Charles Deville Wells

A Roulette Rock Star

Charles Wells was born in 1841 and was an extravagant cockney who loved easy money and good life.

In 1891 Wells visited Monte Carlo and with £4,000 that he had screwed out of investors with claims of fake inventions wrote his name into gambling history. In an eleven-hour session he broke the bank an astonishing 12 times winning a million francs on roulette. No gambler before has approached so close to winning the whole reserves of the casino. Can you imagine winning 23 of 30 successive spins? Well, he managed to do this.

Casinos hired private detectives to find out the strategy that helped Wells to win but they didn't find out anything. He himself explained his terrific success his unique talent of an engineer. Claiming that he invented a fuel-saving device for steam-ships he managed to defraud many potential inventors. What a lucky bastard!

Second Coming

In 1892 Wells makes another trip to Monte Carlo on a luxury yacht The Palais Royal claiming he was testing his device. This time he broke the bank 6 times having won 1 million francs in the space of 3 days but this was the end of his winning streak. He lost lots of money and he had to ask more from his wealthy friends that he said was needed for repairs to his invention but eventually gambled it away as well.

Soon after his huge loss he was arrested in Le Havre and extradited to England. Being accused in fraud of $150,000 he served 8 years at Old Bailey. When he was released Wells changed his name and soon got back to prison again and served another three-year sentence. Later he immigrated to France and defrauded 60,000 people in an elaborate financial scam and that earned him another 5 year sentence.

Charles Wells died a beggar in 1926 leaving unforgettable impression upon the gambling world.