5 Craziest Gambling Bets Ever Made

I’ve bet crazy at times, but I wouldn’t consider any of those bets part of the 5 Craziest Gambling Bets Ever Made. .

Today we take a break from the New England casino expansion to look at some of the craziest bets ever made. I’m not talking about taking insurance on a Blackjack hand, I mean seemingly insane.

Here are some of the craziest bets ever made. I’m sure there are a lot more and a lot crazier!

A Run for his Money

1) Ashton Griffin, laid out 3:1 odds on himself of being able to run 70 miles on a treadmill in 24 hours. If he lost, he would have paid out 3x the bet. By some miracle, he pulled this off, won $300K, and avoided having to shell out $900K. Furthermore, he finished the 70 miles with 45 minutes to spare!

Easy Come, Easy Go

2) It’s almost impossible to decide which of legendary gambler Archie Karas’ bets was the craziest. The man came to Vegas with $50 in his wallet. After arriving, he grew that stake to a staggering $17 million over the course of three years. His gamers of choice were pool and poker. Karas’ three-year streak is regarded as the most insane in Las Vegas history. As a result, he was banned from the poker tables at most casinos. Karas settled for taking $100,000 bets on single dice rolls. Just a year after that, he’d lost it all the same way he earned it.

Keeping a breast of his wager

3) Man Who Got Breast Implants on a Bet – This one is part of gambling folklore. Magician and high-stakes gambler Brian Zembic made the bet in 1996. Brian bet he would get breast implants and keep them in for a year for $100K wager. The craziest part of this story is after the wager was paid. Zembic apparently was so enamored with his “additions,” he never  removed them. Subsequently, this is definitely one of the Craziest Gambling Bets Ever Made.

He saw red – one of the 5 Craziest Gambling Bets Ever Made

4) Some people come to Vegas for a personal transformation. A change from their old life to be born again in Sin City. Ashley Revell sold everything he owned to do that. In this case, he emptied his bank account and put every penny he had—$135,000—on red. One spin of the wheel later he doubled his money. As a result of his win, he gave a $600 tip to the dealer and walked out a rich man.

One Man’s Trash……

5) In Vegas, people will bet on just about anything. In short,  El Cortez owner Jackie Gaughan decided to start taking “astronomical” bets in 1979. The wager was on where space station Skylab’s wreckage would fall to Earth when it re-entered the planet’s atmosphere. Jackie laid odds on everything from New York City to the El Cortez itself (which paid out 10,000 to 1). The final resting place of the downed satellite ended up being Australia.

What are some of your craziest bets? Send us a comment @NETimeGambling.com .

Related Post – The Lighter Side of Gambling

Related Post – The Greatest Sports Bets of All Time


Questions About Casino Chips

This post is all about casino chips. Someone once said, “The guy who invented poker was bright, but the guy who invented the poker chip was a genius.”   Ever wonder about that little round wonder, the casino chip? …..I have. If you think about it, casino chips are the universal symbol of money. Gambling made it possible. Here are a few questions that led to some interesting facts about the evolution of casino chip.

1) Why were chips ever used in casinos?

When gambling became widespread in the 18th century, one difficulty was that people who gambled had different types of coins or valuables for wagering. To solve this problem some gambling venues offered gamblers substitutes like pieces of ivory, bones or clay. In the USA, the humble origins of the modern day familiar casino chips were born out of necessity. The game of poker first developed in the mid 1800’s along the Mississippi and other saloons and bars throughout the West.

Related Post – Your Casino Bankroll Requires Planning – Questions and Answers

2) Were fake or forged casino chips found in the early days? 

Yes. Gamblers began to forge substitutes. As a result, gambling establishments began to brand their own chips. The only surviving relic of casino plates is the large plate (check) with a printed value. The problem continued, so casinos responded in the same old way – each casino created specially designed, hard-to-replicate chips that were unique to their venue. Chips became standardized in size, but the materials used for them, such as clay or expensive ivory, still varied widely.

3) What are today’s chips made of?

Manufacturers now use high-pressure techniques combined with a mix of composite to produce chips. To hinder forgery the casinos even include a microchip in their chips

4) Can I use one Casino’s chips in another casino? 

Hardly ever, so it’s always best to cash out before you leave. In Las Vegas, it’s common to see casino chips with the name of two different casinos printed on them – one on either side is the standard. Check with the pit boss or poker chip cashier first to make sure they are usable.

5) What do the different colors mean?

In most casinos, the color of the chip represents the denomination of the chip:

  • white – $1
  • red – $5
  • yellow – $20 (sometimes used at tables for commission wins tables such as Pai Gow Poker)
  • green – $25
  • black – $100

after $100, colors can vary, but here are the most usual

  • purple – $500
  • orange – $1000

6) Do casino chips ever change or are taken out of distribution?

Casino chips are occasionally cancelled (taken out of circulation) by casinos. Reasons this is done are (1) the casino goes out of business (2) the casino changes its name (3) the casino changes its chip design. Advanced notice is required by law when casinos change their chip design to allow people a chance to cash in chips. Genuine casino chips are usually cancelled in one of three ways:

  1. a drill hole
  2. notching or clipping the edges off
  3. overstamping

7) Why do casinos use chips? 

The primary reason casinos prefer chips over cash is because chips add a little mental separation between the gambler and his valuable money. It’s a little easier for you, the gambler, to place a big bet because it’s just chips….basic psychology. The other two reasons are:

  • It is easier for surveillance to tell what is going on with chips. On camera from a distance a $20 bill and a $5 bill look very similar, but a red chip and a green chip look nothing alike. In a game like roulette where many many people are betting on a single layout, the different colors allow the dealer, surveillance and security to know who each bet belongs to.
  • Since chips equal cash for many people, sometimes people will take home the casino chips and just never cash them in. Less money paid out by the casino = more money for the casino.

Casino Chips Collecting

Casino chip collecting became increasingly popular during the 1980s, as evidenced by the sale of chips through several casino and collecting newsletters. Bill Borland’s Worldwide Casino Exchange (early 1980s) had a casino story each issue and dozens of old chips for sale. There are many different ways to collect casino chips. Because of the amount of chips available and the increasing price of some, collectors have begun to specialize. A collector might choose to collect every chip from a certain casino or one from every Las Vegas casino.

Related Post – The Online Information source for Casino Chip Collectors – ChipGuide.com

As for me, I like to collect pens – yes, casino pens.

That’s all for now.


Roll The Bones By Dr. Schwartz

"Roll the Bones" by Dr. David Schwartz

“Roll the Bones” by Dr. David Schwartz

Roll The Bones By Dr. Dave Schwartz Is A Must Read for many reasons:

  • If you gamble, buy it!
  • Are you interested in the history of gambling, read it!
  • Does the correlation between history and social practices interest you, it should be in your resource library
  • If you visit Las Vegas, AC, Monte Carlo (the one in Europe), or Asia, this book will make every visit more meaningful than ever before.


What is “Roll the Bones” about?

In “Roll the Bones” historian David G. Schwartz tells the epic story of gambling, beginning with its early emergence from divination rituals and ending with today’s global gaming culture. In a sweeping, rollicking narrative, Schwartz looks at the betting games people have played since the dawn of history, and argues convincingly that gambling has always been a crucial part of the human experience.

“Roll the Bones” Roll the Bones by Dr Schwartz is the first narrative history of gambling, spanning the Stone Age to the Internet era. It examines how gambling evolved with, and influenced, human civilization. I started reading it and I couldn’t put it down – and I really don’t like reading anything more than the sports page in the newspaper!

It opens with an introduction about the Connecticut Pequot / Mohegan history. Dr. Dave explains how the emergence of these two giants in the industry follows along the vast history of gambling itself.

Related Post – New England Casino History

Dr. Dave Schwartz, Professor at UNLV

Dr. David Schwartz

Dave Schwartz, or Dr. Dave was dubbed “gaming’s leading historian” by Global Gaming Business magazine. He is in charge of the Center for Gaming Research within Special Collections in UNLV’s Lied Library. In addition to overseeing the holdings of the Gaming Collection, Schwartz maintains the university’s gaming studies portal.

The Associated Press, UPI, Reuters, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Las Vegas Review-Journal quotes Dr. Dave often as an expert gambling historian.

Card Player Magazine says “When you sit down to play poker, in a cardroom or online, you’re taking part in a drama that spans human history, and Schwartz has written the definitive account of that history in Roll the Bones.”

Dr. Dave himself says it all on his website, http://www.dgschwartz.com , “Ultimately, Roll the Bones explains how the human predilection for a wager shaped human history from the Ice Age to the Information Age. People spend nearly one trillion dollars worldwide on gambling a year–wouldn’t you like to learn a little about how we got there? ”

Related Post – Another Must Read From Dr. David Schwartz – “Grandissimo”

That’s all for now.