Charles Deville Wells
We think the biggest roulette win (in today's money at least, taking into account inflation) was scooped by Charles Wells ("The Man Who Broke the Bank in Monte Carlo") in 1891. He won 1 million French Francs which we reckon is worth an incredible US$ 13 million in today's money. Mike Ashley's roulette win (£1.2 million) has to be up there also, we guess. His played a single 17 roulette bet.
And let's not forget the Eastern European gang who won £1.3m at the Ritz Casino in London using lasers and mobile phones with a technique called Roulette Clocking. They were arrested, but later released and allowed to keep their winnings as the law at the time only covered people who physically interfered with the wheel and/or ball.
Sticking it all on the Red
If we are talking more recently. then professional gambler Ashley Revell risked it all for a single spin of the roulette wheel. Back in April of 2004 the 32 year old from Kent travelled to Las Vegas with little more than the shirt on his back. He had sold off his home, his car and all his other personal belongings to accumulate £76,840. His intention was to head to Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the world and place a single bet. At the last minute he opted for red on the roulette table and after a few seconds of excruciating tension as it spun and the ball flicked and jumped about around the wheel it settled into the red 7 pocket and he had suddenly picked up the huge prize of £153,680.
Of course this isn’t the largest single win by any means in the history of roulette however it was effectively everything that this man had accumulated over his entire life. To risk it all on a single spin of the wheel is an extremely brave (or stupid) move indeed.
Chris Boyd Also Saw Red
And it seems the red 7 has a lucky vibe about it at least for the aforementioned Revell but also for computer programmer Chris Boyd. The 40-year old Boyd also managed to land the white ball in the fortunate pocket after wagering an astonishing $200,000 on a single spin. He wasn’t initially able to find a casino willing to accept the roulette bet, especially as many Vegas casinos typically won’t take such large wagers. However, it was the Binion’s Horseshoe Club in Fremont Street, Las Vegas, whose usual betting cap is for $100,000, where a special deal was made. Binion’s accepted the $200K bet and even covered the double zero to turn it from an American roulette wheel to a standard European wheel.
Moves Like Jagger
British engineer Joseph Jagger, better known to many in the game as “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo”, is another Englishman who won big (at the Casino de Monte Carlo) on the roulette wheel but a long time before our previously mentioned winners Revell and Boyd. (You can now play at Monte Carlo online casino by the way). The Yorkshire-born Jagger carried his machine experience with him when he travelled to Monte Carlo back in 1873 and ultimately picked up around £65,000. An amount that these days would be valued at around £3 million in today's money. There's also another famous biased wheel spotter from Madrid called Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo who followed in the footsteps of players like Richard Jarecki who was taking casinos to the cleaners in the 70s.
Sinle Number Bets
This guy, Pedro Grendene Bartelle, must be up there after scooping $3.5 million off a £35,000 bet on the number 32 in a casino in Uruguay. Well, he also covered the 8 numbers around 32 with Split Bets we think, which is how he increased his payout.
Unlike the other two, Jagger did not merely place a win or bust life-changing bet on a single spin. He had secretly hired 6 clerks to record all the outcomes of 6 different roulette wheels located within the Beaux-Arts Casino in Monte Carlo, Monaco. From doing this he had discovered that one of the wheels had a bias which would result in a selection of particular numbers, notably 7, 8, 9, 17, 18, 19, 22, 28 and 29, would hit on more frequently than others. Jagger himself then hit the casino himself and placed his bets on said numbers at the biased wheel and netted himself a fortune. The casino caught on to the strategy and eventually discarded the roulette wheel, but not before Jagger had scopped up a tidy sum.
William Nelson Darnborough is also famous for spotting trends in Monaco. This roulette high roller from Illinios won over $10 million in today´s money in Monte Carlo.
Just Plain Lucky
Some people are just plain lucky, as in the case of the Sean Connery roulette bet where the number 17 came in 3 times in a row. I gues you either have it or you don't. There are other famous high roller wins like the Philip Green roulette session where he forced Les Ambassadeurs Club in London into making a profit warning. If you manage to win a supercar with a £2 bet using this system let us know, because you'll be on this list!
Then there are the characters like Balvinder Sambhi who claimed to have won £28,000 on the tables over 2 months before getting banned from the casinos. But then you have to take into account that he is trying to promote his book off the back of that!