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Roulette Hall of Fame - The Masterminds Who Beat the House

Famous Roulette Players

Being a professional roulette player can prove to be quite the challenge. Although it is indeed a game of chance, you need the skill and the right strategy to be able to beat the house. That said, these roulette masterminds proved that they’ve got what it takes to be the best of the best. Check out the names that have made the news to our roulette hall of fame!

The Best of the Best

Whilst the individuals certainly had luck on their side, other factors made them special. Not only were they familiar with the wheel, but they were certainly some of the most mathematically gifted individuals of their time. In fact, this is what allowed them to walk away with millions!

"These masterminds proved that they’ve got what it takes to be the best of the best."

Ian Fleming

We’ll kick this one off with the none other than Ian Fleming. If you love all things James Bond, this one’s right up your street. His book – Casino Royale is not only loved by many avid readers, but it also paved the way for another 11 novels and two short stories about the iconic 007 agent.

As most Bond enthusiasts know, the protagonist’s favourite casino game of choice in the novel was Baccarat Chemin de Fer. That said, we also have to commend Fleming for his expertise in describing the roulette strategy. Since Fleming dabbled in gambling, he was quite familiar with the iconic roulette wheel. At some point in Casino Royale , Bond develops his very own roulette system that was set to beat the house – the Labouchere System. Soon enough, this became known as the James Bond Strategy.

Norman Leigh

Together with his 12 employees, Norman Leigh started to shake up the French gaming industry back in 1966. On one faithful night, each of them walked away with over 800,000 Francs – the equivalent of $4,230. At the time, this was considered to be an incredibly high amount. In fact, the casino proceed to ban Leigh from ever entering again. Other casinos in France followed suit and also proceeded to ban Leigh and his posse from setting foot in their buildings.

For some time, he had claimed that he had a roulette strategy that never failed him. That’s why he was so famous. In fact, he tested what became known as the Reverse Labouchere system. As most real money roulette gamblers know, this system involves increasing bets when you have some leverage over the casino.

As the team continued to be successful, Leigh decided to document his experience and profits made in his bestselling book – 13 Against the Bank. What’s interesting about this is that before he died, Leigh stated he had no system; rather, he was just lucky. Nevertheless, gamblers from all over the world are still trying to discover Leigh’s missing system.

Joseph Jagger

Joseph Jagger was a textile engineer from Bradford who enjoyed his fair share of roulette. Little did he know that he would soon gain the title of ‘The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo’ in the year 1873.

Due to his expertise in mechanics and extensive knowledge of roulette, he was of the opinion that not all roulette wheels are accurate – in other words, not completely random. To prove this, he employed people to help him track numbers on every single roulette wheel in Beaux-Arts – Monte Carlo’s most prestigious casino.

And voilà! Jagger had his very own eureka moment when he successfully exploited the bias towards nine particular numbers – 7, 8, 9, 17, 18, 19 and 22. In the end, Jagger managed to walk away with $375,000. Nowadays, that amount is worth well over £3 million.

Carol Jarecki

Although Carol Jarecki is a famed chess player and writer, she has proved to be quite the roulette player. In fact, she travelled all over the world with her husband Richard to play the game. Like many others before her, she also discovered that roulette wheels didn’t always produce random results.

So, during the 1960s, Richard started recording spins. Eventually, the couple managed to reel in one of the biggest wins in roulette history. At the time, the amount won was more than $1.2 million; that means that nowadays it amounts to over $8 million!

Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo

Although over 100 years had passed since Jagger’s discovery, Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo if looked hard enough, he’d find more dodgy roulette wheels. As luck would have it – he found one at the Casino de Madrid and eventually went on to win over a whopping $1 million dollars!

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