As soon as a winning horse was evident (well in the lead), the bettor would hurry to the ticket window and place a bet on that horse. Likewise with roulette, when the ball comes in for its final landing, the dealer will look down, for a moment, to see what the winning number is. At that instant, a player with a keen eye and adroit hand can place or move his bet to the winning number. Games run by one dealer are most susceptible to this form of chicanery. The cheat may remove losing bets in part or in whole, place winning bets or switch losers onto the winning number. One example would be a right-handed player standing at the center of the table and betting on �black.� Of the even-money wagers, black and red are the only ones that are adjacent to each other. If black comes in then great! He�ll relax and wait for his pay off. If �red� comes up, he�ll lean over the table and very quickly and precisely tap his bet from black over to red in a fraction of a second. This stratagem requires nerves of steel and a quick, concise maneuver. The dealers and pit are well aware of this technique and are watching for it. The first time you get caught, you might escape by claiming ignorance. You didn�t hear the dealer say �No more bets.� After that, you�re asking for a security escort to a back room!
An easy way to rig a wheel is by ball tripping. A very small diameter hole is drilled in the upper ball track, under the rim. A small, spring-loaded pin is positioned in the hole just below the outside surface. This mechanism is usually set up directly in front of the dealer so it is easier for him to time and harder for anyone else to detect. When the dealer flips a small lever, just under the tables edge, the tension in the cable forces the pin against the spring, allowing it to protrude out slightly onto the ball track. As the ball contacts the pin, it is prematurely tripped out of the ball track. Again, a well-practiced dealer would time the ball drop-off with an impending sector of the wheel head or rotor. Because there is only one trip location from which to knock the ball, the dealer must wait for the right ball/trip point/wheel intersection. A near-perfect alignment is necessary and the dealer must see it coming well ahead of time.
The casinos werent the only ones engaging in this technique. One story has a team of players in Nevada, called the soda straw gang, tapping into the tables banks with a most peculiar method of ball tripping. The gang allegedly had one heavy bettor at the center of the table, one trivial bettor on the far end and an observer seated at the wheel itself. The members would take their stations at different times, being careful not to acknowledge each other. The heavy bettor would cover numbers contained on one sector, or area of the wheel head. Just before the ball would fall, the low-roller on the end would create a diversion. The observer, timing the ball and the heavily bet sector on the wheel, would then raise a straw and blow on the ball as it passed to trip it out of the upper track. Supposedly, the gang was so successful that the casinos began installing the now-present glass security shields around the edge of the rulete tables. But dont form a team, buy a box of straws and look for tables without the security shield. If the bosses dont immediately catch you, the cameras most certainly will.
Another tripping technique that I have personally witnessed, involves one heavy better placing a black chip on the second column and a confederate standing near the wheel. Incidentally, the second column numbers are concentrated on an area of the rotor centered about the number 26 on an American style wheel. As the ball slowed down, the observer would brace himself and ..