Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, commonly referred to as a FOBT, are big business in the UK. Each high-street bookmaker is allowed up to four of these machines in their shop and an overwhelming majority of them would have even more if the law would allow it.
You find them in all of the major bookmakers including William Hill, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and Betfred. The image to the right is of three of these machines in Paddy Power, click on it to see an enlarged version. Figures suggest that in 2016 there are over 35,000 of these machines in the UK.
Due to the huge numbers of people playing on these machines, we regularly receive emails from people wanting to know if there are any systems that can be applied specifically to a FOBT. Some people actually take it a step further and ask if there are any known ways to cheat, rip off or scam the machines for an easy pay out. We will address all of these questions below and address a few fallacies while we’re at it.
FOBT Roulette System – Roulette on a Fixed Odds Betting Terminal is no different to any other version of roulette in terms of odds, payouts and rules, therefore, there isn’t a strategy that can be specifically applied to them for better odds than you would get either online or in a real casino. That probably isn’t what you want to hear, but it’s the truth.
Some people have the misconception that the FOBT roulette machines work in a similar way to UK fruit machines found in pubs and bars. Some fruit machines (not all of them) become more likely to drop a jackpot when a certain amount of money has been put into them which theoretically increases the player’s odds if they start playing when the machine is ready to drop the jackpot.
Let’s be very clear here; the standard roulette FOBT does not work in this way. It doesn’t matter how much money you put into it, the odds remain the same on every spin regardless of the amount of money you’ve put in the machine or how long you’ve been playing. It’s the same 2.7% house advantage at all times (assuming the game follows European rules which most do).
The only possible exception to this is a game with some kind of a jackpot such as Lucky 8 at William Hill but even then, the jackpot is small and there are additional slots on the wheel which decrease your odds in the first place. Even with these games, there’s no way of knowing when a jackpot will hit and each wager contributes such a small amount to the jackpot that it wouldn’t be profitable to play a low risk strategy and wait for the jackpot, it just isn’t possible.
All you can do is follow one of the many strategies that we’ve written about in detail (find them here) and hope that luck is on your side, just like any other game of roulette. Better yet, skip playing on the FOBT altogether and play online instead; the game play is much better and it’s far more convenient, more on that lower down.
FOBT “Cheats” and “Exploitable Loopholes”
When people message us about these machines they usually want info about some kind of cheat for a guaranteed win. Despite what some websites tell you, it should be obvious that there aren’t any practical or legal cheats and your search for one should end right now before you land yourself in trouble.
Some websites have actually published articles with tips on how to “cheat” with ridiculous ideas such as playing a jackpot game like lucky 8, loading the machine up with £100 and then ripping the Internet cable out of the back so that it thinks it’s close to dropping the jackpot when it actually isn’t.
Another nugget of information is to spin the wheel and then quickly “take the front of the machine off” to see whether or not the spin is going to win, and if it isn’t, force a reset on the machine so that it’s a free bet. It’s complete nonsense.
Even if these two concepts were possible (we can’t verify whether or not they are for obvious reasons), do you honestly think you could get away with this kind of behaviour and walk out of the shop with money in your pocket? To start with, every high street bookmaker has multiple CCTV units watching your every move at all times.
Even if the CCTV can’t see you (which it will be able to) it won’t take very long for the staff to notice you pulling out Internet cables or taking off the front of the machine and when they catch you, they will prosecute you. The whole thing is a terrible idea that isn’t practical, isn’t legal and wouldn’t be very profitable anyway. If you are going to play on a FOBT, all you can do is use conventional roulette strategies, play responsibly and hope that luck is on your side, just like any other game of roulette.
FOBT Roulette is Rigged – If you search online, you’ll find no shortage of punters complaining that the FOBT machines are rigged but that is not the case. All the machines in the UK are fully tested and regulated by the UK gambling commission and independently tested. The results are randomly generated and unpredictable which is why they ultimately can’t be beaten. If you lose on one of them, it’s not because it’s rigged, but because the house (the machine) has an advantage built into it (2.7%) that is impossible to overcome.
Playing Online = A Better Alternative
If you want to play roulette, our advice would be to skip playing on a FOBT altogether and play online instead. Not only are the online roulette games far more convenient, but the graphics and general game play are of a much higher quality as well.
All of the UK’s leading online casinos such as Royal Panda, Betfair, Paddy Power and Betfred have multiple roulette games to choose from, live dealers where you can see a real wheel and croupier, and the table limits suit both low and high stake players. You can rest assured that their games are fair and that you if you win, you will be paid on the same day with no problems.
Bovada are the best online casino for USA players. They have multiple roulette games to choose from with $1 – $1,000 table limits and withdrawals are processed within 24 hours of request. Play at Bovada.