Is it possible to beat the wheel at roulette? The simple answer is maybe. Although it is not possible to overcome the basic rules of chance at an online casino where the house will always have a small edge (around 2.6% on a European wheel), it might be possible to do so at a live casino.
If the house is to maintain that edge at a live casino, then it is necessary for the roulette wheel to be perfectly engineered and to have no bias. Certainly there was bias in early wheels, but modern wheels are manufactured using higher engineering standard, and although not perfect, the amount of bias is likely to be small enough for the house edge to be at least more or less retained.
The fact that a roulette wheel is just about perfectly engineered has other implications however. In a perfectly engineered wheel Newtons Laws of Motions which describe the relationships between force, acceleration, mass and velocity, will apply perfectly. This means that if we are aware of all the appropriate parameters then the wheel is predictable. Just as we are able to predict the next astronomical eclipse of the sun, we are able to predict the next spin of the wheel.
Although that is correct in principal, in reality during the spin of the wheel other random and chaotic effects also come into play, but in order to turn the game to ones advantage it is only necessary to predict in which quadrant of even half of the wheel the ball will land.
Using a number of methods a number of people have been successful at doing just that and although some have been caught and have been forced to return their winnings, others have certainly got away with it and probably are currently enjoying their fortunes in some tropical paradise.