These Interwebs can be a funny place. It all started when poker player Jeff Romano Tweeted the photo below, sparking rumors that an odds-defying roulette streak had taken place at Rio Las Vegas.
The photo made the rounds and created a lot of buzz, but either fortunately or unfortunately, it was a streak that never happened.
Romano was apparently on a break from playing in the World Series of Poker, noticed some players making noise at the roulette table and snapped a pic. But reps for the hotel confirm the “streak” was a glitch in the numeric display only, not an actual seven-time run on the number 19.
The odds of hitting the number 19 seven times in a row in roulette, by the way, are three billion to one.
The numeric displays on roulette tables are more of a convenience for players, and their number sensor thingys sometimes get it wrong. These displays have nothing to do with the roulette wheels, and are no reflection on the integrity of the game. They’re more decoration than anything, for the more superstition-y (possibly not a real word) among us.
Displays can have glitches related to the ball reader device (the aforementioned “thingys”), software, electrical connections and power surges. None of these things influences where the ball lands, of course. That’s up to chance.
This is probably a good time to read more about the Gambler’s Fallacy. (Quick version: “It’s hit black nine times, so this time it has to hit red!”
Anyhoo, it was fun while it lasted. This blog actually took another photo awhile back of what we think was the same roulette display at Rio Vegas. We noticed it because it was showing a long streak of black hitting, a streak not necessarily reflective of the results on the wheel.
Reports of the display being tested at the time of Romano’s photo, as well as reports of the table not being in use at the time of the photo, were incorrect. It happens.
Thanks to Jeff Romano for use of his photo. Find him here on Twitter.
Want to see something even more awesome? Diligent Pulse of Vegas blog reader Eric Becerra send along this gem, also taken at the Rio. On Friday the 13th (January 2012), no less.
Now, back to your regularly-scheduled Las Vegas nonsense.