The Doctor Who Mastered European Roulette 


The medical profession is rarely associated with gambling expertise unless you’re talking about Dr. Richard Wilhelm Jarecki 

By Contributing Author

Richard Wilhelm Jarecki was a medical doctor as well as a professional roulette player. He died in the summer of 2018 after living a sincerely remarkable life. The physician-turned-expert gambler settled in the United States after fleeing Nazi Germany. 

Jarecki’s History

Richard Jarecki was born in 1931. His mother was an export heiress, and his father was a dermatologist. During the war, his family fortune was seized, and they fled Germany. His family ultimately settled in the USA. 

As a teenager, he was brilliant. His mind quickly processed numbers and statistics, and he won money from his friends playing Bridge and other games. His intelligence earned him a place at Duke University. He received his medical degree in 1958 at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. 

When he returned to the United States, he quickly became one of the world’s leading medical researchers. In 1964, he married his wife, Carol. 

An Intro to Roulette

In the late sixties, Jarecki was a professor of electrophoresis in Germany. He turned to the problem of roulette as a hobby. He spent much of his free time at casinos, using his mathematical mind to his advantage. 

Playing European Roulette was more about finding solutions than winning money. His goal was to beat the wheel and play the perfect game. As he honed in on roulette, his professional reputation continued to earn accolades. 

The Winning Strategy

Along with his wife, Carol, Jarecki perfected his technique. Whether he was playing at the casino in Monte Carlo, Divonne-Les-Bains, or Baden-Baden, he would have lucrative runs. 

Jarecki quickly noticed that the wheels weren’t being replaced at the end of each night, like the cards and the dice were. Casinos couldn’t possibly switch the wheels, it would be too expensive. 

Eventually, Jarecki brilliantly realized that the tiny defects could be used to his advantage. The chips, dents, and scratches would make the balls move in certain ways. This is how he cracked the classic casino game. 

With Carol, he spent his free time perfecting the technique. He manually tracked tens of thousands of spins for statistical abnormalities. By 1969 he was known as “a menace to every casino in Europe.”

No one ever achieved as many roulette wins as Dr. Jarecki. 

Jarecki’s Winnings

Dr Jarecki became quite the casino celebrity. Other gamblers would try to imitate his bets, which would eventually cost the casinos even more money. Proprietors actually started to try to rearrange the wheels to hustle him. 

His total winnings added up to $1.25 million. With inflation taken into consideration, that would be the equivalent of $8 million today. He won that much within a period of five years. The only casino that eventually outfoxed him was the San Remo, and they had to replace all of their wheels. 

A Wonderful Life

Many European casinos tried to outsmart Dr Jareki, but the physician somehow managed to crack the game of roulette. He moved his family back to the USA in 1974, and he became a very successful trader. 

Richard Jarecki spent the last three decades of his life in Manila with his wife. His family grew in success. His son is a chess prodigy, and his brother is a billionaire. Intelligence does seem to run in the family. 

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