Gonzalo García Pelayo is a Spanish film-maker who turned professional gambler back in 1980s. What he did was he took a few weeks of research the patterns of roulette wheels, watching thousands of spins. He realized the spinning wheel axis had a physical defect. To his discovery, he found that some numbers were coming up more frequently than others.
Then he started keeping track of which numbers came up the most. And sure enough it turned out to be correct. According to him, each individual roulette wheel wasn’t perfectly aligned. It tilted in one direction or the other. He knew the roulette wheels could never be perfectly random. It is what they called Wheel Bias.
Gonzalo García Pelayo also kept a close watch over how the dealer spun the wheel and tossed the ball, and how the ball was likely to land on certain numbers more often than others. He analyzed and also used his computer for analysis.
The film director of 1975 “Manuela”, discovered any little physical defect in the roulette wheel could tip things in his favor. Interestingly, he figured out what set of numbers each roulette wheel in that particular roulette table consistently lean to.
Gonzalo García Pelayo knew he had to play those numbers long enough he would win. He knew he couldn’t do it alone. He needed a dedicated troop who could spent time at a roulette table to beat the game.
Initially Mr. García Pelayo called up his own son to join him in his secret Roulette Strategy. They started out with a small amount ($2000) to test out his strategy. Indeed, the father and son team could beat the game of roulette.
From there, they started doubling their bets and also recruited his cousins, daughter and also his own wife into the game.
Gonzalo Pelayo and his family aka the Pelayos began full-time; playing six days a week, 8 hours a day. According to Gonzalo, his secret system was the more they played, the better they were at it.
He said they started betting up to $150 a number. On a lucky day, they’d take home $5,000.
Gonzalo told them to only played the roulette which was assigned to them and only bet on the specific number given to them. Knowing that they would become familiar faces in the casino, so to avoid rousing any suspicion, he advised the family members not to reveal the system to anyone and act as if they were regular players who played the roulette for fun.
Gonzalo also instructed them to leave the casino as soon as their shift was up. They were not allowed to hang around the casino or have dinner or any kind of relationship inside the casino.
Just less than a year, they had won around $500,000. Then something happened. Gonzalo’s nephew, Heime started flirting with a young gorgeous female dealer, who incidentally was the ex-girlfriend of the casino’s director.
The director got jealous and he began keeping an eye on Heime and the girl. That’s when the whole exploit was exposed. The casino director noticed something was amiss. Heime was winning bountiful at a game where the odds are typically against the player.
Then the casino people started observing at the Pelayos and found out the family members were beating the house. From there, the casino people began putting up all kinds of ways to stop them from winning, that included switching roulette tables.
But that was no problem to Gonzalo and his family. He knew what each roulette wheel looked like. So they went around the casino and looked for the specific roulette which they had observed.They played and they kept winning. Ultimately, the casino director had no choice but to deny Gonzalo and his family entry to the casino.
Surprisingly, one day the Pelayos were allowed back to the casino. It was all because the axis of each roulette wheel had been changed.
Then a few weeks later, Gonzalo decided to challenge them. He went to play and kept winning.He was asked to leave the casino, but he refused; thinking that he could get the authorities on his side for being wrongly kicked out. That was the day, the Pelayos were banned from the casino in Madrid.
So they started to travel to casinos in Amsterdam and Paris. The Pelayos beat the house everywhere else they went, that included casinos in Germany, Holland, Belgium and Austria. They would stay in each country up to three to four months at a time playing.
In no time, they were not allowed to enter casinos all over Europe. As times go by, they broke up, but Gonzalo together with his wife and son stayed on. He decided to hit Las Vegas.
Since their notoriety was not known in the States, they managed to played and won every day for three months in the MGM.
Then one night at the MGM, he lost and passed out and rushed to the hospital. From that incident he lost confidence in his system.
I read somewhere that in the world of the Vegas casinos means if your name is listed in the Griffin book and you’ll be blacklisted.
The whole issue here is about not how much they won, but about how they won it.
Besides, Gonzalo García Pelayo, there was this MIT Blackjack team, who who used card counting techniques and more sophisticated strategies to beat casinos at blackjack worldwide. Their exploit was made into the movie “21” which starred Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess and Kate Boswoth.
Of course you know that nowadays there are cameras all around inside casinos to make certain no one observes the wheels for too long.
Last year (2013), Gonzalo García Pelayo attended the 51st. Vienna International Film Festival, not to play roulette, but as the subject of a retrospective of his past feature films.
Currently, Gonzalo is still a gambling, betting on horses and sports and online casino world.
Even before the Pelayos, in fact back in 1970s, there was a man called Doyne Farmer came up with a way to beat the wheel. He also used the computer to do the number crunching.
In 2012, a mathematician at the University of Western Australia, and an electronic engineer from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, have developed their own algorithm for beating roulette. According to news.discovery, they submitted a paper to the journal Chaos.