German doctor Richard Jarecki was born in 1931. In the 1960s, he became very interested in gambling. Richard could memorise a lot of numbers and data without much effort. That is why he decided to become a doctor, especially since it’s what his father wanted. Despite his workload, Jarecki did not give up his hobby. He played various card games in his spare time: skat, poker, bridge. However, it is difficult to call it a hobby since the young doctor received good money for winning his friends.
At the same time, in the 1950s, he conducted extensive medical research and was awarded for it. His relatives and friends noticed that, after all, gambling was much easier and by far much more enjoyable for Richard. Then this hobby helped him to win about $ 8 million by today’s standards after he had developed his own winning strategy.
Scratches and cracks made millions of dollars
Jarecki noticed that some wheels have small inaccuracies, which gives more chances to win. Only European wheels with 37 numbers have faults like this; American ones with 38 slots are very accurate. Currently, the wheels used in online roulette are reliable, so everyone has the same chances of winning the main prize.
Late in the evening in May 1969, the Italian Riviera was surrounded by many dumbfounded players. The fact is that the professor made a bet on one round of roulette with the amount of $100,000; this amount of money in modern-day equivalent looks even more impressive – $715,000. Nobody could explain what was happening. While the croupier released the white ball with shaking hands, everyone sighed heavily. Was Richard so sure of his luck?
In fact, the reason for all victories is strategy. It all started with Jarecki’s raging passion for gambling and roulette, where a numbered multi-coloured wheel with a spinning ball decides literally everything. Many still believe that chance and luck are the determining factors. However, the professor was confident that it was not so. He carefully studied the playing cards, dice, the roulette wheel. And found out that apart from the wheel, everything must be replaced before a new game, but the most crucial attribute remains unchanged for several years. Naturally, the roulette wore out over the years of use: bumps, chips, cracks appeared, which became decisive in Richard’s life. These factors led to changes in the course of the games.
The doctor spent all his life in the casino and the surgery theatre. There he could spend hours analysing the results of the work he had done. Jarecki kept records not only of every surgery but also of every game. He constantly improved and conducted various experiments until he developed a rough plan for his strategy. He already knew that if in previous games luck was on the side of numbers 1, 2, 3, then it would not be difficult to determine the winner of the next round. It turned out that Joseph Jagger had already said something similar before. Thanks to this technique, Albert Gibbs and Roy Walford also earned a decent amount of money, which was enough to buy their own yacht. And the former turner Berlin won $420,000. Which once again proves the credibility of this strategy.
Are humans smarter than machines?
It should be noted that for Richard, the money was the least important thing; perhaps that is what influenced the long-term result because the first money could have spoiled the doctor. Instead, he just wanted to prove that a man is more intelligent than a machine. And he did it.
After accumulating statistics for a couple of months, the professor decided to conquer gambling with $100 in his pocket. On the first day, he increased this amount to $41,000. It became clear: the system is working, the rates can be increased manifold.
Richard also continued his medical career. In 1965 Richard moved to Germany to study electrophoresis. Soon, he received an honourable award in this field but still wanted to achieve more. He went around many casinos with his wife and even created a game analysis team. When the necessary data were generated and analysed, Jarecki decided to try European casinos. It should be noted that the wheels were one digit different from the American ones. The professor earned the first colossal amount – $ 6.7 million six months later.
This win became a sensation; many newspapers and magazines instantly published articles about it. However, Richard was well aware that he could not reveal his strategy. Therefore, he came up with a kind of legend for the media: my assistant is the Atlas supercomputer, Jarecki said. At that time, few people understood what computers were; many considered them to be aliens. Even the casino workers weren’t sure if it was legal. He spent the money he won on the luxury apartment and a car.
Banned from casino for being too good at the game
In 1968, the doctor earned $360,000 and then $1.4 million. The casino owners were on the brink of complete ruin and did not know what to do. One of the owners even forbade Richard to enter his casino for two weeks because he simply did not have money. After the time had passed, an American professor went into the same casino and immediately won $717,000. Crowds came to stare at these spectacles, and some tried to copy Jarecki, but they failed.
These events have become an enormous problem for all institutions. The owners tried to move the roulette tables around, but the doctor knew every inch and immediately found the right one among others. As a result, the casino owners had to spend their last savings and replace all the tables. Today, these are entirely digital and work according to unique algorithms.
All together, Richard Jarecki managed to win $ 8 million in 5 years. An Italian newspaper called him “the most successful roulette player”. And this is precisely the title that the professor dreamed of. In 1973, the whole family moved back to America, where, with the help of his famous brother, Jarecki increased his savings ten times. Interestingly, the son followed his father’s footprints and was recognised as the best chess player. Richard’s last day was also spent in the casino, placing the final winning bet.