Killer Roulette
Carl Sampson

This is Carl Sampson's second title, written around ten years after he called it a day on being a disgruntled croupier, working in bottom end casinos in the UK, and starting a new vocation as a poker pro. As with his first outing ("Princes of Darkness"), this one also carries a very iffy title which (IMHO) raises expections far beyond what the contents justify - to the extent that some might consider his publisher needs to answer charges for offending against the Trades Description Act.

So, what have we got here? Not very much to be brutally honest. This book runs to 202 pages and comprises mainly a look back on the successes of some notable roulette players (Norman Leigh and his trip to Nice in 1966 qualifies for four pages - although Mr S's research doesn't seem to have run to much more than reading "Thirteen against the Bank"), personal anecdotes from his ten years working the tables, considerations of how the game of roulette can be beaten (mainly by clever people finding and taking advantage of biased wheels), methods of cheating and how it's possible make a tidy living from nothing more than playing the wheel of doom - he recollects one regular, "the Salmon", who by playing just one specific wheel of doom would consistently turn a tenner into a hundred quid (or more) and through doing this had, presumably, carved himself out a respectable annual salary at Mr S's employer's expense (albeit that bit is pure supposition). Perhaps he did, perhaps he didn't? Many have been credited with achieving just this (mostly by themselves) since the track was first spun on the first wheel of doom over two hundred years ago. Interesting that some years later, in 2017, Mr S had an article published in the online magazine Casino Life where he asks "Can you beat the wheel?" and responds to his rhetorical question with "The short answer is no." This piece was discussing visiting Las Vegas and playing against a double-zero wheel, although should that make any difference?.

Within the recollections of Mr S's life as a down-market croup, he recounts several stories of coming into contact with, or assisting, people who'd won it big when playing the wheel of doom - one of which looks to be the equivalent of someone reporting results that, upon scrutiny, are found to sit at six standard deviations north of the EV. Still, it filled up some pages.

Overall then, if you have a propensity for reading books about roulette, and you can pick up a copy of Killer Roulette for no more than a couple of quid, this title may be something you'd give a run out. If you do though, don't expect too much in the way of solid information around approaches to playing roulette that'll keep your losses to a minimum, how the numbers all hang together or how to identify one of those elusive biased wheels that can mean you can give up the day job. Bearing in mind the absence of any detail of value I'm afraid the title's tag line of How to beat the "unbeatable" really is stretching it to the extreme and without doubt qualifies for a tick in the "misleading bollocks" box. Sorry Carl.

Carl Sampson now makes his living as a poker pro, and his website can be found at He has written four other books since starting out as a pro poker player in 2002; Princes of Darkness (2006), Crushing Single Table Online Tournaments and Destination Final Table (both e-books only), and Winning Cash Game Poker (2009) which he admits is a tad outdated as some of the material in the book has now been superceded. He continues to write for online publications such as Casino Life.

April 2020.