coin.
Primeness and randomness are falling.
We need new social security protocols.
Q: You can recognize my voice, send money.
A: Which stuffed toy did our second dog chew up?

Clive Robinson April 14, 2023 1:32 PM

@ Mexaly, ALL,

Re : 100% call rate on fliping coin.

“With a little practice, you can control a flipping coin.”

I’ve explained how to do it on this blog years ago but it’s easy enough to do.

1, You just flip the coin no need to control this stage.
2, Catch it in a half open catch hand.
3, Surupticiously note the face.
4, Bring it down still covered onto the back of your flip hand.
5, Ask the other person to call.

You know that if you lift your catch hand with the coin still on the flip hand then the other face to what you saw will be upermost, if it matches the call then you just lift the catch hand.

If it does not match then you have two choices,

First is the easy way which is to rotate your hands such that the coin is back in the catch hand and you hold it out to the caller to see. This works for the likes of sports where only a single call is made.

The second way is a little harder and needs to be practiced. What you do on bringing the coin down on the back of the flip hand is to keep it at an angle of about 30 degrees under your catch hand with the lifted edge towards the flip hand wrist. If the up face matches the call then let the coin drop flat onto the back of the flip hand as you lift the catch hand. If not you need to do a “slide uncover” where instead of lifting the catch hand up you move it towards the end of the fingers of the flip hand, and in the process lift the raised edge of the coin and do a half rotate so the down face is now up.

It is harder to describe than it actually is to do and with only a little practice you can keep getting the coin to 100% match the other persons call (or not if you are unkind).

When my son was about 7 I would play the game endlessly with him sometimes for chocolate biscuits, it did not take him long to realise he was only going to win three biscuits (yup I know what other parents are thinking 😉

His junior school had a meet the teachers fun opening even where they had various displays. One of which was a maths table that demonstrated “probability” by coin flipping… Yup his maths teach who was a smart cookie in her own right and quite cute was instabtly fascinated when I showed a 100% call rate, she fairly quickly knew it was a trick but it took her a while to make a guess at how. Other kids who were older said I must be a magician…

Yes, I can do some simple card tricks as well based around things like “the binary chop” though I’m long out of practice.

All such tricks make “ice breakers” and can be way better than “chat up lines” at parties and the like.

Unfortunately the “burning floaters” using “Magicians’ Flash Paper”(Nitrocellulose) are nolonger alowed. Put simply they could be made with the thinest “cigarette papers” or even plain toilet paper that you wash in an acid solution. However they are technically now an explosive so banned… I’ve tried making replacments with potassium permangenate wash and other nitrate washes but they don’t work anywhere near as well…

Clive Robinson April 14, 2023 4:21 PM

@ JPA,

“That has to be the best analogy I’ve heard in a long time.”

If only solving the problem were as easy as coming up with an analogy…

Let’s just say that having worked in the European oil industry, designing stuff for the pointy end of the drill etc, I learnt some interesting swearwords that even now over a third of a century later can help releave the stress 😉

vas pup April 14, 2023 4:35 PM

“But over time, wheels develop flaws, which turn into patterns. A wheel that’s even marginally tilted could develop what Barnett called a ‘drop zone.’ ”

@Clive: Is it possible to replace wheels after particular time of usage (it could be determined by multiple tests)regardless of actual ‘drop zone development’?
Like engine in aircraft is replaced after particular time/hours of usage REGARDLESS of current condition as reasonable safety measure?

Leer April 15, 2023 2:49 AM

@U[C] Santa Cruz Grad Students

This (your? If so, Thank You!) work was the first thing that came to mind upon seeing Bruce’s post here.

For younger readers, who might not be aware of it, this is a reference to the project (ca 1980) by a group of physics grad students to devise, design, build, and implement a wearable computer system with the purpose of winning at roulette.

It was written about by Thomas A. Bass in his very good 1985 book, The Eudaemonic Pie.

Some Amazon reviews are unintentionally hilarious for criticizing the author for not revealing the coding, or mathematics involved, not giving a schematic (!), and not giving a detailed accounting of financial details. In this way, the author succeeds in not only providing a good project write up, but also employing sound security practices.

It is a readable book that could be understood by interested high school students.

Clive Robinson April 15, 2023 6:18 AM

@ -, &ers, vas pup,

“Is someone impersonating…”

Well, it’s not at all in my style and I know &ers has seen similar before… But… there are several other things wrong with it as well, (which makes me think I know who posted it).

One obvious thing that is not there, is I would have pointed out that the system @vas pup describes is sufficiently practiced and wide spread under “Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul”(MRO) proceadures that it has the common name of “Preventative Maintenance”,

Clive Robinson April 15, 2023 7:54 AM

@ Leer, ALL,

Re : Schematic Diagrams.

“Some Amazon reviews are unintentionally hilarious for criticizing the author for not revealing the coding, or mathematics involved, not giving a schematic (!), and not giving a detailed accounting of financial details.”

The Bloomberg artical does give a schematic diagram and they say it is,

“An electrical diagram for a roulette device. Edward O. Thorp Papers/Courtesy University of California, Irvine Special Collections and Archives”

It is unfortunately neither clear or well drawn, the latter indicating some one who was not an electronics design enginer.

However those Amazon readers will gain nothing from it.

It’s not a “computer” but a striped down circuit of a childs “morsecode sender” or “walkie-talkie” with a few changes…

That appears to have been a not overly successful attempt to reduce parts count or size (ie three batteries, when one will do).

Thus I suspect they started with a smaller much more reduced circuit, ran into active usage problems and went down the “Victorian Artisan” route of “bolt a bit on over the cracks” rather than do a redesign.

For those with a yearning to try such a thing, you can find modern versions of such these days look up the “Pixie Transverter” you could buy for around $4 plus shipping not that long ago on those “Online Chinese Market Places”.

There is even a “Pixie History” file with lots of circuits of thirty years of the Pixie history from it’s inception in the 1980’s. You will be able to match parts of the “Thope Device” circuit to them.

The Pixie was designed as a followcon to try and rebuild a little nostalgia for the early “single valve/tube” post war designs.

Peter Parker VK3EY has several web pages and YouTube videos on the Pixie, it’s failings and how to “hack it” to improve it in various ways. Helpfully for those less practiced in the art, he explains how it all works and the many things else you can do with it,

As a result of Peter’s videos, you can “lead the life” virtually vicariously.

However there are better designs like the “Tuna” which is kind of a pun name (from “Tune her up”),

The modern versions of which do actually meet the FCC and other regulatory emmisions requirments.

Leer April 15, 2023 3:40 PM

My remarks were made regarding the book by Thomas Bass and reviewers on Amazon.

Their project used a 6502 microprocessor. For communications (between sending unit and processor), they opted for magnetic field rather than RF, which they reasoned would be already sniffed for in the casinos.

To @Clive’s point, anybody asking for a schematic would not know what to do with it.

Clive Robinson April 15, 2023 6:05 PM

@ Leer,

“… anybody asking for a schematic would not know what to do with it.”

Some of us here are oldet than the 6502, and even developed systems around it.

Surprisingly for many, the 6502 core macro is still in use, and you can obtain Apple ][ compatable “Single Board Computers”(SBC). I’ve even still got three working “Tangerine” boards still in a rack mounts with 1/2 Euro Card back planes.

So whilst the number of people who would know what to do, is quite few, wr would know how to port it onto currently available hardware…

It might actually make a fun project to re-do it.

The thing is I doubt the software is as complex as some might think. To get the required speed of response using a 1MHz CPU clock it would need to be quite simple.

I suspect it was little more than a couple or three integrators and the “clicks” would be made against a fixed mark on the rim when the ball or green passed it (otherwise it would be beyond human ability to do unaided).

MarkH April 15, 2023 6:14 PM

A straightforward countermeasure is to analyze wheel results. The casino can retire the wheel when bias becomes detectable.

Clive Robinson April 15, 2023 8:15 PM

@ MarkH, ALL,

Re : wear and slop statistics.

“The casino can retire the wheel when bias becomes detectable.”

The problem is that it will not follow a straight line on a graph scale / graticule be they lin-lin, log-lin, or log-log.

Look up the “bathtub curve” to see that as a absolute minimum you need a “three line aproximation, and preferably five or more line. The three periods in order being,

1, Decreasing : Juvenile / infant / burn-in
2, Constant : Useful life / operating window
3, Increasing : End of life / wear out

So the wheel will need a “running in” or “burning in” period to get beyond what is called the “juvenile” period and thus be “bedded in”. It will then have a similar profile as certain types of “tool wear”.

For those who love to define functions for computer modeling, the use of the Weibull probability distribution mostly covers it.

MarkH April 15, 2023 8:45 PM


I infer that we’re thinking about different categories.

For a gaming venue seeking to protect revenue from roulette wheel faults, the key figure of merit isn’t life expectancy or reliability, but numerical bias.

It’s conceptually similar to a hardware random generator, which for important applications must have continuous monitoring of the distribution of its values.

Bias detection can’t be perfect, and doesn’t need to be. It is fully sufficient that by the time a wheel has gotten sufficiently biased to afford a useful advantage to a player, the casino has also detected the bias.

MarkH April 15, 2023 8:54 PM


Among the games in traditional casino gambling, roulette has a particularly strong built-in advantage to the house: in Europe, the house has an edge greater than 2.5 percent; in America it’s more than 5 percent.

If a “drop zone” is weaker than this edge, a player exploiting it will lose a little less money on average … but the player can’t expect to make a profit unless the drop zone bias is greater than the house advantage.

I think it perfectly feasible to construct an algorithm to raise an alarm for wheel bias greater than one part in fifty!

MarkH April 15, 2023 9:41 PM


I omitted something, supposing it to be self-evident … surely a mistake!

As with the gambler’s potential attack, casino monitoring of roulette wheel bias would be completely independent of knowledge of the wheel’s age or “ancient history” — it’s enough to track the most recent n spin results, where n is perhaps on the order of 100.

That the wheel was bias-free yesterday is of no interest; whether it will have uniformly distributed results tomorrow is not necessary to know.

The operative question, is whether recent spin results are clustered around a geometric region of the wheel, at a density which is very improbable for a wheel without significant bias.

JonKnowsNothing April 15, 2023 11:50 PM

@MarkH, @Clive, All

re: Worn Pathways

I play a number of on-line MMORPG games. Most of these games use various PRNG outcomes to determine results of player exchanges. There are some games that are based on card games and run simulations of the physical version. Some of these card games are casino type card games. (1)

Other games are based on Collect-A-Deck, where players collect cards similar to collecting baseball cards, but the cards can form part of the game play. Generally from your entire stash of cards you select 25-35 to form your playing deck.

These games are less vulnerable to internet latency (aka Lag of all types) but they are totally dependent on the PRNG for drawing 10 cards from your deck of 25-35 and drawing the 10 cards for your opponent from their deck.

So, in the vein of Worn Pathways, hammering the same electronic pathways and memory areas, might also introduce measurable error. (2)


1) Casino Poker Machines or OnLine Poker sites.

2) e-Sports tournaments often setup hw and sw outside the control of the teams playing the tournament. They may or may not be able to bring their special macro loaded keyboards, controllers or thumb mouse. The organizers do a lot to prevent tricks, taps, and hacks that go with all sorts of games, even if there is no gambling involved.

Clive Robinson April 16, 2023 4:47 AM

@ MarkH, ALL, JonKnowsNothing, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Bolting the door before the horse bolts through it.

“I infer that we’re thinking about different categories.”

You are looking “after the event” and I’m looking to “predict the event”.

To change a wheel / table is an involved process therefor takes time, especially if it needs to be bedded in. Casino’s especially Clubs are looking for minimum disruption at all times as they are a “luxury experience” and their desired participants are “exacting in their expectations”.

Therefore it’s a safe to assume that like other hospitality infustry venues they want to do well “planed maintainence” to minimise disruption thus disruption to income.

But also as a lot of “loss” from a defective is a risk, they want that risk minimised if not eliminated.

So I don’t think they would want
an after the fact rush, where the risk door was open for a period that an alert observer might walk a million or so out of.

Which brings us onto your,

“it’s enough to track the most recent n spin results, where n is perhaps on the order of 100.”

It’s not.

You are assuming a continuous unidirectional drift, not a more likely cyclic or similar drift, that might be “caused” by an observable “effrct” such as where a croupier or others stand…

But we’ve actually been through this before as I’ve repeatedly explained to you on this blog.

Using two drifting oscillators often “ring type” and a D-type latch which Intel and similar use(d?) in their “in silico” alleged TRNG’s that were not. Close in measurment which your “order of 100” is, looks random and will pass most if not all statistical tests on that sample size. However as I’ve explained pull out the timebase and what looks like random close in is absolutly not it’s almost entirely predictable and so exploitable with minimal resources.

Why? Because it’s a 1bit quantitized sampling of a sine wave at the difference frequency between the two oscillators. And is therefore more than sufficiently predictable to be fully exploitable by a very limited range search attack (which is what the neighbour bet does).

We’ve known this for quite some time, and there has even been one or two published papers in the academic community about it.

But we also know for well over a third of a century from medical diagnostic equipment that uses heart waves you also have the opposit problem. To save resources the manufacturers use peak detection and a timer to establish synchronisation with the heart waveform and then a timer offset to measure the desired feature of the wave form. Rather than digitize the entire wave form and find the feature to be measured. The problem is the former method fails and fails badly if the heart waveform is not stable.

So we know close in limited range measurment can not sync thus find what is very predictable wave forms with just a little purtabation, that the human eye can oh so easily spot.

Therefore it can be seen from long known knowledge that your “order of 100” is very likely to fail, and fail expensively for the casino if the attackers know these things.

As Albert Einstein allegedly observed,

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot.”

But we also know he said,

“I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”

In security as in science the “evolution” of new attacks starts with “imagination” from “intuition”. Defenders generally at best work with well out of date and otherwise “limited” “knowledge”.

So all the evidence, pointing to the fact that your “order of 100” is going to fail, has been available in numerous conversations on this blog over quite a period of time, that you’ve participated in.

You appear to have missed it thus “left the stable door open”, and thus the sound of distant hoof beats may well have faded.

FA April 16, 2023 8:19 AM

@CLive, @MarkH

So all the evidence, pointing to the fact that your “order of 100” is going to fail, has been available in numerous conversations on this blog over quite a period of time, that you’ve participated in.

No. How many observations would be required depends on the nature and magnitude of the bias. Depending on those, 100 may be enough or not.

Imagine a wheel with N numbers and a single period bias – the probability of the ball landing on number k is not just P = 1/N, but P * (1 + E * sin (A(k))), where A(k) is the angular position (rads) of the number k on the wheel relative to some arbitrary reference.

If you look at the observed frequency of any single number k, the deviation may be too small to detect the bias with any confidence. But if you look at all of them and correlate them with sin A(k) and cos A(k), things are different. This is just ‘using the entire waveform’ as Clive puts it.

With N = 37 and E = 0.1, the bias is easily detectable with 500 samples. It takes just 20 lines of python to demonstrate this.

Clive Robinson April 16, 2023 11:24 AM

@ FA,

Why is it you fail to read what I write?

Your hypothesis of,

“It takes just 20 lines of python to demonstrate this.”

Has already been negated.

As I said,

“not a more likely cyclic or similar drift, that might be “caused” by an observable “effect” such as where a croupier or others stand…”

And before you argue that is unlikely it’s already been demonstrated.

So whilst a human can observe many things and find many potential hypothesis, your script can not see, it can not hear, it can not touch, smell or taste.

It can only work on what it has been given in ways it has been told to.

Thus the human as an attacker has a clear advantage over a script that was once written by a defender. That script is out of date before it is even written… As Einstein observed there is a lot more than knowledge. Which if you think about it knowledge is by it’s very existance outdated, and fixed on things past.

FA April 16, 2023 12:45 PM

Your hypothesis of,

It’s not an hypothesis.

… that might be “caused” by an observable “effect” such as where a croupier or others stand.

Before a player can exploit any bias depending on such parameters, he has to detect it first. If he can, so can the casino, and it is in a much better position than the player to do it.

So whilst a human can observe many things and find many potential
hypothesis, your script can not see, it can not hear, it can not touch, smell or taste.

But a human can, and design the analysis accordingly. And as was remarked before, to be of interest to a player the effect of whatever method he uses has to negate the casino’s built-in advantage, so it can’t be too small.

But you are diverting attention away from the point I made, you writing:

So all the evidence, pointing to the fact that your “order of 100” is going to fail, has been available in numerous conversations on this blog over quite a period of time

In fact no evidence that the particular comment by MarkH is wrong has been presented at all. You just made your usual sneer to someone who didn’t even attack you in any way.

Clive Robinson April 16, 2023 2:42 PM

@ FA,

“You just made your usual sneer to someone who didn’t even attack you in any way.”

There is a saying I know you are familiar with,

“Out of the mouths of babies and fools…”.

Which is a shortening of the words of Bostonian proffessor, Dean at Harvard, physician, poet, essayist and polymath Oliver Wendell Holmes. Who’s fame sprungcfrom the poem “Old Ironsides” he later wrote the popular series of “at the Breakfast Table” essays/stories. The shotrned quotr comes from “The Professor at the Breakfast Table”(1859),

“Not only out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, but out of the mouths of fools and cheats, we may often get our truest lessons.”

I think you are neither a babe or suckking, as others will have realised from your track record of poorly disguised “ad hominem” commenting via at best “Strawman” argument.

I guess the ball is back in your court to fumble again.

MarkH April 16, 2023 4:26 PM

I don’t know who has read the linked article; it’s quite fun.

I note that in order for a wheel defect to ensure profit to a player, the consequent bias must be

• sufficiently consistent (with respect to independent variables) to affect a fair number of plays in sequence,

• detectable by the player, and

• well in excess of 2 percent magnitude.

I didn’t attempt to address Every Possible Cause of bias. The article discusses — and Bruce cited above — wheel drop, a highly specific defect.

The article mentions a company for internet gambling with physical wheels and croupiers — the players see realtime video of each spin.

MarkH April 16, 2023 4:32 PM

part 2:

In that internet roulette operation, players sitting in the comfort of their homes can deploy as much sophistication as they wish to predict outcomes, and have been very successful!

Among its countermeasures, “the company developed software to track wheels in real time and identify whether any section was winning more than statistical models said it should.”

As I wrote above, it’s straightforward.

Other obvious countermeasures include:

• carefully controlled wheel design and manufacture
• control of the play environment
• periodic inspection and testing

MarkH April 16, 2023 4:39 PM

part 3:

The story begins with an entertaining group of folks from former Communist countries at London’s Ritz. When the author caught up with the gentleman from Croatia, that gambler revealed that

• he knew from past experience that a particular Ritz wheel was predictable, and

• he was so familiar with that bad wheel, that he could easily spot it even though it had been moved to a different room.

So, here’s the shock headline:

Thoughtless use of crap technology may reduce security!

Who knew?

hacked lives shatter April 16, 2023 9:42 PM


And for every sprinting “Lola” hacking the Roulette table, there’s large hidden plate glass window hidden in some random blind spot ready to induce profound tragedy into her timeline, one way or another.

“Like the sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives…”

Ollie Jones April 17, 2023 3:08 PM

So, a few people including Mr. Tosa have learned to do this kind of prediction without any cognitive aids, have they?

That’s a really interesting observation from the point of view of neurobiology and, I daresay, machine learning.

We’re talking about ability to integrate all sorts of visual, aural, and proprioceptive input into a concise guess, in reflex time rather than sit-down-and-puzzle-it-out time. That means: This is all hypothesis, in the sense that must be susceptible to being disproved.

At least some input-integration and processing effort is done by networks of neurons within some folks’ brains that have been trained to do it.

The training itself is done by repetition over more-or-less random input samples. The metric for the training is, hey, many folks’ favorite metric, cash money.

It might be possible for PET scanning (3D images of glucose uptake, a way to measure neurons’ expenditure of energy on synaptic activity and catabolism (self-altering, adjusting the cells’ membrane to allow memory building). I wonder if a PET study of some people who have learned to do this sort of thing might help feed machine-learning design.

Probably there have been teams of people doing this for years.

Demetrius April 17, 2023 4:12 PM

“You can beat the game without a computer”

And, presumably, that’s how Joseph Jagger did it in 1881 (“it is thought that Jagger hit on the idea of using this bias [noticed on wheels] to win at roulette”). In those days, “computer” would have referred to a person, probably with pen and paper or an abacus—not an easy thing to hide. I’m surprised this went unmentioned.

Clive Robinson April 17, 2023 5:32 PM

@ Ollie Jones,

“This is all hypothesis, in the sense that must be susceptible to being disproved.”

The local hospital that does my Warfarin dosing gets nervous with me.

They don’t like the fact that when they take the INR reading and I see it, I can correctly “call” the new dose, before they can even type it in the computer.

One of the “technicians” finds it ammusing and we jokingly have a “penny bet” on it. He asked how I do it so I showed him and he “gets it”.

His colleagues on the other hand treat me like I’m some kind of vodo witch doctor or equivalent. But even though they do it every work day, they can neither understand it nor work it out even by a piecewise approximation in their head… Even though I’ve told them the curve has the same rate of change along all it’s length thus you just have to “scale”.

I’ve actually asked them,

“How do you think they did it for the four decades Warfarin was prescribed befor medical technicians got computers?”

And they just look at me as though I’m mad to say there was a time before computers…

JonKnowsNothing April 17, 2023 9:17 PM

@Clive, All

re: “How do you think they did it … before medical technicians got computers?”

The USA runs on Evidence Based Medicine, which is The Cheapest Treatment Possible. They run stat analysis to divide the line between Treatment and Non-Treatment.

An MD told me (paraphrased)

  • Old men, with gall bladder infections, die within a few months.

This was meant to justify limited or no treatment of an infected gall badder.

I pointed out that

  • Is it any surprise that an untreated infection leads to sepsis and death?
  • This is really an excuse not to treat an older person isn’t it?

The MD harruphed …

On the other hand, the veterinary profession has tossed out the All Creatures Great and Small image for the High Tech, Highest Cost Veterinary Care possible.

Nearly every vet has charges just to walk in the door:

  • Office visit
  • Exam

Then comes the list of diagnostics, just like human ones, but without financial cap beyond what the owner is willing to pay.

  • Full CBC blood test work up
  • Xray
  • Ultra Sound
  • Urinalysis

plus whatever they can come up with as their Office Standard.

  • While USA Medical is based on Least Cost; USA Veterinary is based on Highest Cost.

In previous times, they both had skills called Diagnostics Skills. This was a set of disease profiles with all the symptoms on presentation. Knowing which conditions to exclude was as important as determining the current condition.

Now, veterinarians can’t find anything wrong without xrays and ultrasounds.The Rx is the same (for horses): joint injections, spine injections and haul-in fees. Spinal surgery and chiropractic adjustments, worth a lifetime of full retirement funding.

Dog and Cat owners get it much worse. Vets play hard cash when FIDO needs cardiac treatment and FELIX needs cancer treatment.

JonKnowsNothing April 18, 2023 8:24 AM


re: If this works, why are casinos still in business?

Their business model is not based on a single or even multiple Big Payouts. They skim money from tourists, visitors, part-time gamblers, full-time ramblers… (oh sorry…hums)

Loads of folks with sufficient wealth, primarily go for a Good Time and plan on losing all their Playtime money. Depending on your bank roll it could be $20 or $200,000 or more.

Additionally, if there is a Big Payout, they close down that table for maintenance.

RL anecdote tl;dr

I witnessed a very large payout, with multiple hits on the unlikely Wheel of Fortune spinner. A very drunk couple dropped a large amount of notes on a number. The dealer spun the wheel: Hit. A large crowd had stopped to watch the spin. Then they pushed all the money on another number. Management showed up to observer: Hit. The couple then shoved the money on third number. More Management showed up to watch and with a simple nod, the wheel was spun a 3d time: Hit. The casino handed the couple a big pile of notes, escorted them to the exchange cage (for their safety) and closed the table.

D.Gross April 18, 2023 7:06 PM

Re: “If this works, why are casinos still in business?”

I’ve heard that while they may lose a little bit of money from a good card-counter, they profit from people who merely think they can count cards (or can do it, but make a mistake or underestimate how far “in the hole” they might get before winning). I guess this is similar. They’re always watching the finances and statistics closely. A lot of them also make money from associated services: food, drinks, ATM fees, hotel rooms, shows, rides, all-ages games, …

Someone who’s in the casino all the time and wins slowly might be treated as a marketing tool, and given free stuff (“comps”). But that’s basically a job (“comp hustling”) and doesn’t seem like a very high-paying one. People who are looking to work in a casino might be better off as official employees.

Most people looking to beat the casino, however, want to get rich quickly, which is a sure-fire way to get noticed—at which point the casino is likely to shut down the game and tell other casinos. Maybe they’ll bring it back after fixing the hardware and/or rules. In principle, one could organize a conspiracy to “hit” many casinos at the same time; that’s much easier said than done, and someone capable of it would probably have little trouble finding “legitimate” work (management, logistics, investment banking).

WhiskersInMenlo April 21, 2023 1:06 PM

This was the crux of a story there some students kept notes and found such a flaw. +50 years ago.. in Reno. The story is the play continued with no new players allowed until the last left the table at which time the pit boss took an ax to the wheel. Numbers are not sequential and advantage too slim. Modern cameras can watch wheels and report to the house.

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