Charlie Wells showed Roulette Systems do work...for a While
One of the most fascinating roulette stories of all-time belongs to Charlie Wells, a British conman who earned what amounts to millions of dollars today through roulette games. During the late 1800's, Wells traveled to Monte Carlo with $4,000 that he'd scammed from some Londoners.
After arriving in Monte Carlo, Wells managed to pull off the near-improbable feat of breaking the bank (winning all of a casino table's chips). Against all odds, he managed to break the bank a total of 12 times in just 11 hours of play. Following two more days spent playing roulette, Wells had managed to earn over 1 million francs before leaving.
He eventually returned to Monte Carlo and won another 1 million francs during this stay. Wells became an international celebrity after this second trip, which prompted many people to inquire about his roulette system. And Charlie was indeed using a system - the Martingale system to be exact, which you can read about below along with how Wells' tragic story ended.
How the Martingale works
While many gamblers are aware of how the Martingale works, it's worth rehashing this subject anyways. This system calls on players to double their wagers following every loss. So if you were to bet $10 and lose, you'd now be wagering $20 the next time.
The idea here is that players will theoretically never lose money because doubling bets "always" recovers losses. Going further, people will continue picking up small profits if they can win consecutive even money roulette bets. To illustrate this point, look at the following example of the Martingale in action:
Bet $10 and win ($10 net profit)
Bet $10 and lose ($0 net profit)
Bet $20 and win ($20 net profit)
Bet $10 and lose ($10 net profit)
Bet $20 and lose ($10 net loss)
Bet $40 and win ($30 net profit)
As you can see, the Martingale looks pretty promising. However, there's one major fault with this roulette system, which we'll continue discussing.
Why the Martingale didn't work for Wells or Anybody Else
Much like the Martingale system itself, Charlie Wells was eventually exposed as a fraud. He returned to Monte Carlo for a third trip, which would be his undoing. After breaking the bank another six times, his luck finally took a downturn. The losses kept mounting, but Wells kept doubling his wagers in an effort to win everything back.
Unfortunately, Lady Luck had turned on him, and the Martingale only increased the amount of losses he was incurring. By the end, Wells had lost his entire fortune along with even more money that he'd scammed people out of with a fake fuel conservation invention.
One thing that roulette players can take away from Charlie Wells' story is to avoid investing too heavily into the Martingale system. Sure this strategy is fun to try for a while, and can even earn you some short-term profits. However, it can also get you into major trouble when the losses mount. After all, doubling bets every time is an extremely risky move!
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