While there are many legends about breaking the bank in Monte Carlo, Jagger is the most well-documented and easiest to prove. In 1873, the cotton engineer and mechanic from Yorkshire found himself intrigued with the roulette wheel. He wanted to know how they worked. He hired six assistance to record every single number spun in a 12 hour shifts, and then analysed the results.
One wheel out of all those recorded showed a favourable leaning towards 9 numbers. He won $300,000 before the casinos caught on and moved the wheel to a different table. Jagger lost after the switch until he located the old wheel by a distinctive scratch pattern. He won $450,000 and left Monte Carlo with his remaining $325,000 – the equivalent of about $5 million American dollars today.
While most famous blackjack players accumulate their wealth on the tables and through books, Kerry Packer is an exception to the norm. Packer built a media empire over his lifetime, and became the richest man in Australia ($A6.5 billion) before his death in 2005. Beyond his extravagant wealth and media empire, the Aussie was known for his high stakes gambling ventures into blackjack, poker, baccarat and other games. Of course, what we’re most interested in here is the blackjack, and how Packer became a legend for his play.