Jareki gathers crowds in European casinos
On European roulette the chances were higher than in America: there were 37 cells with numbers rather than 38, which reduced the casino’s advantage over the player from 5.26% to 2.7%. And as Jareki later discovered, they were just right for him: old, shattered, full of physical defects.
With his wife, he walked dozens of Roulette in casinos across Europe, from Monte Carlo (Monaco) to Divon-les-Bains (France) and Baden-Bains (Germany). The couple recruited a team of 8 casino assistants who recorded roulette results – sometimes 20,000 launches per month. Then, in 1964, he struck the first blow.
Having identified the defective wheels, he borrowed £25,000 from a Swedish financier and spent 6 months implementing his strategy, without hiding at all. By the end of the period he had earned £625,000 (approximately $6,700,000 to date).
Jareki’s victories made headlines all over the world, from Kansas to Australia. Everyone wanted to know his ‘secret’ – but he knew that to keep winning he had to hide the true methodology.
So he invented a fashionable fairy tale for the press: he supposedly counted roulette results every day and then fed the results to the Atlas supercomputer, which gave him the winning numbers.
At the time, as gambling historian Russell Barnhart wrote in his book “Playing the Wheel”, “Computers were considered creatures from outer space. Few people, even among casino managers, knew them well enough to distinguish myths from reality”.
Hiding behind this technological ploy, Jareki continued to track down defective tables – and was preparing for another big step.
The casino owner’s worst nightmare
Charged with cash, Jareki has acquired luxury apartments near San Remo, a luxury Italian casino on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Meticulous observations helped him identify a table at which the number 33 dropped out much more than usual – as a result of “constant ball friction on the wheel”. On a spring evening in 1968, he arrived in his white Rolls-Royce at this playhouse of sin and won about $48,000 ($360,000 today) within three days.
Eight months later, he came back after winning $192,000 ($1,400,000) in one weekend on two different roulettes twice in one night, which devastated the casino’s stock of money. The casino owner, who was on the verge of ruin, had no choice but to ban Jareki from visiting his establishment for 15 days “for playing too well”.
Sanremo Casino, where Jarequi won a large sum
In the evening after the ban, Jareki returned and won another $100,000 ($717,000) – the casino even had to write him a debt.
When visiting the casino, large crowds of people gathered around Jareki to watch the master at work. Many tried to repeat the bets behind him by placing small bets on the same rooms.
Trying to outsmart Jareki, the casino owners would change his favourite roulette every night. However, the professor remembered every vein in the tree, every chip, scratch and paint defect – and always found the right ones.
“He became a threat to all European casinos,” said Larder Sydney Morning Herald. “I don’t know how he does it, but I would be happy if he never came back to my casino.
“If the casino manager doesn’t like to lose,” parried Jareki, “let them sell their vegetables.
In the end, Sanremo gave up and replaced all 24 roulette, spending a significant amount. The management decided that this was the only way to stop the best player they had ever seen.
Over the following decades, the casinos began to invest heavily in roulette tracking systems, tracking defects and creating wheels that were less prone to distortion. Today, most of the wheels are digital, and they use algorithms that guarantee that the casino will win.
With roulette to the grave
Overall, Jareki won about $1,250,000 ($8,000,000 today) at the casino, placing large bets on defective roulette from 1964 to 1969.
The Italian newspaper Il Giorno called him ‘the most successful roulette player’, a skinny academic who did not look like a ‘gambler’. Once considered a ‘botanist’ by the university, he has now become ‘the hero of all university students’.
Richard Jareki and his family
In 1973, Jareki moved back to New Jersey, starting a new career as a commodity broker. With the help of his brother, a billionaire, he increased his fortune by a factor of 10. He also passed on his passion for games to his son, who at the age of 9 became the youngest chess champion in history.
Casino owners pestered him from time to time with partnership calls, but he never agreed: “He liked taking money from the casino,” his wife, Carol, told the New York Times, “not giving it away.
In the early 90s, Jareki was tired of Atlantic City and moved to Manila, where gambling was flourishing and poorly regulated. He lived there until his death in 2018, when he was 87. In the Philippines he play at best casinos and here’s a list of real gambling casinos in Philippines from Jareki.