The Fair Deal Players That Made History

How great honour it is to make a name in history. Many players throughout time immemorial have their fame in records and passion of gaming spirits. With sheer hard work and zeal to win, such players skilfully through constant persistence have gained reputable recognition.  Let us look at and know about ten best and reputable gamblers that are famous worldwide and are remembered for their enthusiasm and now serve as a motivation to other players.

Charles II (1630-1685)


The Charles II was the king who restored the English monarchy in 1660. He is considered to be the father of modern gambling in the U.K. His court life was a rich mix of socializing, dice and cards that gained him a reputation as the “Merrie Monarch.” He not only created the written rules for British horse racing in 1665, but before his death, he had purged London of its illicit gambling dens and instituted licensing for legal gaming.

Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt (1725-1798)


Known simply as “Casanova” and famous for his exploits with women, this Venetian adventurer had always aspired to be a professional gambler. He certainly deserves credit for being the first person to describe a now popular betting progression, doubling the size of his stake following each loss until his wager eventually won. According to his memoirs, this system served him successfully at the Ridotto Casino in 1754. The practice of “doubling up on a loss” is today quite common among roulette players.

James Butler Hickok (1837-1876)

James Butler

Legendary lawman “Wild Bill” Hickok had a penchant for card games as well as gun-slinging. While playing poker in Deadwood, South Dakota at the Number Ten Saloon in 1876, he was murdered—shot in the back—while holding two pair, Aces and Eights. To this day, that card combination is known as the “Deadman’s Hand” and many players still believe those cards are a foreshadowing of “bad things to come.” Hickok was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame upon its inception in 1979.

Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)


The Russian novelist known in the West as “Dostoevsky” was an avid gambler, who often lost large sums of money and was in debt most of his life because of it. His exploits became source material for two of literature’s greatest works, “Crime and Punishment” and “The Gambler.” By one account, some of his writing was hastened by the need to secure advances from his publisher in order to settle loans for his gambling addiction.

John Warne Gates (1855-1911)

John Gates

Known as “Mr. Bet-a-Million,” this industrialist and gambler was born in Illinois but gained his fortune in Texas by manufacturing barbed wire. In frequent trips to Europe, he became noted for his high stakes baccarat, but his nickname wasn’t earned at the tables. In 1900, he won $600,000 for a $70,000 wager made at a British racetrack, mistakenly reported as a “million dollar bet.” On a different occasion, Gates won $500,000 playing poker non-stop during a train ride to New York from Chicago. And another time, he reportedly lost a million-dollar bet on which of two raindrops would reach the bottom of a window pane first, cementing his reputation.

Nicolas Zographos (1886-1953)


Blessed with a photographic memory, this baccarat savant could remember the order of all 312 cards as six decks were played. His “Greek Syndicate” virtually controlled the baccarat tables of Europe in the early 20th century. One of the Greek’s biggest wins was in 1926 when he had millions of francs at risk and was dealt two worthless court cards. Against all odds, he drew the nine of diamonds to win and it became his symbol ever after, appearing on all he owned, from a private yacht to his handmade studs

William Nelson Darnborough (1869-1958)

William Nelson

William Nelson American roulette player is considered by many to be the first person to successfully develop and apply a systematic methodology for predicting where the ball will drop. His calculations allowed him relieve Monte Carlo of an estimated $415,000 between 1904 and 1911. One of his legendary feats was winning on five successive spins by betting the number 5.

Kenneth Senso Uston (1935-1987)


Uston a Harvard MBA and businessman was one of the world’s most proficient blackjack players. He led a San Francisco based team of card counters to millions of dollars of winnings at the tables of Reno, Las Vegas and Atlantic City. He was so good that he also had to become a master of disguise to evade surveillance systems. When casinos eventually banned him from play, Uston published his methodology in a 1981 book entitled “Million Dollar Blackjack,” considered to be a gambling classic to this day.

Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer (1937-2005)

Kerry Packer

Kerry Packer was an  Australian billionaire who made his fortune in mass media, but his reputation as a gambler is legend. One story has been told of him winning 20 consecutive hands when playing high stakes baccarat in Las Vegas, with each hand worth $250,000. In 1997, he reportedly won somewhere between $20 million and $40 million at the tables of the MGM Grand. Being generous, Packer allegedly tipped a doorman $1 million. He also paid off the mortgage of a cocktail waitress. Packer’s biggest known loss was at Crockfords Casino in London, where he dropped an estimated $16.5 million.

John Patrick “J.P.” McManus (1951-2008)

John Patrick

Born in Limerick, Ireland, McManus grew up around greyhounds; he set up his own betting stand as a boy. At the age of 30, he wagered successfully on the second-seed in the Cheltenham Novices’ Hurdle and won an estimated $250,000. In 2006, he reportedly won more than £1 million in horseracing bets from Scottish bookmaker Freddie Williams. Before he passed away, McManus had become a stable owner, racing his own jumpers in the National Hunt, and earning a fortune through global financing and money dealing out of Geneva.

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