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Breaking the Bank at Monte Carlo

19 February 2011

The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo was a hit song in the 1890s and was based on a true event at the famous casino in Monaco.



In July 1891 an obscure Englishman named Charles Wells (1841-1926) showed up at the Monte Carlo casino with the equivalent of $2,000. He began to play roulette and seemed to use a system involving low numbers. Soon he won 100,000 francs, which was enough to cause management to shut down that specific table temporally to replenish its bank.



Waiting for a "fill", officials draped the wheel with a black cloth while another 100,000 francs was obtained so that the game could resume. Later, Wells again broke that table of its total bank. All in all, over 11 hours he broke the table bank a dozen times. He continued his winning streak for two more days and at one point won 23 out of 30 spins of the wheel.


On this first trip he won an estimated $200,000. A few months later he returned and again was able to relieve the casino of another $200,000. Casino officials continued to drape the table with a black cloth each time and this attracted lots of attention.



Management quickly recognized the publicity potential of Wells' actions and encouraged the spread of the story that "he broke the bank". Wells became world famous and so did the Monte Carlo Casino. This caused many want-to-be-players to head for Monaco to try and do what the Englishman had done.



In 1892, Wells returned to Monaco, this time by yacht. He did clean out a roulette table a half dozen times but then things changed. He began to lose, and lose big. By the time he left it was estimated that he lost all that he had won previously and much more. He returned to England and spent his remaining years working various swindles that put him into prison a number of times. Near the end of his life he admitted he didn't have any special roulette system, he had relied on instinct and pure luck. He died penniless, 35 years after his great win at the casino in Monte Carlo.



Bet You Didn't Know



Once, while visiting Monte Carlo, actor Charlie Chaplin entered a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest. He not only didn't win, he came in third.



In the early 20th century roulette croupiers (dealers) in Monte Carlo were barred from taking tips from patrons. However, management permitted winners to slip a few tokens into an added number 37 spot at the roulette table for the dealers.



Monaco, the home of the Monte Carlo casino, has what may be considered a "small" army. It consists of only 109 men.



Monte Carlo's casino name comes from the surrounding mountains (Monte) and prince Charles II (Carlo), the ruler of Monaco at the time of its building.



In 1873 a Scottish engineer named William Jaggers, spent weeks studying the roulette wheels of Monte Carlo casino. He found one biased wheel and within four days won 2.5 million francs ($450,000).



A visitor from South Africa was attending mass in the Anglican Church in Monte Carlo when the pastor selected hymn No. 36. The visitor took it as a signal from heaven and immediately went to the casino and won 70,000 francs using that number at roulette. He talked about his win and word spread and the church become overflowed with Sunday attendance for some weeks afterward.


Recent Articles
Best of John Marchel
John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

101 Casino Gambling Tips: Affordable Strategies & Techniques for Maximizing Profits & Reducing Loses

> More Books By John Marchel

John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

101 Casino Gambling Tips: Affordable Strategies & Techniques for Maximizing Profits & Reducing Loses

> More Books By John Marchel