When you think of a lot of things, the most often-considered answer is luck. But many players who have tried roulette have discovered that luck is pretty much irrelevant, especially when it comes to picking the right numbers.
A study published Wednesday in Nature Communications found that when it comes to choosing the right dice, a number of factors matter. When players were instructed to bet on different numbers, some were actually better bets than others.
“It’s not the amount of money you have. It’s whether you have luck,” said study author William A. P. Hoehn, a mathematician at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
The new study adds to a growing body of literature examining how the right numbers can make you better. The idea is, for example, that the number 11, for example, makes a lot more sense as the number that will roll over 11 times, giving more chances to get lucky. If you bet on the odds of hitting the jackpot at just one time to make the best bet, for instance, the bet isn’t worth much and could lose you the entire bet.
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But some of those tricks may not play a role at all for certain combinations of numbers, researchers say.
Take 6-2, the roulette’s best known combo, in which you get a total of six points, two of which you win and one of which you lose by a couple of zeros. That’s a big number, and so is the chance it could roll over three or more, suggesting a combination of factors is at play.
For this study, Hoehn and his colleagues put a 6-2 combo together: a “2,” an “11,” and also 6 and an eight. The numbers rolled over one other as well: a “5,” a “8,” and a “3.”
That set of combinations produced a total of 3 wins, two and a half losses, but still gave people an 84 percent chance to roll over two or more. And that was assuming the players were correctly guessing the numbers (otherwise their bet would end up losing) and that they knew their combos well.
Hoehn says these combinations should be viewed in their relative strengths, rather than in their relative weaknesses. A higher percentage of people who know about 6-2 would have a better chance of winning in 6-2 than in 9-0.
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