A way to beat the roulette was kept under wraps for decades - until now.
Roulette seems random because of the way the ball bounces around before it comes to rest. The casino's "house" has an advantage of just a percentage point or two, and that's all that's necessary to come out ahead. And, the complex and chaotic bouncing of the ball is what makes roulette a very difficult game to cheat.
Until the 1970s, when a man named Doyne Farmer came up with a way to beat the wheel. He used an early computer to do the number crunching - a pretty notable feat then, since portable laptops wouldn't become common for another twenty years. But he didn't publish his findings because he didn't want to encourage cheating at casinos.
Now Michael Small, a mathematician at the University of Western Austrailia, and Chi Kong Tse, an electronic engineer from Hong Kong Plytechnic University, have developed their own algorithm for beating roulette. They submitted a paper to the journal Chaos. Farmer decided that there was no reason to keep quiet anymore.