Joseph Jagger and his Roulette Payout

There are some wonderful stories in the history of roulette, of huge wins and daring coups at casinos across the world. One of the best stories is that of Joseph Jagger, a mill engineer from Yorkshire. His knowledge and interesting mechanics came from his day job but his curiosity soon moved towards the game of roulette.
Joseph was convinced that it would be possible to secure a mammoth roulette payout if he could identify even the smallest bias in a roulette wheel.

So in 1873 he hired 6 clerks and headed off for Monte Carlo, which in the day must have been quite an undertaking for a mill engineer in a small town in Yorkshire. Joseph was convinced that many of these roulette wheels would have built in imperfections which would in turn lead to slight bias in the numbers that were spun. His clerks were the ‘clockers’ carefully examining and recording every spin on every wheel in an attempt to identify such a bias in one of the roulette wheels. The casinos had never seen anything like it so they simply allowed the clockers to do their research.

On the 7th July 1875, he put his plan into the next phase, his clockers had identified a single wheel which appeared to show a bias towards the following numbers – (7, 8, 9, 17, 18, 19, 22, 28 and 29) . On that day Joseph started betting on that roulette wheel. On his first day at the wheel he had won $70,000 a huge sum of money in those days.

The following day Jagger returned and proceeded to bet systematically on the very same numbers as the previous day, and slowly started to win again. Obviously even with a bias there were times when he lost to lucks fickle hand, but as anyone knows a bias will always favor you eventually if you stick to your plan. The second day saw Jagger ahead by over $300,000 not to mention the losses incurred by all the other gamblers following his bets.

Obviously by this point the casino were getting rather worried and their suspicion correctly lay on on the roulette wheel that Jagger had been betting on. So that night they switched the positions of the roulette wheels, not really knowing what the problem was but desperate enough to try anything.

Joseph Jagger - Bethel Church, Shelf, Yorkshire

Joseph Jagger – Bethel Church, Shelf, Yorkshire

The following day, Jagger failed to notice the switch and proceeded to bet on the same numbers however this time on an unbiased wheel. He lost a significant amount of his winnings before noticing that the scratch marks on the original wheel were no longer there. He stopped betting straight away and went in search for his ‘original wheel’ and eventually found it.

Moving to this table, he ramped up his winnings during the rest of the day, but of course by this time the casino bosses had figured out both the bias an the likely problem. They had identified the problems as the frets (the dividers between the numbers) so they replaced all of them on that particular wheel. When Jagger returned this time he started to lose heavily, the cause of the bias had been removed and with his his advantage.

But the hero of this story did the sensible thing, although his winnings tumbled – he quit on that last day still with a huge profit equivalent to over three million UK pounds today. Perhaps that is the stage that marked him out as a professional gambler to stop a winning streak and walk away with a huge profit. Joseph Jagger went back to Yorkshire, quit his job and invested his winnings in property, he was a very wealthy man thanks to his plan, his daring which secured one of the biggest roulette payouts of his time.

Hope you enjoyed this story courtesy of the Play online roulette team

About The Author