Roulette, a game where fortunes change in a spin, has intrigued players for centuries. Yet few have tried to crack its code.
Niko Tosa, a Croatian gambler, dared to do just that. His story revolves around the wheel, both in brick-and-mortar casinos and online roulette platforms.
Who Is Niko Tosa?
Here’s the thing. Nobody actually knows who Niko Tosa is. The name is a pseudonym.
He is a man who walked out of the Ritz Club casino in London, in 2004, £1.3 million richer after a stint at the roulette table.
No known photographs of him have ever been published but in 2023, he finally agreed to give his first interview to Bloomberg and they agreed to withhold his real name.
What we do know is that he is Croatian, now in his 50s and is the gambler who cracked roulette.
So how did he do it?
How Tosa Cracked The Roulette Code
According to Tosa his system is simple but very difficult to replicate.
The first thing you have to do is find a roulette table with a slight defect or bias as this reduces randomness. After that, you have to mentally estimate where the ball will land once it is in motion.
Clearly, that is not something you can just start doing. For Tosa however, this was not a problem, mostly because he had spent countless hours of practice on a home wheel.
On this particular evening in 2004, Tosa was two friends and they had an unusual approach to playing roulette.
They only placed their bets after the croupier sent the ball spinning. As the wheel began to decelerate, they’d rush to place their bets on up to 15 numbers simultaneously.
However, where they excelled was making ‘special bets’ that corresponded to segments of the wheel as opposed to single numbers.
Witnesses stated that the team had a preference for the “neighbours” bets, which spanned a primary number and its two immediate neighbours, totalling five pockets.
Through this method, the group had a strikingly high success rate. They didn’t always guess the correct number, but they put together some astonishing winning streaks with runs of eight, ten, or even 13 consecutive hits.
Placing up to a dozen £100 chips at a time, their returns saw them doubling their stake. But as the chips mounted, casino security became increasingly tense.
Tosa and his associate had started with chips worth £30,000 and £60,000. Very quickly, their chip counts exceeded the hundred thousand mark.
At this point, they began raising their bets, sometimes staking as much as £15,000 on a single round.
Unfazed by wins or losses, their game went on.
How Much Did Niko Tosa Win in London?
Tosa drew attention not because of how much he was winning but because of how he was winning.
Roulette was designed to be random, and here was a guy who could seemingly predict where the ball would land, time after time.
Even with the best roulette strategy, betting on red or black has a slightly less than half chance of success (because of the 0 or 00 on the table).
Eventually, everybody loses. But not Niko Tosa.
By the end of that fateful evening, he’d turned £30,000 of chips into £310,000. His partner did even better, turning £60K into £684,000.
Including their earlier sessions, the trio walked out of the Ritz Club with £1.3 million.
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Is The Roulette Code Truly Cracked?
Ultimately, roulette is not a casino game that has been truly cracked. Of course you can still win when you play it, in real life and online.
Luck plays an important part, and it is better to choose a casino with a lot of different options which is just one of the benefits of using Trustly casinos.
They have such a huge range of online sites that you are sure to find the one that’s perfect for you.
In the meantime, just think about all of those people who have tried their hand at winning at roulette. Because, others had tried before, albeit in more mathematically advanced settings.
Edward Thorp, an American math genius and gambling aficionado, along with Claude Shannon from MIT, had both tried to use physics to beat the wheel.
The idea was simple. Roulette wheels had become computer-assisted, so they believed microprocessors could forecast the motions of the roulette wheel.
That was because they were convinced that roulette wasn’t entirely unpredictable. They saw it as a ball moving along a circle, influenced by gravity, friction, air resistance, and centripetal force. And they believed an equation could describe this.
So, they built and programmed the world’s first wearable computer. It was a tiny gadget with a timing switch, the size of a matchbox, and hidden inside a shoe.
In a lab setting it worked like a dream, but unfortunately, the wiring kept shorting out when they tried it in a casino.
All in all though, Thorp was thrilled that they were usually just a few pockets away from their prediction.
Despite all of the attempts over the years and allowing for the odd anomaly like Niko Tosa, nobody has ever managed to truly beat the roulette wheel.