Admittedly, Roulette is one of the most common games found in casinos the world over. This is attributed to its dramatic, tension-filled and exciting reputation. The fact that single number bets attract huge odds and the ball potentially drops from pocket to pocket, every gamer has always had the hope of being lucky to win huge sums from roulette bets. It is therefore not surprising to see gamblers committing huge amounts of money in the hope of winning a fortune.
In fact, every experienced roulette player has a story about when they had the same number 5 times consecutively or when the wheel landed on the same color for more than 15 times. However, a few famous roulette bets and players have stollen the show and will continue to be talked about over the next century or so. They include;
Joseph was an Englishman born in 1830 and a professional engineer who worked in a cotton mill. No one talks about most famous roulette bets without mentioning Joseph Jagger, the first known fortune winner of the roulette casino game. He is sometimes called “the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo.”
Due to his engineering background and passion for roulette games, he believed that not all the wheels were perfect and random. In order to prove his suspicions, Jagger moved to Monte Carlo in 1873 and hired a set of six clerks to help him monitor 6 roulette wheels at the Beaux-Arts casino. Each clerk recorded the most frequent numbers in the wheels and true to Jaggers theory, one of the wheels had a bias for 9 numbers. The numbers were 7, 8, 9, 17, 18, 19, 22, 28 and 29.
With this knowledge, he targeted the wheel and in three days he won £60,000 which is an equivalent of £3m ($6) today. The Beaux-Arts casino management got suspicious due to huge losses and moved the wheel to a different table. Without knowing, on the fourth day Joseph Jagger used a different wheel and realized that the wheel on the table was no longer bias. He got suspicious and walked around in search of a scratch on the edge of the previous wheel. Luckily, he found it in a different table and continued with his winning streak.
How did the management react? Well, you cannot beat the roulette throughout so every night, they rotated the wheel’s metal dividers. For the next two days, Jagger did not win and moved back to England where he resigned from the cotton factory to invest his winnings in property.
Charles Wells was born in 1841 in Broxbourne, England. He was a known fraudster with two stints in jail in England and France. Commonly known as “Monte Carlo Wells,” Charles is credited with one of the most famous roulette bets. In late July 1891, Charles moved to a Monte Carlo casino with £4,000 he earned in a fraudulent activity and made a series of successful spins of the roulette wheel. He repeated the same in November the same year. In both occasions, he won a total of £60,000.
Unlike Joseph Jagger, Charles had no definite formula or theory. He initially attributed his wins to an “infallible system” and later claimed that he was exceptionally lucky. He used part of the fortune to buy a ship and later participated in smaller roulette bets without any substantial wins.
In 1990, Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo ventured in to casinos that could be exploited. He searched for biased wheels and found one in Casino de Madrid. This was Jagger’s theory, but Gonzalo still used it and raked in over £1m. A theory that was over 100 years old.
More recently in 2004, the English gambler sold everything he owned to place a single bet. He hired a texudo, walked into the Plaza Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to make a bet with everything he was worth. With a total of $135,300, he made a single roulette bet on red. Luckily, the ball landed on the 7 red pocket. This bet remains famous because not many people would make a single bet with such a large amount of money. It has since been known as “Nothing or Double”.
This is an interesting one! Brown took £5,000 of someone else’s money and wagered on a single bet. He claimed that he would use the laws of physics to determine where the ball would land. When the wheel was spun, he chose pocket number 8. Unfortunately, the ball landed a pocket over on number 30. It is one of the most famous roulette bets lost in recent times, 2009.