With Basic Physics, You Can Beat the House At Roulette

As with any good experiment, knowing your initial conditions is key.

Science of Roulette

clry2 via Flickr

Sick of letting their mastery of calculus and classical mechanics go to waste, physicists in Australia and Hong Kong have figured out how to overcome the odds in roulette. You just have to know all the inputs -- preferably by tracking them with a digital camera -- and some differential equations.

The key is to know the ball's precise location, and the relative speed of the ball and the wheel, at the instant the croupier starts the game. If you know where the ball starts and how fast it and the wheel are rotating, you can make a much more educated guess about where it might land. Book your next trip to Vegas and read all about it in the AIP journal Chaos.