Christian Kaiser is a professional roulette player who is probably the most famous gambler in Germany. He's becoming pretty well known in other parts of the world as a man who successfully cracked the roulette code in the eighties using physical roulette strategies including the Kesselgucken Method, which is essentially a manual prediction method based on the track of the ball on the wheel. Or did he? We take a look.
This story brings up several questions:
Did he really crack the roulette code?
How did he do it?
Can you still do it?
Read on to find out more....
Christian Kaisan claims he has won several million euros in the casinos and has been banned from multiple casinos during his career. His method has become increasingly difficult to master in recent years as casinos have adapted and wheel manufacturers like Cammegh have designed wheel shapes to protect against this kind of observation system.
Cammegh roulette kettles are increasingly built in such a way that the track of the ball and an estimated hit zone can no longer be calculated by observation and secret measurements.
Christian Kaisan's tips for roulette include looking for casinos with older and more predictable roulette wheels (such as the Huxley) towards the latter part of his career.
They call him "The Saxon" and his professional gambling career started in the late sixties in East Germany (The GDR or German Democratic Republic). Gambling was legalised, and Kaisan began playing various games and even inventing a dice game called Kai San. When he began to taste success, he shifted his attention to the West where the potential rewards were greater.
In 1981 he moved to Hamburg where he picked up the "Saxon" nickname thanks to his accent. At this stage of his career, he spent a lot of time observing.
Then in 1984 Kaisan decided to put his theories into practice at the table. His skill was the prediction of final resting zones for the ball by closely watching the roulette ball following the announcement of "Rien ne va plus" or "No More Bets" - the so called Kesslgucken Roulette Method.
He judges the action of the croupier, the path of the roulette ball and makes a call on which sector the ball will land. His method only requires him to identify hot zones to give him an edge over the casino. He doesn't worry about predicting exact numbers like that famous series of number 17 bets that Sean Connery won while playing roulette.
In his first 6 weeks of playing, the Saxon made 70,000 Deutsch Marks (around €35,000 in today's money, more when you factor in inflation). Kaisan realised that he was onto something and began a journey around the world visiting the most famous casinos on the planet (plus some of the less famous).
Kaisan claims to have won around 500,000 DM in three days in Australia and 126,000 DM.in one day in Copenhagen.
But success at this level didn't last for ever, as the casinos cottoned on and spread the word among their network. He was banned from more and more casinos - he is said to have been barred from 60 of the 76 official casinos or "Spielbanken" in Germany, but he is also said to have made millions from his professional roulette career (some estimates put his total winnings at 4 million DM or €2million).
Christian Kaisan is now retired (but I bet he has the odd flutter with a false beard on!)
How Do you Play the Kesselglucken Method?
This is not a theoretical system based on mathematics like the Fibonacci or the Martingale. The Kesselglucken Method is an observing system: a physical method. The German word Kesselgucken means roughly 'to observe the wheel'. The aim is to judge the fall of the ball once the croupier releases it, and to predict on which sector it's going to land. You bet as close to the call of "No More Bets!" as you can, to give yourself the maximum advantage.
The speed of the roulette wheel and the ball, and the starting position of the ball all come into play. Players who practise the Kesselglucken hate the rhombus wheel obstacles because they disrupt the natural path of the ball.
It is important to place your bets as late as possible – the later you bet, the easier it is to predict the landing zone.
Many players who use this method play the French Call Bets (Neighbours, Tiers, Orphans) as the zones they represent seem to match nicely with the size of zone is theoretically possible to predict. Kesselglucken players aren't interested in predicting individual numbers- they just want to predict zones so that can build a long-term edge against the casino.
Neighbour bets are also popular, for obvious reasons.
Remember though that Christian Kaisan spent years observing roulette wheel to perfect his technique. And modern day casinos have responded by installing what they hope to be Kesselglucken proof wheels. This is not something that would ever work on a virtual roulette game. Theoretically it could work on a live roulette feed, but a live casino that operates online holds more cards- they can control the feed and what you see.
Ultimately, this is a land-based roulette method and it may well have had its day. The question is- how good is the wheel at inducing a totally chaotic ball behaviour that is impossible to predict, even to within a certain level of confidence. More recent roulette clockers like the team that hit the Ritz in 2004 make use of technology to give them an edge, and this is how this cat and mouse game will develop into the future, we think.
With augmented reality contact lenses, Google glasses and other super tech widgets being developed all of the time, the casinos have got their work cut out to stay ahead of the curve and prevent these kinds of systems on their tables. We haven't heard the last of the roulette clockers- Christian Kaisan just happens to be the Grandaddy of them all.