- Joseph Jagger: Known as “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo,” Jagger is an iconic figure in roulette history. He used a technique of bias analysis to predict the outcome of the spins. Jagger hired clerks to note down the results of many roulette spins in the Beaux-Arts Casino in Monte Carlo, and he discovered that one wheel showed a clear bias. Capitalizing on this, he won a considerable sum in 1873.
- Charles Wells: Another person who “broke the bank at Monte Carlo” is Charles Wells. In 1891, he gambled at the Monte Carlo Casino, winning 1 million francs in the course of several days. Unlike Jagger, he did not use any system but was just incredibly lucky. His luck eventually ran out, and he died in poverty.
- Ashley Revell: Revell became famous in 2004 for one of the most audacious roulette bets in history. He sold all his possessions and bet all his money ($135,300) on a single spin of the roulette wheel. He chose red, and luckily, the ball landed on Red 7. He doubled his money and then walked away from the game. His bet was filmed for a TV mini-series.
- Richard Jarecki: A notable figure in the late 20th century, Jarecki developed a system to beat the game by seeking out biased roulette wheels. Over the course of several years, he and his wife won over $1.2 million (equivalent to more than $8 million today). His system, like that of Jagger, relied on noting down the results of each spin to identify patterns.
- Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo: A Spanish record producer and entrepreneur, Garcia-Pelayo is known for his successful assault on the casinos in the 1990s. Using a computer, he analyzed the outcomes of the roulette wheels at the Casino de Madrid in Spain. He discovered that some numbers came up more frequently than others and won over 1 million euros before the casino started changing their wheels more frequently.
These individuals have all left their mark on the game of roulette. Some have used strategies and systems to predict outcomes, while others have relied on sheer luck. Their stories continue to inspire and fascinate those who venture to the roulette tables.
- Don Johnson: Not to be confused with the actor of the same name, Don Johnson is a professional gambler who has not only played but beaten the house in blackjack. He has also been known to play roulette. Johnson negotiated special rules in the casinos to get an edge, specifically negotiating to change default blackjack rules. He won over $15 million from three casinos in around six months in 2011.
- Chris Boyd: An Englishman, Boyd is another player who staked everything on a single spin. In 1994, after saving $220,000 over three years, he bet it all on red at the Binion’s Horseshoe Club in Vegas. The club normally didn’t accept such high roulette bets, but they made an exception for Boyd. He won, doubling his money, and then reportedly quit gambling altogether.
- Norman Leigh: Leigh led a team of 12 that “broke the bank” in the Casino Municipal at Nice in 1966. They used a reverse labouchere system, which is a progression strategy. The team was later banned from French casinos, leading Leigh to write a book about his experiences.
- Mike Ashley: The billionaire businessman, owner of the Newcastle United Football Club and numerous retail businesses, is a known gambler. In 2008, he famously won £1.3 million at the Fifty London casino’s roulette wheel. Ashley reportedly placed a complex ‘complete’ bet on number 17, which amazingly came in, and then walked away from the table immediately after winning.
- Philip Green: Green, a British businessman and the chairman of the Arcadia Group, is known for his love of high-stakes gambling. He reportedly won £2 million in a single night at a London casino playing roulette. He has also reportedly lost large amounts, illustrating the risky nature of betting large sums on the spin of a wheel.
These individuals, through their daring bets and strategic plays, have etched their names into the annals of roulette history. Their stories serve as reminders of the unpredictability, thrill, and risk that come with the game of roulette.