Roulette players who bet and win big are often considered heroes. Those with the biggest wins have etched themselves in the game’s history.
But placing big wagers isn’t always a wise decision. In fact, some roulette legends have become famous for making downright stupid choices.
I’m going to discuss a few notable players who made dumb wagers. I’ll also cover better strategies to use in place of these bad ones.
1 – Ashley Revell
Few great ideas surface after a long night of drinking. Britain’s Ashley Revell is a perfect example of this fact.
Revell and his buddies were talking about roulette at the pub one night. They discussed how crazy it would be to bet everything they owned on a single roulette spin.
Most people forget these types of thoughts when they sober up the next day. But Revell somehow still thought that betting his life savings on roulette was a great idea.
He proposed this plan to his friends and family in 2004. The latter tried convincing him to drop this insane notion but to no avail.
Revell proceeded to sell all of his notable possessions, including a home, car, Rolex, and more. When the fire sale was finished, he’d accumulated $135,300.
He was able to recoup some of the money after signing a sponsorship deal with the English bookmaker Blue Square. He changed his legal name to Ashley “Blue Square” Revell as part of the deal.
Even still, the young Brit was risking a lot of money on a random outcome. Revell never wavered, though, and set off to Las Vegas’ Plaza Hotel to make his bet.
Adding to the drama, Sky One made his story into a mini-series called Double or Nothing. E! also added him to a special called THS Investigates: Vegas Winners & Losers.
With the stage set, Revell was now ready to make his wager. Interestingly enough, he still didn’t know which bet he wanted to place.
Revell finally put $135k worth of chips on red in the red/black wager. The ball came to a rest on red 7, thus giving him a $270k payout.
I needn’t go too far into the specifics of why this was such a dumb bet. First off, he was putting his life savings into a negative-expectation wager.
The casino holds a 5.26% house edge on an American roulette wheel. Revell got very lucky and overcame the odds to win.
Secondly, he concocted this idea with his drinking buddies. The fact that he went through with it afterward is even worse.
Revell at least tried to do something productive with his winnings. He started an online poker room called Poker UTD and website called iGaming Recruitment. Unfortunately for him, neither venture proved a long-term success.
2 – Jake Cody
Jake Cody is a professional poker player from the UK. He’s had a lot of success on the felt, beginning with when he won the 2010 EPT Deauville Main Event along with €857,000.
He’s since gone on to win over $4.5 million in live tournaments. These results are impressive when considering that his poker career began with a meager $10 online deposit.
Cody has become successful by playing up to 12 hours per day, studying strategy, and discussing hands with fellow pros. Therefore, he’s a pretty smart player.
But Cody wasn’t so smart after a victory in the 2018 partypoker UK Championships £2,200 High Roller.
He earned a $60,000 payout for his win. But rather than adding the money to his bankroll, Cody made the crazy decision to bet the entire amount on a single roulette spin. Déjà vu?
This wager is the same type of all-or-nothing bet that Revell made. However, I’ll cut Cody some slack because at least he didn’t put his entire net worth on the table.
The idea came from one of his friends. Word got around the Nottingham’s Dusk Till Dawn casino, where Cody was relishing his poker victory.
He didn’t truly consider putting his tournament prize into play at first. However, he relented after several people asking him about the bet.
The buzz surrounding the wager grew so loud in the room that the casino’s owner, Rob Yong, decided to spin the wheel himself.
Cody bet on black and watched intently as Yong spun the wheel. The ball quickly landed on a black space and doubled Cody’s money.
The entire event was caught on a number of smartphones. It later became a big news story.
Of course, nobody was talking about how dumb it is to bet an entire $60k poker prize on a lone roulette wager. Instead, news outlets celebrated him like a hero.
Hopefully, no one took this event too seriously. Even for a wealthy poker player, betting this much on a roulette spin is nuts.
The good news is that Cody realized it. He said that he normally gambles with an edge, but got caught up in the moment. He also noted that this was a one-off event that won’t happen again.
3 – Charlie Wells
Unlike the other gamblers on this list, Charlie Wells didn’t risk an exorbitant amount of money on one spin. Instead, he made a series of stupid decisions that not only left him broke but also imprisoned.
Wells’ story began in the latter part of the nineteenth century. He was a British conman who used various means to bilk people out of money.
One of his most-notable schemes involved cobbling together £4,000 in investments for a musical jump rope. But rather than work on the proposed invention, he took the money to Monte Carlo for a gambling excursion.
Wells could’ve easily lost the entire amount when considering the house edge. Instead, he went on what may be the luckiest gambling run of all time.
Wells “broke the bank” at several roulette tables. Breaking the bank refers to winning every chip available at a certain table.
By the end of his trip, Wells had accumulated over 1 million francs. He returned to Britain as a very wealthy man.
However, he wasn’t quite satisfied yet. Wells decided to return to Monte Carlo and try his luck again.
The hot streak continued as he netted another 1 million francs. Upon going back to England this time, he was a celebrity.
Wells became the subject of high-profile interviews. He boasted about his infallible roulette strategy and refused to reveal his “secret.”
In reality, there was no secret. Wells was just trying different betting strategies and getting lucky each time.
He proved so by doing the unthinkable and visiting Monte Carlo yet again. This third time would prove fateful as he lost everything that he’d previously won.
Besides losing his fortune, Wells had conned more people with another invention idea before leaving. He was promptly thrown in prison for years upon returning home. Wells proved that it’s best not to push your luck too many times.
What Are More Appropriate Roulette Strategies?
All-or-nothing bets and pushing your luck obviously aren’t great roulette strategies. You’ll instead want to consider the following advice in order to boost your odds.
You don’t really need a fancy strategy to win in roulette. In fact, you’re better off avoiding all of the gambling systems that create a false sense of reality.
Flat betting is just as good as any specific wagering strategy. It involves placing the same-sized bets in every round. For example, you may place $10 on even-money wagers for each spin.
Rather than putting everything you have into a single bet, like Cody or Revell, you spread your gambling out over the night.
The downside of flat betting is that it’s not as exciting as using a gambling system. You merely place the same wagers every time and let fate do the rest.
Contrast this to the Labouchere, where your bets are governed by a string of numbers. This system adds more depth to the roulette experience.
Weighing the pros and cons, flat gambling is still the way to go if you want more enjoyment out of your funds. It’s not as wild of a strategy as some others use in this game.
Hunt for the Best Roulette Games
Roulette doesn’t allow for much maneuvering regarding strategy. The only thing you can do to lower the house edge is to choose the right games.
Again, the American wheel features a 5.26% house advantage. This is the worst that it gets outside of obscure roulette variations.
The European wheel has a 2.70% house edge. It only has one house-friendly pocket (zero), instead of two like American roulette (zero and double zero).
French roulette is played on a European wheel with the la partage rule. The latter refers to getting half back on even-money bets that lose when the ball lands on zero.
The French version has a 1.35% house edge, which is the best in roulette. However, you’ll have extreme difficulties finding it in land-based casinos.
You may have to head to an online casino to find this game. Realtime Gaming (RTG) casinos are examples of gaming sites where you can enjoy French roulette.
Play Online Roulette and Take Advantage of Bonuses
Almost every online casino features European wheels. As mentioned above, some even offer French roulette.
Internet casinos are great for finding the best roulette games. You won’t have to struggle to enjoy either a 1.35% or 2.70% house edge.
Internet casinos are also nice because they don’t require any travel. Instead, you just pick up your smartphone or sit down to the PC and begin playing.
Finally, online roulette offers deposit bonuses that are, in many cases, better than land-based casino comps. Some of these bonuses are worth hundreds of dollars. You just need to keep an eye on casino promotions to take advantage of these deals.
As you can see, I don’t personally recommend complicated strategies when playing roulette. Your best chance to win is to simply find good games and cash in on bonuses and VIP rewards.
You might vary your strategy every once in a while for something different. But whatever you do, don’t follow the paths of the gamblers covered above.
Revell is the most-idiotic roulette player of all time. He pawned off everything he owned just for a chance at gambling glory.
The worst aspect is that he risked absolutely everything for a bet that has a 47.37% chance of doubling his money. Thankfully for Revell, the roulette gods shined upon him that day.
Jake Cody pulled the same stunt after winning a poker tournament. Pressured by friends and other casino patrons, Cody caved and placed his entire $60k on black.
At least in this case, he was dealing with the more-favorable European wheel. But he still needed to get somewhat lucky to win.
Charles Wells was a moron in a number of ways. Most glaringly, he thought that he could just continue having seven-figure roulette runs in Monte Carlo.
Not satisfied with his first two wins of 1 million francs, Wells went back one more time and lost everything. His illegal schemes unraveled around the same time, and he spent most of his remaining years in prison.
All three of these gamblers pulled off extraordinary feats. However, they should be chastised for their decisions — not celebrated.